20 February 2020
Press statement by Wanita MCA National Chairperson Datuk Heng Seai Kie
Heng: Retract gender segregation guidelines! They jeopardise Malaysia’s image as a multi ethnic & moderate country
Cultural and arts performances should not be forced to follow rules which are discriminatory in nature. Thus, the decision taken by the Terengganu state government to impose gender segregation on event organisers is regrettable, as such an ‘extreme’ and discriminatory directive is sure to paint a bad image of our nation and jeopardise the economy.
We urge the Terengganu state government to review its decision, to ensure that the state’s directives uphold multicultural and moderate values, as well as respect for basic human rights and freedom.
The 11-point gender segregation guidelines put forth by the Terengganu Tourism, Culture, and Information Technology Committee chairman Ariffin Deraman shows that non-Muslims are not excluded. Thus, if the guidelines are enforced, performances by non-Muslims would also be regulated, which include forbidding women performing artistes from performing before male audiences.
Since Merdeka, Malaysians of all races have lived in harmony, with our diversity being the nation’s pride and joy. This multicultural charm is undeniably an important driving force which spurred the nation’s development and attracted millions of tourists. Hence, if these guidelines are passed, the cultural arts performance scene will surely be affected, even to the extent of disrupting our multifaceted lifestyle as well as jeopardise the image of Malaysia as a multi ethnic country which promotes moderation and upholds the spirit of inclusiveness, unity and harmony. The guidelines will thus leave a negative impact on the nation’s tourism and the economy.
Therefore, to ensure the uninterrupted progress of our beloved nation and to safeguard our harmonious society, the Terengganu should reflect and think of how its actions, albeit just one state’s prerogative, could potentially bring ruin to the system. We should always uphold moderation and respect for basic human rights, so that we can build this nation together.
Datuk Heng Seai Kie
Wanita MCA National Chairperson