The first Quran recitation competition was held in Kedah, Malaysia, in 1951 on a small scale. It was later made into a national and international competition in 1960 and 1961 respectively, after it was endorsed by Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia’s first Prime Minister. Other countries, such as Singapore and Indonesia, followed suit and started holding similar Quran recitation competitions at district and national levels. The winner of the national competition would then represent the country in the international competition, an annual event organised by the Malaysian government. The contestants were divided into the ‘qari’ (men) and ‘qariah’ (women) categories, where they were judged on their tone, coherence, pronunciation and appreciation as well as their understanding of the Quran.