ON the issue of domestic violence, all members of the society including lawmakers from both sides of the divide have to contribute constructively to address the problem. It is not helpful at all being condescending to others and focusing on one's own political mileage.
Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh on March, 2021 criticised the karate self-defence training courses planned by Wanita MCA. Clearly, Yeoh just took the issue at face value and decided that it was a "good" issue to attack Wanita MCA with. However, if she took a minute to think about it, the self-defence classes are aimed at empowering women to protect themselves, so that they are not completely helpless in the event of a violent confrontation. If Yeoh thinks that self-defence and martial arts itself is a violent activity, she is clearly mistaken.
Secondly, learning new self-defence skills can also help in other scenarios aside from domestic violence, such as in cases of robberies, sexual harassment and other assaults. Are these not great reasons to pick up self-defence skills? During the speech at the Wanita MCA 45th Annual General Meeting, I had also clearly specified that it is useful in both cases. Is Yeoh writing statements without reading the context, or purposely misleading others?
Besides that, the self-defence course mentioned is not the only programme planned by Wanita MCA to protect women's rights. All along, Wanita MCA has created many plans and initiatives together with other women interest groups and NGOs to address violence, sexual harassment, assault and abuses, such as establishing a Legal Advisory and Women's Aid Centre to provide free counselling, legal advice to victims and organising awareness campaigns, etc.
We warmly welcome YB Hannah Yeoh to collaborate with Wanita MCA to champion women rights. In the issue of domestic violence, we should be working together because these issues are happening every moment, and no political, racial, religious barriers should slow us from acting against it. After all, protecting women and children and the disadvantaged from violence and abuse is our social collective responsibility, regardless of race, religion and political background.
Datuk Heng Seai Kie, Wanita MCA national chairperson