Saturday (July 28) saw 2,000 Malay-Muslims show up in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur to protest against Pakatan Harapan government whom they claimed had been threatening the Malay rights, The Strait Times reported.
UMNO supreme council member Lokman Adam, its information chief Nasrudin Hasan, PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan and even ruling coalition PPBM leader Rais Yatim were seen at the rally. Malaysiakini reported that the event was backed by over 300 Malay-Muslim NGOs such as Persatuan Pengguna Islam Malaysia (PPIM), Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA) dan Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa (PERKASA) and Persatuan Belia Islam Nasional (PEMBINA).
The protest, acutely named Himpunan Kebangkitan Ummah (Gathering for Muslim Revival), was held at the Sultan Sulaiman Club − the landmark of where Malay leaders set up UMNO party seven decades ago and just a street away from where May 13, 1969 racial riot was sparked.
One of the main issues the protesters were venting out was the imminent recognition of the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC), an equivalent of SPM used by 60 private Chinese-medium schools. The recognition of UEC was a promise written in PH’s manifesto and the Ministry of Education had previously convinced the rakyat that the government wouldn’t take “u-turn” against the promise.
PPBM Rais Yatim took to stage and spoke against his government. He said, “UEC is a question of sovereignty, race, nationhood, and nationality.
“What the voice of the majority is saying is we don’t want it.”
The Strait Times reported UEC isn’t recognized by Malaysia’s public universities except for a degree in Chinese language education but it’s widely accepted by top institutions such as Oxford, Cambridge and California Institute of Technology, as well as universities in Singapore. The protesters believed that by accepting UEC, it would threaten the Malay language and the unity of the people.
On the other side of the argument, Perak Education Committee chairman Abdul Aziz Bari said on Friday (Jul 27) that accepting UEC (Chinese language) would invite more opportunities in this borderless world, The Star reported.
“The Chinese language has commercial value, so let us not make it a racial issue that it’s anti-BM.
“It is merely a communication tool, especially in the current borderless world,” he told a press conference yesterday.
“It should not be politicised or seen as challenging the Malays.
“Let’s not see things narrowly and jump on the bandwagon, or else we will be seen as being right wing,” said Abdul Aziz.
Other than protesting against UEC, the two thousand-strong crowd was also standing against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues. According to Berita Harian, President PEMBINA Muhammad Azam Asri the prevalence of LGBT community is a threat to the youth, fearing that it would spoil the identity of the individual.
“The government should pay more effort to LGBT issues, don’t take it easy as it will also damage the faith of Muslims, especially young people,” said the NGO chief.