PKR Wanita Delgates Get Standing Ovation for Speeches Rejecting Racism, Child Marriage

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Ask what you can get for rakyat and not yourselves, PKR women’s chief tells delegates.

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.

Ahmad Zamzahuri

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.

Ahmad Zamzahuri

Earlier, PKR women’s chief reminded party delegates that PKR must return to its original struggle of fighting for the rakyat and not for themselves.

Addressing hundreds of delegates in a packed hall, Haniza Mohamed Talha said Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) four by-election losses, including the latest in Tanjung Piai, after winning the 14th general election last year should serve as a lesson to the coalition.

“This is the best example for us to understand the phrase ‘united we stand, divided we fall’.

“We must therefore realise our mistakes and return to our original struggle, that is to fight for the rakyat, not for ourselves,” she said.

Of the nine by-elections held to date between August 2018 and December 6 this year, five were state assembly seats while the remaining four were federal seats.

The five state seats were Sungai Kandis, Seri Setia, Balakong, Semenyih and Rantau and the four federal seats were Port Dickson, Cameron Highlands, Sandakan and Tanjung Piai.

PH lost four of the nine by-elections held in Cameron Highlands, Rantau, Semenyih and Tanjung Piai.

In truth, Haniza said the people was still with PH and the ruling coalition needed to fulfil its election manifesto before the 15th general election.

“We must face our challenges with full commitment and trust in our leadership.

“Wanita remains loyal to the party’s leadership and thus will continue to give its firm support to the party as a wing that upheld the principles of democracy and reformasi,” she added.

Earlier, in her policy speech, Haniza outlined the wing’s four main cores – preparing women in meeting the challenges faced by the Fourth Industrial Revolution; empowering women economically; strengthening women’s position within society and family institution and nurturing of more women leaders.

She said the congress’ theme was in line with the wing’s aspiration in acknowledging and proving women to be capable, qualified and wise leaders as shown with the appointment of PKR advisory council chairman Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as Malaysia’s first female deputy prime minister.

The Women’s congress was also evidently calmer than its Youth counterpart earlier this morning, after chaos erupted at an adjacent hall when sacked permanent chairman Mizan Adli Md Noor was smuggled in amid heavy security.

Scores of PKR Youth security personnel dressed in black were seen clashing with Mizan and others who attempted to force their way inside the Classic Ballroom of MITC.

Faint commotions from the lobby could be heard from inside the hall where the Women’s congress was taking place. – MMO