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KUANTAN: Robbers fled the scene empty-handed after breaking into the home of Wanita MCA chief Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen in Mentakab yesterday morning.
Ng, who is Deputy Finance Minister, was not in at the time of the incident at 7.45am.
Temerloh OCPD Asst Comm Ahmad Fadzilah Mohamed said only Ng’s husband, Dr Chin Chee Sue, 63, was in the house located in Taman Lee Chan.
He said Dr Chin was coming downstairs to leave for work when he saw two men inside the house, one holding a knife.
They demanded his car keys. When Dr Chin hesitated, he was slapped. He then told them the keys were in the car.
Pretending to walk to his car to get the keys for them, Dr Chin opened the front door and the main gate and then made a dash to seek help from neighbours, ACP Ahmad Fadzilah said.
“Seeing this, the robbers fled in a silver Proton Perdana parked outside the house.
“The car’s registration number was later found to be fake,” ACP Ahmad Fadzilah said.
*News source from The Star Online
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians do not feel as safe as before.
Therefore, the Government needs to strengthen security, monitor foreign workers and toughen legislation, says Wanita MCA chief Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen.
“We are witnessing more public and domestic violence such as child abuse, rapes, robberies, gruesome murders and others. “We must address this together as a nation.
“Women as citizens must be vocal to demand our right to security and equip ourselves with self-defence skills”, she said at the opening of the movement’s assembly.
On women participation in the political and economic spheres, Dr Ng said women’s agenda was in the forefront of many nations’ policies.
For instance, India has Pratibha Patil as president, Germany has Angela Merkel as its first Lady Chancellor and even Japan has appointed its first woman Defence Minister Yuriko Koike.
Locally, there are the Bank Negara Governor, Securities Commission chairman and two Vice Chancellors.
“Efforts must be made to appoint more women as chairman, presidents, CEOs and directors in the private sectors, including the government-linked companies.
“Malaysia needs to speed up the women’s agenda to unleash the potential of women and ensure they are fully optimised to face a highly competitive globalised world,” said Dr Ng.
She also called on the Government and the private sector to provide work conditions such as flexible hours, workplace and leave without jeopardising the career prospects of women.
*News source from The Star Online
WOMEN fought for freedom on two fronts that were connected. One was national independence and the other was the struggle for gender equality. As Mrs Devaki Krishnan, who won a seat in the 1952 Kuala Lumpur elections, said in her manifesto: “I will interest myself particularly in the lot of the women of Kuala Lumpur and in extending the programme of social work already carried out by the municipality.”
Education was what created such political activism and the corresponding move towards female emancipation. In 1852, formal schooling for girls began in Penang but remained exclusive and elite. Only in the early 20th century did education, whether in English or the vernacular languages, expanded and became more comprehensive.
Some of those women became role models. In 1926, Mrs B.H. Oon (nee Lim Beng Hong) became the first Malayan woman to be called to the English Bar. Her counterpart in medicine was Dr Soo Kim Lan.
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In 1948, they became Malaya’s first female representatives in the Federal Legislative Council. Together with other women professionals of their generation, Mrs Oon and Dr Soo showed that with the same opportunities, women performed just as well, if not better, than their male counterparts.
Indian women found the Indian Congress Party inspiring while Chinese women had their intellectual role models in their more enlightened compatriots of Hong Kong and Shanghai.
For Malay women like Ustazah Salmah Sheikh Hussein and Tan Sri Aishah Ghani, inspiration came from their schooling in Madrasah Diniyah Putri in Padang Panjang, Sumatra. Rahmah al Yunusiyah, the founder of this 1923 school, was a great educationist and fighter for women’s emancipation in Indonesia.
The school’s reformist ideology attempted to reconcile secular and religious approaches to life. Interestingly, Ustazah Salmah went on to become the first PAS female senator while Aishah became a Wanita Umno leader.
Sadly, such opportunities were the exception rather than the rule, making the emergence of these mothers of independence all the more remarkable. The emergence of a women’s movement began with the Young Women’s Christian Association formed at the turn of the century in Singapore (1875), with a branch in Penang in 1909 and in Kuala Lumpur (1913).
The first registered Malay women’s association was the Guru-guru Wanita Melayu Johor, formed in 1929 by Zain Sulaiman. This was followed by Persatuan Wanita Melayu Terhormat Johor in 1940.
In those days, most women who were enthusiastic about the making of a new nation had to get permission from their fathers or husbands before even venturing out of their homes. They relied upon senior women like Lady Rahiman Ariff, whose forward-thinking husband, Federal Legislative Councillor Dr Sir Kamil Ariff, encouraged her to take part in Malay women’s welfare.
In September 1945, the first registered Malay women’s association in Penang, the Penang Malay Women’s League, held its inaugural meeting in Rahiman’s kitchen. The League’s purpose was simple – to provide aid to Malay women who were suffering after the Japanese Occupation.
Datuk Zubaidah Ariff, former chairman of the Penang Women’s Institute (WI) and Rahiman’s daughter-in-law, remembers having to convince husbands to let their wives join the league and later the WI and Wanita Umno as well.
Such political awareness quickly led to a wider public role. Activism in social welfare developed into national political movements. Although their main activities had to do with providing welfare services, some of these early leaders rose to the challenge of national independence.
Datuk Halimahton Abdul Majid, for example, headed the Negri Sembilan Kaum Ibu section of Umno (later Wanita Umno) in 1949 and went on to become the first elected woman member of the 1955 Federal Legislative Council.
In the 1940s, Malaysia’s pioneer female leaders were also inspired by examples from India and Indonesia. Puan Sri Janaky Athi Nahappan, for example, joined the Indian Congress Medical Mission in Malaya and visited rubber estates throughout the country.
This experience made her aware of the need for some political organisation within the Indian population. In 1946, she helped John Thivy to establish the Malayan Indian Congress, which saw Thivy as its first president.
At about the same time, Khatijah Sidek, then a young firebrand nationalist from Indonesia, was fighting for Indonesian independence in her home province of Sumatra. By 1944, she was responsible for organising several anti-colonial movements, including Pertubuhan Parti Kesatria (Party of Warriors), a women’s volunteer party whose activities included supporting the armed struggle for independence.
Between 1946 and 1947, she made many trips to Singapore and Malaya to give talks to awaken nationalist feeling among the Malays. This ended in 1948 when she was jailed by the British.
Upon her release in 1950, she took her cause to Johor and emerged four years later as leader of Kaum Ibu Umno. As the Member of Parliament for Dungun in 1959, Khatijah became the first woman MP of the Pan-Malayan Islamic Party, later known as PAS.
While editing the London-based student magazine Suara Merdeka (Voice of Independence), Datuk P.G. Lim remembers thinking to herself: “India had become independent in 1947 and Indonesia had succeeded in her armed struggle against the Dutch, so why should Malaya not run her own affairs?”
Lim was then studying for her Bar exams after an illustrious academic career at Cambridge. Among other founding fathers of the nation, her circle of friends included two future prime ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Abdul Razak.
Suara Merdeka, started by Goh Keng Swee and Datuk Mohammad Sopiee Sheikh Ibrahim, was an intellectual forum where future Malayan leaders tested their ideas. They organised public lectures, inviting senior British administrators as well as MPs. Under Lim’s editorship, gender equality came boldly into the picture.
Lim found it difficult to get the wives of these mature Malayan students to participate. Conservative traditions restricted women to cooking and serving their husbands. They voluntarily kept out of public affairs.
For these early women activists, independence meant a change in the way they thought about themselves. They had to lift “the veil of conservatism,” as the Straits Echo reported on the 1952 PMWL’s charity show featuring Malay women on stage for the first time. For Toh Puan Umasundari Sambanthan, lifting the veil meant making rural women aware of the benefits of Malayan citizenship. Her lifelong battle has been to bring uneducated rubber-tappers into mainstream national life.
In the 1950s, this meant getting Indian women to sign up as citizens. Mrs Oon and Lim did the same for the Chinese community.
At crucial moments, these women leaders rose to the occasion. Mrs F.R. Bhupalan joined the Rani of Jhansi regiment, the women’s wing of the Indian National Army, to fight the British. Ibu Zain (Tan Sri Zainun Sulaiman) bravely took the lead when it came to national politics, galvanising Malay women during Umno’s early years to support the cause of national self-determination.
Mrs Oon galvanised Chinese support for independence despite threats on her life from communist guerillas. Lim spearheaded the intellectual and legal battle for self-government.
Datin Puteh Mariah Abdul Majid headed Umno’s Kaum Ibu Kuala Lumpur division during the historic 1952 alliance between Umno and the MCA. Some time later, Tan Sri Rosemary Chong set up Wanita MCA, giving Chinese women a political platform.
But the contribution of women to national independence was more than merely politics or women’s emancipation. They fought for freedom based on the idea that people should be treated equally regardless of their gender, ethnicity or religion.
This is an ongoing struggle that is constantly in danger of being foiled by the same conservative elements that underlay colonialism, which in those days was the belief that Malaysians were not mature enough to govern themselves.
Our mothers of independence continue the fight. Whether like Mrs Bhupalan for equal pay or like Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz for the opportunity to prove themselves on the world stage, others like Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen battle to change the hearts and minds of men, bringing them up to date with new attitudes among their wives and daughters.
Our founding fathers have shown us that independence comes at a price, thankfully not too much bloodshed in Malaysia’s case. Our founding mothers tell us that we are a nation yet to be, for until we are judged according to ability and not gender, we will live in an independent country where half our talent is being wasted.
*News source from The Star Online
KUALA LUMPUR: Wanita MCA members paid tribute to their founding chairman Tan Sri Rosemary Chong, who started the movement with 800 members 32 years ago.
Chong also became the first Wanita member to be conferred the Tan Sri title when she was conferred the award by the Yang diPertuan Agong in June.
A short multi-media presentation of Chong’s achievements was shown on the big screens located at four corners of Dewan San Choon, Wisma MCA.
Accompanied by the Mandarin song Zhang Sheng Xiang Qi (When The Applause Starts), the photographs showed the setting up of Wanita MCA and its involvement in social and political works under the leadership of Chong.
Chong, who was clearly moved by the presentation, went up to the stage at the end of the presentation to receive a souvenir and a portrait of herself from current wing leader Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen.
Great honour: Chong (second from right) receiving a portrait of herself from Dr Ng at Wisma MCA. From left is Wanita MCA deputy chief Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, MCA secretary-general Datuk Ong Ka Chuan and Wanita MCA secretary-general Datuk Yu Chok Tow (right).
“I am very glad to have the opportunity to join this year’s AGM.
“Except for singing and acting in opera shows, I have not spoken in public for a long time after my retirement,” she said in her acceptance speech.
Chong added that she also appreciated the love shown by the delegates.
Eighty-year-old Chong, who retired 20 years ago, said the movement had to overcome a lot of obstacles and difficulties.
“Many of our members had to sacrifice their time as housewives to be with the wing. Some of them even fought with their families and husbands in order to get involved in party activities,” she said.
She said one of them was Dr Ng, who was once a general practitioner in Temerloh, Pahang.
“I went there to persuade her to lead Wanita MCA but she kept telling me ‘Cannot, cannot! What about my clinic and my business?’
“But after persuading her a few times, she finally said ‘Okay lah, okay lah. But I will only serve for one year’ and even until today, her one year still hasn’t ended yet,” she said.
“Even though I can’t join you in any party activities these days, I still give you all my support and blessings,” she told the delegates.
*News source from The Star Online
KUALA LUMPUR: Crime dominated the debate at the Wanita annual general assembly with with two delegates, who were victims themselves, relating their personal experience.
Perak delegate Koo Sze Mei said it was time for the enforcement officers to buck up.
“Four robbers beat up my son and took away his motorcycle.”
“When we took him to lodge a police report, I was told that there were four similar cases on four consecutive days.”
“The police said they know who the culprits are but cannot nab them,” said Koo
Her frustration was shared by Yap Siok Moy from Negri Sembilan who has been robbed twice.
“I hope those responsible (in keeping security in the country) can admit their weaknesses and buck up and not just make promises to do their job.”
All the delegates who took part in the debate said there was a correlation between the huge number of foreign workers and high crime rate.
Terengganu delegate Yap Suit May said the country was moving towards “a violent society”.
“There are two million foreign workers in the country which is almost the same as the entire Malaysian Indian population.”
Wanita MCA chief Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen, in winding up, said the country would not be a blessed one if the people constantly lived under the threat of crime.
Referring to the focus on crime during the debate, she urged the women central delegates to hold talks with local police officers and also Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Fu Ah Kiow on ways to tackle crime.
“You have the right to do so,” she assured the women delegates.”
On education, Koo said a poor command in English among students in rural areas has resulted in them leaving school early.
“They have difficulty understanding what is being taught in class, especially Maths and Science,” she said.
She added that this was the feedback she got from heads of schools where she visited.
Koo said the lack of interest in studying would spell the beginning of more problems with so many of these school dropouts.
“The children will find all sorts of excuses when class are on, like going to toilet.”
“Not long after, they will play truant, smoke and gamble.”
“We must first understand why the students do not study. Asking them to study is not enough,” she said.
She also urged the Education Ministry to address this language problem.
*News source from The Star Online