Amidst pandemonium that broke out during the afternoon’s debate over the leaks in Parliament yesterday, Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN – Kinabatangan) had stood and made off-mike comments over the Batu Gajah parliamentarian’s menstrual cycle.His comments were carried today by Utusan Malaysia, China Press and Sin Chew Daily.Mohd Said Yusof (BN – Jasin) was also named for censure making similar remarks.This morning, Fong called for a motion under the Standing Order 26 (1P) to refer the two BN MPs to the Committee of Privileges.
However Speaker Ramli Ngah Talib shot down the motion, with reason that the issue was not raised at the time of incident.
Technical knock out
DAP MPs protested that they had not heard the comments made by the two BN MPs due to the commotion in the House.
“During the incident at 12:37 pm yesterday, the offending remarks were uttered. The YBs have a chance to voice their displeasure (then). However, this issue was put forth only this morning,” said Ramli.
“As the matter must be raised at the time of the incident, and the issue occurred yesterday, I must reject the motion for the Standing Order,” he added.
Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang protested: “… the remarks were not heard yesterday. There was chaos and pandemonium. The earliest that we knew of the remarks was this morning when the comments were published [by several national dailies].”
“Do we allow this sexist, offensive remarks to pass. They are celebrating, that the motion is rejected,” said Lim, pointing at BN MPs who were thumping at their desks.
De-facto law minister Nazri Aziz, who read out the bills of the day, left the Dewan Rakyat at this juncture.
Insulting to all women
In a press conference later, Fong expressed her regret over the decision: “I feel sad that no woman MP in the Dewan just now voiced their objection to the comments that were insulting to all women.
DAP MP Teresa Kok said the matter was not new: “Each time a gender sensitive issue comes out … each time derogatory remarks were made against women, there is no action taken by the speaker.”
Lim said, “The Kinabatangan MP (Mokhtar) behaved as though he has no mother, or daughters or sisters. And the BN can thump unashamedly at the rejection of the motion on technical ground.”
Lim called on the prime minister to “discipline the two BN MPs.”
Both MPs did not deny making the comments.
When reproached by M Kulasegaran (DAP – Ipoh Barat) at this morning’s debate session, Mohd Said replied, “She shouldn’t have shouted like that when I wanted to discuss important things.”
To censure a fellow MP, backbenchers and the opposition have the option of raising a substantive motion. The motion, however, requires a week’s notice and is not required for open debate.
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Click PLAY to watch for Video of sexist BN MPs in action
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video of sexist BN MPs let off the hook (2) youTube (Part 1) & (Part 2) – google
The Speaker, Tan Sri Ramli Talib did not instantly reject the privilege motion under Standing Order 26(1)(p) when it was tabled by DAP MP for Batu Gajah Fong Po Kuan who had stood up in the Dewan Rakyat when it started its meeting yesterday at 10 am to refer the two sexist Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs for making crude, derogatory, sexist and offensive remarks directed at Po Kuan in particular and women in general.
Instead, Ramli asked for time for him to announce his decision at 2.30 pm.
This could only mean that Ramli was convinced of the strength and merit of Po Kuan’s complaint – which was indeed very serious with sexist MPs abusing their parliamentary privilege to denigrate a woman MP, which is also a slur to all Malaysian women – that he did not immediately dismiss Po Kuan’s application.
It is both wrong and unfortunate that in the end, Ramli decided to “knock out” Po Kuan’s privilege motion on a ground of technicality, ignoring the substantive complaint and leaving unresolved two issues:
• The public dishonouring and humiliation of Po Kuan because she is a woman MP by two sexist BN MPs;
• The misuse and abuse of their parliamentary privilege to besmirch and dishonour Parliament in demeaning and degrading the highest political and legislative chamber in the land to make crude, vulgar, sexist and offensive remarks.
• The insult not only to Po Kuan but to all Malaysian women, making this year’s Mother’s Day the most meaningless one, when Parliament could be exploited to make vulgar, derogatory and sexist remarks.
I am particularly disappointed that no woman BN MP had stood up in solidarity with Po Kuan and all Malaysian women who were insulted by the two sexist BN MPs.
Is there not a single woman BN MPs who will stand up to speak up for women dignity and condemn the two sexist BN MPs for their derogatory, crude, sexist and offensive remarks about Fong Po Kuan?
I have received information that international women groups are horrified by the disgraceful episode in Parliament yesterday and they will be making public their condemnation of the sexist misconduct of the two BN MPs.
With 91% parliamentary majority of BN, there is no access to justice and fair play in Parliament. It is now left to ordinary Malaysians all over the country to redeem the honour of Parliament and dignity of women in Malaysia by speaking up to demonstrate support and solidarity with Po Kuan and condemnation of the two sexist BN MPs for their derogatory and sexists remarks which insult all Malaysian women.
Po Kuan announced in Parliament yesterday that she will be heading a DAP protest campaign to make Malaysians aware of the injustices faced by women not only in the country but even in Parliament, and to mobilize national support both women and men to demand that the two sexist BN MPs should not be allowed to get away with their despicable conduct with impunity.
The protest campaign will start in Po Kuan’s constituency in Batu Gajah on Sunday night. However, even before the start of the formal campaign on Sunday, DAP in Ipoh Timur will extend full pre-campaign support and solidarity to Po Kuan at the ceramah at the DAP Pasir Pinji Branch, Ipoh tomorrow (Saturday) night.