Malay Rights Protesters Claim UEC Bad For Nationhood And LGBT Worse Than Child Marriage

The rally took place at the Sultan Sulaiman Club, where Malay leaders decided to form UMNO in 1946.

Cover image via Sairien Nafis/NSTP

Yesterday, 28 July, close to two thousand supporters of Malay political parties and groups attended a rally in Kampung Baru to "defend race and religion"

The organisers of the Himpunan Kebangkitan Ummah (Gathering for Muslim Revival) claimed that the interests of Malay Muslims have eroded since Pakatan Harapan won the polls on 9 May, The Straits Times reported.

According to New Straits Times, the assembly, which featured Malay-Muslim groups such as Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM), Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma), and Perkasa, was organised to discuss the topic of 'New Malaysia post GE14: Malay Muslims Under Threat.'

"We cannot keep quiet today," Darul Islah Welfare Organisation (Perkid) president Masridzi Sat told the crowd at the Sultan Sulaiman Club, where Malay leaders decided to form UMNO in 1946

"Those who are speaking loudly today are those who dare threaten and insult our race and religion. Are we going to let this happen?" he said, The Star reported.

Among the attendees were PAS secretary general Takiyuddin Hassan, UMNO supreme council member Lokman Adam, and Rais Yatim, former UMNO member who is now with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM).

During the rally, Rais spoke against Pakatan Harapan's decision to fulfil it's election promise of recognising a Chinese-language secondary level qualification

"Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) is a question of sovereignty, race, nationhood, and nationality," he said, adding that, "What the voice of the majority is saying is we don't want it."

While the qualification is currently not recognised by public universities in Malaysia, except for a degree in Chinese language education, it is accepted in top institutions such as Oxford, Cambridge, and California Institute of Technology.

Some of the protestors in attendance also argued that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community pose a greater threat to society than child marriages

"At least child marriages save the brides from poverty; LGBT doesn't save anything," one attendee told The Malaysian Insight, while another said that, "They're just blowing up the matter on purpose, when in fact it is an isolated case compared to LGBT."

"They are intentionally playing up child marriages to portray Islam as if it exploits children and women, whereas LGBT is the real exploitation," said Mohd Affandi Ismail to The Malaysian Insight.

In response to the controversial marriage between a 41-year-old man and an 11-year-old girl, the government announced that it is working towards banning child marriage:

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