PKR Wanita delegates get standing ovation for speeches rejecting racism, child marriage

Delegates attend PKR Women’s National Congress in Melaka December 6, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Delegates attend PKR Women’s National Congress in Melaka December 6, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

AYER KEROH, Dec 6 ― Amid the chaos and violence that took place outside the Melaka International Trade Centre (MITC) where PKR is holding its annual congress, two Wanita PKR delegates received a standing ovation for their speeches.

Both delegates were debating Wanita PKR chief Haniza Mohamed Talha’s policy speech at their wing’s congress.

Mansie Abdullah, from the PKR Lubok Antu branch, said East Malaysians did not wish to be involved in racial issues as they want to realise their dream of being recognised on equal footing with counterparts here.

“This is seen in the strength of our souls and minds, particularly women from Sabah and Sarawak as we still maintained a sense of kinship despite our differences in religion and customs.

“We can still sit together and have meals regardless if we are Dayak, Malay, Chinese or Indian,” she said to a rousing applause from delegates, including the wing’s top leadership who were seated in the hall.

Mansie said she believed only PKR could bring about this change and harmony.

“To achieve the expressed desire for the party to remain strong and respected, the spirit of sharing, mutual respect, understanding each other, race and religion is of utmost importance.

“My fellow delegates, let us all unite in strength to take a step forward if we want PKR to remain strong and respected in the public’s view! “ she said as the hall erupted with thunderous claps and a standing ovation  immediately after.

Another delegate from Negri Sembilan, Norazlinawaty Jaafar also received a standing ovation for her speech on child marriage.

Norazlinawaty said there was no need to use religion to justify child marriages.

“While it is true that according to Islamic law, underage marriage is legal if the child has reached puberty. Yet this must be seen in a wider scope from the child’s right to their general health and education wellbeing.

“Take a look at your children. Are we willing to see them cradling an infant when they should be studying?

“The world is already a challenging place. There is no need to deprive them of their childhood and adolescence,” she said to loud cheers from the delegates.

“Reject discrimination, women should stand up with their heads held high. Wanita PKR would therefore like to motion for the legal marriage age to be raised from 16 to 18.

“With that I fully support our president’s policy speech. Wanita PKR Negeri Sembilan therefore rejects underage marriage! “ she said as the audience got up to its feet to applaud her.

Last month, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the federal government cannot enforce a ban on child marriages nationwide as seven states are not cooperating.

According to Dr Wan Azizah, the seven states which disagreed with the proposed amendments were Sarawak, Pahang, Terengganu, Perlis, Negri Sembilan, Kedah and Kelantan.



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