I never felt more mortified in my 33 years as MP – with “rubbish-bin” Senate “rubbishing” Dewan Rakyat

I have never felt so insulted and humiliated as an elected Member of Parliament for 33 years when the Dewan Rakyat became the subject of scorn and ridicule by the Dewan Negara yesterday because of two reasons:

  • another disgraceful and disgusting episode of crude, vulgar, sexist and “male chauvinist” outbursts by Barisan Nasional MPs in the Dewan Rakyat last week, though directed at DAP MP for Batu Gajah Fong Po Kuan but had also shamed Parliament, Malaysian women — all mothers, sisters and daughters — and the nation; and
  • the abject failure of Parliament to protect and redeem its honour and those of Malaysian women and the nation by taking instant action to punish the two BN MPs, Datuk Mohd Said Yusof (Jasin) and Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (Kinabatangan) in order to spare Parliament, Malaysian women and our international reputation from shame and dishonour.

I had in the past described the Dewan Negara as a “rubbish-bin for political has-beens, rejects and deadwoods” and I am mightily mortified that the Dewan Rakyat has given the Dewan Negara the opportunity and justification to “rubbish” the elected chamber.

During question time in the Dewan Negara yesterday, Senator Datuk Yip Kum Fook wanted to know what measures were put in place to ensure women had a conducive working environment at the working place, adding: “Take, for example, the Dewan Rakyat, where prejudicial and sexist statements are being made at women MPs. Is this not setting a bad example?”

I feel awfully ashamed and I can speak for all the DAP MPs that we feel terribly humiliated, but have the BN MPs – who had thumped the table in glee and celebration when Po Kuan’s motion to refer the two sexist BN MPs to the Committee Privileges was rejected –any sense of shame?

The 2004 general election had elected a record 91% of MPs from the BN but they had brought the greatest shame and dishonour to the elected legislature — to the extent that even the “rubbish-bin for political has-beens, rejects and deadwoods” could laugh and mock at the Dewan Rakyat. I never thought that I would ever see such a shameful day for the Dewan Rakyat!

I notice that some BN Ministers and MPs are speaking up as a result of escalating public disgust at the latest exhibition of sexist and offensive male chauvinism by BN MPs in the Dewan Rakyat, which had been condoned by BN Ministers and MPs, both men and women!

Things would not have reached this sorry stage today, with the Dewan Negara publicly castigating the Dewan Rakyat, if BN Ministers and MPs had stood up in support and solidarity with Po Kuan in the Dewan Rakyat last Wednesday and Thursday. They had all the time and opportunities to do so, as there were three separate occasions spanning over 24 hours for them to take a stand, but instead they ducked and ran for cover on all the three occasions failing at the most critical times to show their commitment to principle and courage of conviction.

The Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil has expressed her “deep displeasure” over the remarks by the two sexist BN MPs, saying that she will bring it up in Cabinet to see whether it is possible to amend the Standing Orders to include that language used in Parliament must be gender-sensitive. She said: “I see this happening over and over, and its getting worse.”

With the greatest respect, the problem is not with the Standing Orders and Shahrizat should not deflect attention from the real issues. The real problem lies with the Barisan Nasional mindset whether Cabinet Ministers or MPs!

When Barisan Nasional MPs could thump their table in glee and celebration that Po Kuan’s motion to refer the two sexist BN MPs to the Committee of Privileges had been rejected, the message is very clear — the problem does not lie with Standing Orders but with the gender bias and prejudices of BN MPs.

When Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak could say that the crude, sexist and offensive remarks were “not supposed to be taken seriously” and should be taken “with a sense of humour”, and the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Nazri Aziz could trivialise the remarks as “play with words” and “part and parcel of parliamentary debate”, no stronger proof is needed that the problem is not with Standing Orders but the utter lack of gender sensitivity of the entire BN leadership.

Shahrizat should go to the Cabinet to educate the Cabinet, in particular Najib and Nazri, about the meaning of gender-sensitivity. In fact, the entire Cabinet should be sent for an intensive gender-sensitisation course so that Ministers will set a good example to all BN MPs and leaders.

(Media Conference Statement 2 in Parliament on Tuesday, 15th May 2007 at 12.30 pm)

  1. #1 by mendela on Tuesday, 15 May 2007 - 4:32 pm

    All BN MPs and Cabinet members are not only clueless and kurang-ajar, they are totally shameless too!

    They are monkeys. Yes, Monkeys of Parliament.

  2. #2 by ethnicmalaysian on Tuesday, 15 May 2007 - 4:58 pm

    Excellent post, Kit. You’re hitting all the right nails on the right head. Let’s see what tomorrow’s papers say abt your press conference.

    Monkeys of Parliament – good one, mendela.

  3. #3 by a-malaysian on Tuesday, 15 May 2007 - 5:03 pm

    Thats the problem when the country has a bodoh leader who is so weak to stand on his own. He needs the support of his monkeys to stay in power and so dare not carry out any action against his monkeys wrong doing.

    Malaysian these are the monkeys that you voted in, so, please wake up and be wise comes the next GE.

    50 years is ENOUGH
    Vote For A Change
    Vote For Any Opposition
    Give Them A Chance To Change For A Better Malaysia
    Remember bn Is A Useless Grouping Of Self Serving, Corrupt, Dictator, Power Crazy, Racist, Kris waving, etc, etc type of parties.

  4. #4 by Bobster on Tuesday, 15 May 2007 - 5:23 pm

    Uncle Kit,

    It is ok to lose to the hooligans. Or should I say, it is better to lose if you are in the winning position. The whole nation got eyes to see / differentiate (I hope) what’s right and what’s wrong. If BN can support and accept these kind of remarks, that says a lot of regarding mental capability and standards of our cabinet ministers and MPs. Both MPs got no balls to apologise. Najib another joker should get a knock on his head cracking such jokes. Oh well, just forget about gender equality, Malaysia boleh because Malaysia got none, with these kind of jokers on board.

  5. #5 by Winston on Tuesday, 15 May 2007 - 5:26 pm

    “Shahrizat should go to the Cabinet to educate the Cabinet, in particular Najib and Nazri, about the meaning of gender-sensitivity. In fact, the entire Cabinet should be sent for an intensive gender-sensitisation course so that Ministers will set a good example to all BN MPs and leaders.” LKS
    Uncle Lim, the BN has decided that it can do what it wants, so courses will not do them any good.
    The only good that can be done to them is to give them the boot at the next election.
    Your mission in the next GE will be exactly that – nothing less.

  6. #6 by pwcheng on Tuesday, 15 May 2007 - 5:41 pm

    As I had said before most of the BN Mps had leaking brains including the deputy PM and Nazri’s comment of playing with words is a good sign because all of us can play with words too but just do not play dirty by constraining us on your choice of sensitivities.

    This putrid leaking brains is all confused but some had come to their senses and taking a sensible stand. We must give those BN MPs with better sense a chance, albeit a little late. They are obviously paranoid because of the whip there and then.

    Perhaps they had to stand up and fight for the line to be drawn of the whip which had been carelessly used on most occasions.

    We just have to be fair to those who ultimately stood up and chastised the two monkeys whose brains are obviously leaking badly..

  7. #7 by Fort on Tuesday, 15 May 2007 - 7:21 pm

    For what?
    If the outrage over the two BN MPs sexist verbal diarrhoes is to hold any meaning is to help us reflect upon how we can salvage the moral standing of our leaders and thus our people!

    Can you help?
    I can’t help but to wonder what had become to our august house! Apparently, through-out the past many years, many had habitually spewing out sexist garbage. This had become a culture for some though not all.

    Worst of all!
    This culture is made worst by many who trivialised them. Can you imagine even the DPM included! The partisan members cheered and condoned, thus inadvertently encouraged it! The offenders FEEEEL like thier champions plus heroes!

    Any Class?
    The many offenders plus the trivialisers prove that a lot of our so call leaders are men most terrible. Theirs is of the baser class.

    Their preoccupation.
    The sexist innuendoes reflect adversely on the owners. Out of the abundant of one’s heart, one speaks. The constant preoccupation of the mind on sexy things comes the out flow of one’s mouth. What use are such men of the basest?

    What a man?
    Such MPs should never be allowed to represent the people. Much less to let them enter the august house. Banish them!

  8. #8 by Fort on Tuesday, 15 May 2007 - 7:40 pm

    The sexist innuendoes reflect badly on the owners. Out of the abundant of one’s mind, one speaks! The constant preoccupation of the mind on sexy things comes the spew of the mouth. Mind of this type is the basest. Do you think such man is fit to represent the people? Can he be an example?

  9. #9 by undergrad2 on Tuesday, 15 May 2007 - 7:49 pm

    There is no excuse.

    It is a case of bad behavior on the part of the two MPs. There should have been a motion to censure right there and then. But viewing the tape, it appeared like the comments were then received as just the kind of remarks that MPs from both sides are used to hearing. The anger which came later even from the MP concerned was almost like as an afterthought and after someone had decided to capitalize on it.

    The “thumping and the glee” seen later when DAP tried to move the motion to censure is to be expected because by then the issue which is simply one of bad behavior has been politicized in the media.

    Statements issued by BN MPs later did not help as they appeared to be excuses for bad behavior.

  10. #10 by dawsheng on Tuesday, 15 May 2007 - 8:13 pm

    It is never too late to censure the two sexist MPs as their conduct was truly disgraceful. After viewing the tape, I only felt hopeless as the parliament looks like it is having a bunch of nasty school kids from BN. DAP must get to the bottom of this, the two sexist MPs should be sack, not only they insulted women but they also insulted Malaysians by uttering sexist remarks in the parliament.

  11. #11 by student2007 on Tuesday, 15 May 2007 - 9:11 pm

    i think this is more to personal problem to party problem.

  12. #12 by crosstalk on Tuesday, 15 May 2007 - 10:01 pm

    Everyone irrespective of race and gender should continue to condemn the two recalcitrant MPCs until they apologise and repent.Imagine these two honourable members of the august House of Parliament did not know the difference between leaking(bocor) and menstruation.Yet they were nominated and elected more than once.Probably the duo could qualify as the world’s strangest legislators in the Guiness Book Of Records.

  13. #14 by fido on Tuesday, 15 May 2007 - 10:54 pm

    There are some things that can joke at and some which cannot. Obviously these folks do not have the brains and the correct mindset to tell the difference.

    And what do you think the nation will achieve with leaders like these at the helm??50 years, 80 years, 100 years later…would not make much difference.

  14. #15 by DarkHorse on Wednesday, 16 May 2007 - 5:18 am

    “DAP must get to the bottom of this, the two sexist MPs should be sack, not only they insulted women but they also insulted Malaysians by uttering sexist remarks in the parliament.”

    You nor DAP can sack the duo because they are elected representatives of the people. Not even BN can sack them! Ministers can be sacked by the head of the Cabinet from their cabinet posts (but not as MPs) as they serve at the pleasure of the King (meaning the Prime Minister).

  15. #16 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 16 May 2007 - 9:01 am

    Absolutely this is about perversion not just the sexual kind but in politics, governance, and likely economics. The mind of the relevant BN MPs just perverted and it touches everything they do. Hiding perversion just hides the problem, inevitable, it rears it ugly head again and again…

  16. #17 by toyolbuster on Wednesday, 16 May 2007 - 10:22 am

    Has Rosmah got anything to say about Naj statement or she doesn’t leak anymore.

  17. #18 by Jimm on Wednesday, 16 May 2007 - 11:00 am

    Wow, another two by-elections will soon be on the way.
    Jasin folks and Kinabatangan folks will have instant ‘fame and monies’.
    Guess our VMY 2007 have been very well received by BN coalition parties members… BRAVO ..

  18. #19 by ahkok1982 on Wednesday, 16 May 2007 - 11:08 am

    and in the newspaper “The Star” today, Yusof denied saying the “bocor” insult… caught on tape and yet stilllll try to deny…
    poor rakyat, they are made to look stupid because they are the ones who elected these beasts into parliament. so here we go again… bodoh-land has another world record. the most stupid citizens and most stupid MP. bodoh-landers must be so proud of themselves.

  19. #20 by Jan on Wednesday, 16 May 2007 - 12:00 pm

    This Hadhari govt is fast becoming a failure. All the fault of a very weak leader and a useless deputy who can’t even control their subordinates and bring some semblance of control in our parliament.
    The best they could do is resign and let someone else do the job.

  20. #21 by dawsheng on Wednesday, 16 May 2007 - 1:20 pm

    No wonder the parliament is full of shits when BN’s MPs only serves for pleasure and yet no one can sack them.

  21. #22 by DarkHorse on Thursday, 17 May 2007 - 1:28 am


  22. #23 by Toyol on Thursday, 17 May 2007 - 4:34 pm

    Yes, the 2 monkeys must be disiplined and removed from Ministerial Posts since they have proven they are a shame to Parliament and to the country.

    However, lets not forget how the issue came to being. The leaks in Putrajaya underlines a more serious issue here. The Works Minister has declared that its costs RM22 million to inspect all buildings! Is this another way to siphon off money from the coffers. Already bad workmanship belies the fact that certain privileged few are getting rich quick. When will the ACA step in to investigate?!!! Time and time again the countries coffers are bled dry by these recalcitrant MP’s and the countries watchdog can just sit by and wag its tail! The whole administration stinks. Mahathir was right when he said that corruption in Bolehland is indeed a culture.

  23. #24 by hawaiichee on Friday, 18 May 2007 - 12:40 pm

    There was a female commented that the 2 MPs were typical Malay chauvinist. Then, came the term MMCP – Malay Male Chauvinist Pig. Now, I am sure many will take offense. Sabar dik … lets look at the situation in a civil manner and evaluate the backgrounds of this claims. Also it is good to be objective if there is any improvements needed for the good of Malaysia.

    1. Do Malays by tradition and custom plays women on a lower ground than men?

    2. Do Malays by tradition find it funnier to raise gender insensitive jokes?

    Since this is a topic of male treatment towards female, let us talk about tne comment about “typical Malay chauvinists”. The question is do Malays put women on equal grounds with men.

    1. Are there women leaders in the mosque/surau?

    2. Why do women cover their heads? What does that symbolise? Does it symbolise a lower position?

    3. And if that is ingrained in Malay culture, what are Malay male response towards this culture especially in growing feminism trend throughout the world? If it is based on a culture and tradition, at least it takes modern minds to break out of this tradition and give women the equal grounds they deserve.

    Maybe the female blogger made the remark about “typical Malay chauvinists” from experience. Let us hear from other bloggers.

    ARE MALAY MALE MORE CHAUVINIST THAN OTHER RACES? This may seem like a racist discussion but how can we improve Malaysia if we do not think, discuss and share our opinions so that others may hear the opinions and buck up and make Malaysia a better place.

  24. #25 by accountability on Friday, 18 May 2007 - 7:51 pm

    don’t be ashamed Uncle Kit

    it’s the folks (esp those from kinabatangan & jerai) who should be ashamed for voting the BN into govt

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