Now PAS’ women’s wing joins chorus of protest against Miss/Mrs Plus World Malaysia pageant

Quoting a verse from the Quran on how women’s beauty should not be put on display and compared, PAS Muslimat (Women) chief Nuridah Mohd Salleh said beauty is a gift from God that must be cared for and protected, and not turned into items in a contest. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Quoting a verse from the Quran on how women’s beauty should not be put on display and compared, PAS Muslimat (Women) chief Nuridah Mohd Salleh said beauty is a gift from God that must be cared for and protected, and not turned into items in a contest. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 21 — The women’s wing of PAS today joined the chorus of protest against the Miss/Mrs Plus World Malaysia 2020 pageant, saying it is contrary to the moral values of Islam and Malaysia.

Its chief Senator Nuridah Mohd Salleh also accused the pageant of exploiting and objectifying women.

“This is because beauty pageants exploit women’s beauty in order to attract public attention. In an indirect way, if this event is allowed to proceed, it would mean we condone Malaysian women being used as stage decorations.

“Of course, this goes against the government’s efforts of building a society that’s admired for its principles and conduct,” she said in a statement today.

Quoting a verse from the Quran on how women’s beauty should not be put on display and compared, Nuridah said beauty is a gift from God that must be nurtured and protected, and not turned into something that is subject to a contest.

“Furthermore, in light of the current Covid-19 situation, which has yet to recede, a programme that gathers people together should be avoided even if the organisers promise to abide by the SOP.

“Therefore, Dewan Muslimat PAS Malaysia hopes that the government will consider cancelling the beauty queen competition in order to send a signal to society that such competitions should stop,” she said.

Yesterday, the organiser of the Miss/Mrs Plus World Malaysia 2020 hit back at accusations claiming its pageants were hedonistic and exploitative, stressing that its objectives of creating awareness and women empowerment could not have been more misconstrued.

The organiser, in its defence, said its pageants intentionally disregarded “trivial” pageant activities like requiring participants to don swimwear, and instead focused on celebrating, promoting and elevating plus-size women’s beauty, intelligence and confidence.

In a statement posted by the organisers on its Facebook page yesterday, they outlined how its pageants are held with objectives like creating a stronger awareness against body shaming and bullying, and promoting and participating in humanitarian and education-driven modules, in mind.

“We teach our participants and queens’ world’s diplomacy, humanitarian work, respect of cultures and diversity, and how to be role models of peace and love.

“Even our theme is ‘Queens with Causes’, which serves a noble purpose. Is that not a great academy for training and transformation?” read their statement.

This came after Putrajaya-linked Muslim evangelical foundation Yayasan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (Yadim) said it would be urging the government to cancel the pageant after labelling it “hedonistic” and alleging that it was “exploiting women”.

Yadim’s chairman, PAS’ Nasruddin Hassan, alleged such programmes have never been endorsed by any religion, likened it to the hedonistic culture of civilisations that have long been extinct, and claimed that authorities worldwide would have discouraged the running of such programmes amid a pandemic and urged Malaysia do the same.

Miss/Mrs Plus World Malaysia also had stressed how its team had made the necessary arrangements to adhere to the Covid-19 standard operating procedures for events with audiences.

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