Archive for May 16th, 2007

Two sexist BN MPs — apologies that never were

In conjunction with the Cabinet meeting today, the two sexist Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs Datuk Mohd Said Yusof (Jasin) and Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (Kinabatangan) were expected to make amends for their crude, vulgar, sexist gender-offensive remarks directed at DAP MP for Batu Gajah Fong Po Kuan in Parliament last Wednesday, not because they are truly contrite and repentant but because of escalating adverse public opinion and political pressures from some BN Ministers and MPs who have found life quite uncomfortable and unpleasant in the past week because of the controversy.

I was not completely surprised when shortly after noon, SMS were flying around that Mohd Said and Bung Mokhtar had apologied to Po Kuan and Malaysian women for their sexist and male-chauvinist remarks.

The Star online was the first to file the following four-paragraph report:

MPs apologise for sexist remarks

KUALA LUMPUR: The two MPs at the centre of a storm over their sexist remarks have apologized.

Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin and Jasin MP Datuk Mohd Said Yusof apologised to Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan and all Malaysian women for the remarks made in Parliament last week.

The furore started in the Dewan Rakayt when Opposition MPs tried to raise a motion on the leaking ceiling near the media centre at the Parliament building.

Bung and Mohd Said then said: “Mana bocor? Batu Gajah pun bocor setiap bulan. (Where is the leak? Batu Gajah [MP Fong Po Kuan] also leaks monthly).”

Some two hours later, Malaysiakini carried the Star report but raised the question whether there was such an apology. It reported: Read the rest of this entry »


Shame – week-long silence of Chairman of Parl Caucus on Gender Equality and support of 2 caucus members to 2 sexist MPs

The week-long silence of the Chairman of the Parliamentary Caucus on Gender Equality, Dr. Rozaidah Talib (Ampang) in the escalating national furore over the crude, vulgar, sexist and male-chauvinist remarks of the two sexist Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs, Datuk Mohd Said Yusof (Jasin) and Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (Kinabatangan) bringing shame and dishonour to DAP MP for Batu Gajah Fong Po Kuan, women MPs, Parliament and the nation and the open support of two caucus members to sexism in Parliament is another shameful episode for the Malaysian Parliament.

Dr. Rozaidah was informed by SMS on Thursday morning of Po Kuan’s attempt refer the two sexist BN MPs to the Privileges Committee and the decision by the Speaker, Tan Sri Ramli Ngah to make a ruling when the House resumed after lunch-break at 2.30 p.m, but she chose to absent herself when it would be her duty and responsibility as Chairman of the Parliamentary Caucus on Gender Equality to round up all Caucus committee members to stand up and speak loud and clear against sexism by male chauvinists in Parliament.

Even worse, two caucus members, Fadilan Yusuf (BN- Petrajaya) and Idris Haron (BN-Tangga Batu) spoke up in support and defence of the two sexist BN MPs, showing no sympathy, support or solidarity whatsoever to Po Kuan and Malaysian women who were being shamed and dishonoured by the derogatory, crude, sexist and gender-offensive attacks of the MPs from Jasin and Kinabatangan.

Fadilan said “the statement was never intended to humiliate women” and that it was provoked – although he did not explain how two MPs could be provoked and together, when the whole issue was about Parliament leaking despite a RM100 million renovation!

Idris went even further, accusing Po Kuan of “using the issue as a means of getting publicity for her own political agenda”, claiming that it was “a joke, not a personal attack”.

Both Fadilan and Idris must apologise for their gender-insensitive and offensive comments. They are also totally unqualified to be on the Parliamentary Caucus on Gender Equality. Read the rest of this entry »


If Prime Ministers do not know, then who does?

by Amigo

A parallel can be drawn between the problem or problems facing the Malaysian government and that of the United States over what to do with the presence of millions of illegal aliens within its borders, working illegally and sending billions back to their home state — the only difference is that in the case of the U.S. it represents a national problem whereas in the case of Malaysia it is looked upon by some as a panacea to a “national problem”.

In the state of Sabah today, with the presence of “foreigners” more appropriately referred to as illegal aliens working illegally within its borders, outnumbering its citizens, the problem over time has been compounded many times over. Since its “inception” there is no government attempt to calculate in terms of costs how much it is costing the country and Malaysian taxpayers in terms of jobs lost, medical costs, education and the strain on its existing infrastructure — and the crime rate in the country.

In the U.S. even if you are an illegal alien, you are entitled to the protection afforded by the U.S. Constitution under the First Amendment; the children of illegal aliens have the right to educate their children by sending them to public schools like any of its citizens, and when they get sick they cannot be refused medical treatment at hospitals. These costs are borne by its citizens when they pay their taxes.

One cannot even begin to compare less still fathom the depth of the problem posed by illegal immigrants in Malaysia, and in the state of Sabah in particular.

Where do these “foreigners’ send their children to be educated unless they have red ICs? Are we not condemning them to a life of criminals? How do they get driving licenses to drive without documents to prove their presence? Never mind the lives lost in motor accidents because the driver is not insured. Never mind the hospitals since even its citizens are not entitled to medical treatment they could not afford to pay.

No official studies has been made to study the impact the presence these “foreigners” better referred to as illegal aliens or “undocumented’ workers, has on the local economy e.g. the impact it has on the demographic landscape of the state of Sabah, their implications on the planning and development of not only physical infrastructure but also socio-economic, all essential indicators for a meaningful economic planning under the country’s Five Year Development Plans. Read the rest of this entry »


Sexist BN MPs duo – strip their “Datuk” titles which they have disgraced and dishonoured

This morning in Kuala Lumpur, political parties and NGOs led by the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) held a protest at the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry to protest against the two sexist Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs, Datuk Mohd Said Yusof (Jasin) and Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (Kinabatangan) for their crude, vulgar, sexist gender-offensive remarks and calling for an end to sexism in Parliament.

I am glad that after failing to stand up in Parliament in solidarity with the DAP MP for Batu Gajah, Fong Po Kuan, who was the target of the male chauvinist attacks of the two sexist BN MPs, some BN Ministers and MPs are bowing to public opinion and are speaking up to dissociate themselves from the abominable conduct of Mohd Said and Bung Mokhtar.

However, they must do more to make up for their regrettable failures on three critical occasions spanning 24 hours in Parliament last Wednesday and Thursday to denounce the two sexist BN MPs — for Parliament and the nation would not have become objects of international ridicule and mockery if there had been BN Ministers or MPs who dared to stand up in Parliament to speak and act according to their conscience of what is right and wrong!

Even worse, there had been no shortage of BN Ministers and MPs who openly supported or condoned the two sexist MPs in their disgraceful exhibition of male chauvinism in the House, for instance the statement by Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak that “it was not supposed to be taken seriously”, that it should be dealt “with a sense of humour” and alleging that “But of course people are making a big meal out of this issue”.

The issue at stake is not simply about Po Kuan’s dignity and self-respect, but also the dignity and self-respect of all women MPs and Malaysian women, Parliament as a “first-world Parliament” and the honour and international reputation of the nation, as this issue has again put Malaysia in the international limelight and news but for all the wrong, negative and bad reasons.

All are waiting to see whether the Cabinet meeting tomorrow will do justice to Po Kuan, Parliament, Malaysian women and the nation by coming out with a clear stand to condemn and punish the two sexist BN MPs as well as extending an apology over the disgraceful episode. Read the rest of this entry »