Sexist duo products of Umno culture

The sexist duo have reluctantly said sorry to all women except Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan. Their  ‘apology’ came too late and lacked sincerity. The damage is done and the only way to teach them is to boot them out of the august Parliament in the coming general elections.

Judging from the reactions of the Cabinet and the Umno leadership, it ‘s a foregone conclusion that these two ‘creatures’ from Jasin and Kinabatangan will be fielded by Umno again. The Prime Minister who talked so much about Islam Hadhari has been keeping mum on the matter until today, as if such derogatory remarks against the women folks were nothing serious ( Nazri’s word) and should be treated with great sense of humour ( Najib’s word). But what would they say if the culprits were Opposition MPs and the victims were from Barisan Nasional?

To me, the dispicable behavior and attitude of these sexist duo simply reflects the primitive mentality of Umno leadership. They are the products of Umno culture.

This morning, I went to Serdang market to extend our solidarity with Fong Po Kuan together with other Selangor state leaders and local members. I will be going to Pandamaran market tomorrow morning to highlight the issue with other local members. We will be giving out a leaflet besides staging a protest against the two MCPs (male chauvinist pigs). 

Po Kuan is still fuming because she feels that the sexist duo have not repented. Both Mohd Said and Bung Mokhtar must be punished for their chauvinistic slurs. 

Besides MCPs, we can also find many racists and extremists among the Umno MPs. They were very fond of asking DAP MPs to leave Malaysia whenever they have no answer to our sharp criticism.

These clowns have turned the Parliament into a ‘circus’. There should be no room for such ‘creatures’ in the august house.

Suhakam lambasts sexist remarks
May 19, 07 11:41am Malaysiakini
Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has added their voice against the sexist remarks made by Jasin MP Mohd Said Yusof and Kinabatangan MP Bung Mokthar Radin.In a statement yesterday, the commission said that any remark that strips a person of his or her dignity is a violation of the fundamental right to human dignity.The commission was referring to a remark made by the two parliamentarians, during debate last week on the lack of maintenance resulting in leaks in the Parliament building after heavy downpours.“Where’s the leak? The Batu Gajah MP leaks every month too,” Bung said referring to the DAP representative of the constituency, Fong Po Kuan, who had raised the issue.The statement said the crude, offensive and sexist remarks had attacked Fong’s dignity.

The commission also said that parliamentarians should provide good examples by respecting the dignity of others as they are representatives of the people and leaders of the nation.

“Suhakam notes that some MPs supported the derogatory, sexist remarks of the two MPs by cheering when the remarks were made or by rebutting that they were mere use of words,” it stated.

When the issue arose, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has said the remarks were not supposed to be taken seriously and that there were certain parties out to make a big deal of the issue.

Not a personal attack

Meanwhile, de facto law minister Nazri Aziz said he did not find the choice of words used by both to be offensive.

Tangga Batu MP Idris Haron added his view that when such things are said in Parliament, “we take them as a joke, not a personal attack.”

“Suhakam urges the MPs who stripped fellow MP Fong Po Kuan of her human dignity and other MPs to uphold at all times the dignity of others especially in Parliament where they exercise their freedom of expression,” read the statement.

“Freedom of speech is a human right but it also comes with the responsibility that one does not abuse this right by using it to ridicule, defame, harm mental health and create public disorder,” it added.

Both Mohd Said and Bung Moktar had apologised to “all women in the country offended by the remarks” following a meeting with Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil yesterday.

However they defended their words used in the Dewan as necessary to defend the government during debates.

They also did not issue a personal apology to Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan, against whom the sexist remarks were aimed at last week.

5 Responses to “Sexist duo products of Umno culture”

  1. ronnieliutiankhiew Says:

    Closure? Not so fast

    Azrul Mohd Khalib
    May 18, 07 1:50pm

    Like many Malaysians, I too was appalled, yet not surprised, at the recent vulgar innuendoes uttered by the two members of parliament, Bung Mokhtar Radin and Mohd Said Yusof.

    These two individuals whose many past antics in and out of Parliament have included spouting sexist and racist remarks and allegedly being involved in corrupt practices, continue to be a stain and disgrace on the honour and integrity of the Parliament of Malaysia.

    That they will continue to be unrepentant (today’s ‘apology’ was probably painfully extracted under pressure from the political leadership) and are likely to repeat their childish and chauvinistic behaviour despite the uproar of the recent controversy, is also not surprising and is probably expected on the basis of past similar performances.

    That they continue to represent the Barisan National despite everything they have said and done, is a disgrace to the coalition and should be treated as such.

    It is time for our prime minister to call these two to account for their behaviour. Lest he forget, the ‘rakyat’ is best served in Parliament by those who are the best that we can find and who appreciate and value the virtues of respect, honour, integrity and honesty. We should not resort to retaining those who are clearly disdainful of these values and who continue to represent and perpetuate a culture of impunity.

    As a ‘rakyat’ of this country and a voter, I call on the prime minister to suspend these two individuals, to drop them from the coming elections and demonstrate to other parliamentarians the need to be accountable for what they say and do. If you – or the deputy prime minister as the party Whip – are able to punish BN MPs who vote against or abstain from supporting government sponsored bills, surely this requires very little effort.

    This continued culture of impunity in Parliament whether on issues of gender chauvinism or corruption, must end.

    I was also appalled to note the lack of support to DAP MP Fong Po Kuan by the chairperson of the Parliamentary Caucus on Gender Equality, Rozaidah Talib. The latter is obviously unworthy of the role and responsibility entrusted to the position of the parliamentary caucus chair. Rather than supporting the effort to censure the duo, she instead placed the blame on Fong and the opposition bench whom she stated were becoming ‘too emotional’.

    Rozaidah should be reminded that gender equality is more than just having a seat at the table; it involves obtaining the respect of all regardless of gender. Who else should play a major role in creating this environment and preventing the reoccurrence of such incidences in Parliament if not the caucus chair?

    I call on Rozaidah Talib to resign from the position of chairperson of the Parliamentary Caucus on Gender Equality, as she would no longer inspire confidence, credibility and integrity in the protection of this issue.

  2. Libra Says:

    I consider UMNO leaders as the most despicable people of this country. They lack integrity, honesty and morality. Just see how they manage the country.

  3. sampalee Says:

    By admonising the devil,we give it strength,just as one learned to be unafraid of barking dogs,once one overcome the fear of barking.It will be better if in addition to barking,which are mere deterents,the opposition can unite and secure some REAL biting power in a few states[instead of only kelantan]If opposition can work towards co-operation as ernest as their barking,bn would have been long gone or left barking out of the gate.Opp leaders should not have only their party interest and for once consider,the rakyat’s interest.

  4. ronnieliutiankhiew Says:

    Vote out boorish MPs
    Bede Hong / Malaysiakini
    May 18, 07 5:16pm

    The public forum yesterday found both Mohd Said Yusof and Bung Mokhtar Radin guilty of sexual harassment against DAP MP Fong Po Kuan by uttering sexist remarks in Parliament last week.

    The forum also agreed that these two BN backbenchers had brought shame and dishonour to Parliament, the Malaysian women and the nation’s reputation internationally.

    And as a penalty, the DAP-organised forum recommended that the offending duo are given a six-month suspension as MP, during which time they would have to do community service with women groups.

    Other penalties that were put forward included seeking a full apology from Fong and all Malaysian women, failing which their suspension to be extended to 12 months.

    Speaking at the forum were Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, Fong, Sisters in Islam executive director Zainah Anwar, Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan, Women’s Development Collective executive director Maria Chin Abdullah and Salehuddin Hashim, who represented PKR adviser Anwar Ibrahim.

    The two BN MPs got themselves embroiled in a controversy after uttering sexist remarks at Fong during a debate in Parliament last week.

    While a debate was going on over a leak in the Parliament roof, the two backbenchers had remarked, “Where’s the leak? The Batu Gajah MP leaks every month too,” referring to Fong who is the DAP representative of the constituency.[video clip]

    This remark caused an uproar among the DAP MPs, as well as several citizen’s groups in the country, prompting calls for apology as well the suspension of the two errant MPs.

    Mohd Yusof (BN-Jasin) and Bung Mokhtar (BN-Kinabatangan, today finally offered their apologies to all the women in Malaysia.

    There is a limit

    Speaking at the forum last night, Zainah condemned the remarks by stating that “the sexism in Parliament reflects sexism within”.

    “If our leaders cannot provide leadership, we the people will provide it for them,” she said.

    Another speaker, Salehuddin – who is Anwar’s chief-of-staff – narrated how his breakfast was ruined on the day the papers reported the remarks by the duo.

    “My wife was toasting my bread and I read the article out loud. She just sat still and threw the bread at me… without it being toasted,” he said.

    He felt that sexist jokes are still commonplace, but there are limits.

    “I’m a mature Malay man of the old school. We do joke about women. I am not coming up here and talk on a moral high ground, but there are boundaries, not just on gender sensitivity. But gender sensitivity in an august House in Parliament [should be observed].”

    Vote wisely

    Salehuddin however said public uproar over the remarks is unlikely to change to mindset of the MPs.

    “Those two guys are more than shocked that we are shocked,” he exclaimed to laughter among the 200-odd audience members.

    “Do you realise now that the BN MPs are totally unaware [of public opinion]. They exist in their own twilight zone. If you notice the way the BN MPs talk in Parliament, it is as though they are in a twilight zone,” he said.

    “And you see them on tv … Let me share with you from my personal experience, that’s how they also fight for their projects. Aku!? Aku!? Aku bagaimana!? Aku bagaimana! (Me! Me! How about me!)?” exclaimed Salehuddin, with his arms waving.

    Despite a sexist outlook, Salehuddin said MPs could still be elected to power.

    “Sadly, ladies and gentlemen, if you take the orangutan out of the jungle… I’m sorry I said that. It was in the heat of the moment.”

    “… if you put them up [for election], they would still win the election! … Why doesn’t [public outrage of sexist remarks] translate to the choice of people they elect?”

    “You must understand one thing, they have no respect for anybody but the hand that feeds them the gold. Sadly speaking, the man who feeds them the gold is there because of your vote.

    “No amount of forums, no amount of signatures will matter to these bandits … the [only time it matters] is when you get your pen and cross it; as long as it is not the dacing,” he said.

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