ASEAN MPs back Po Kuan – censure Mohd Said/Bung Mokhtar

ASEAN Members of Parliament attending the International Conference of Japanese Diet Members and ASEAN Parliamentarians on “The International Symposium of the Way to Democratise Burma” in Tokyo today agreed at the sidelines that sexism in Parliament by two Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs, Datuk Mohd Said Yusof (Jasin) and Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (Kinabatangan) are an affront and outrage to all ASEAN MPs and ASEAN women and deserve fullest condemnation by all ASEAN Parliamentarians and ASEAN civil society

ASEAN MPs are very distressed by the rank sexism in the Malaysian Parliament on May 9 when Mohd Said and Bung Mokhtar made crude vulgar, derogatory, sexist and gender-offensive remarks at the woman MP for Batu Gajah Fong Po Kuan.

This was more than a shame and dishonour to Po Kuan, Malaysian Parliament, Malaysian women and Malaysia’s international reputation.

It was also an affront and outrage to all ASEAN MPs and ASEAN women and deserves the fullest condemnation by all ASEAN Parliamentarians and ASEAN civil society as sexism has no place in a progressive ASEAN.

This was why there was also global affront and outrage, with MPs and State Legislators attending the GlobalPOWER (Partnership of Women Elected/Appointed Representatives) 2007 Conference in Washington May 7 — 11, 2007 being the first global response to the “sexist and demeaning statements that male Members of Parliament in Malaysia made to their women colleagues”.

The GlobalPOWER 2007 statement, issued by woman Parliamentarians from four continents, i.e. Asia, North America, Europe and Africa who attended the Conference, pledged that they “stand in solidarity with our sisters in the Parliament of Malaysia and demand that the Parliament censure the Members who verbally insulted and denigrated their colleagues”.

The GlobalPOWER 2007 statement said:

“We declare that these remarks are an affront not only to our sister, the Honorable Fong Po Kuan and other women MPs in Malaysia, but to all women elected officials worldwide, to the women of Malaysia and, indeed, to all women worldwide.

“The failure of the leaders of Parliament to take action to censure the offending Members makes the entire Parliament complicit in this behavior. The failure to act further implies that this sexist behavior is acceptable and will continue to be tolerated and condoned by Parliament. This is unacceptable to all of us who, as Members of Parliament, stand in solidarity with our sisters in Malaysia and worldwide.”

It is most regrettable and deplorable that 12 days after the unacceptable exhibition of male chauvinism in the Malaysian Parliament, there has been no proper and honourable closure of the disgraceful incident and the two errant MPs had been able to get away with their deplorable conduct with impunity.

ASEAN MPs agree that the seeming apologies which the duo had made last Friday merely added insult to injury, as they were not genuine apologies at all on close examination but back-handed justification of their unacceptable sexist conduct.

There was not only no remorse or contrition on the part of the duo for their sexual harassment of Po Kuan and insult to women of Malaysia, ASEAN and the world, they stubbornly made clear their intention to repeat their irresponsible conduct if the same set of circumstances presented themselves again!

In the era of information and communications technology, the people of ASEAN are now in a borderless world. ASEAN will be celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Both these factors must be inspiration for ASEAN MPs to come together to express the ASEAN community spirit for justice, fair play, freedom, solidarity and respect for women, children and family.

The Po Kuan case will be the first for ASEAN MPs to act and declare that an affront to and attack of a woman MP in one ASEAN country because of her gender is an affront and attack on all women and men MPs in ASEAN and deserves the fullest denunciation of the ASEAN Parliamentary community and civil society.

A joint statement will be issued by ASEAN MPs in Tokyo tomorrow demonstrating support and solidarity with Po Kuan. Among those who have declared support for the joint statement are Senator Aquilino Pimentel, Philippines Senate Minority Leader, Indonesian MP Nursyahbani Katjasungkana, Cambodian MP Son Chhay and former Thai MP Buranaj Smutharaks.

  1. #1 by gerald on Monday, 21 May 2007 - 5:03 pm

    Wah, Malaysian Parliament in general and the 2 fellows in particular will be very famous now (albeit for the wrong reason). Free publicity some more. Malaysia Boleh!

  2. #2 by megaman on Monday, 21 May 2007 - 5:05 pm

    wow … tis is good … at least now they would be pressured …

    However …

    Would the gov asked these foreign MPs to mind their own business and to stick to the “ASEAN spirit” of not meddling with member country’s domestic affairs ???

    I wonder ..

  3. #3 by Libra2 on Monday, 21 May 2007 - 5:06 pm

    BN MPs do not know the meaning of shame. Anyway let the whole world shame them. In fact the ASEAN MPs should similarly condemn the Speaker, DPM , Nazri and the like who gave the two MCPs their moral support.
    Yes, and the PM for keeping his mouth shut all through the saga.

  4. #4 by Jong on Monday, 21 May 2007 - 6:08 pm

    The PM of late is suffering from ‘ostrich syndrome’ !

  5. #5 by Jong on Monday, 21 May 2007 - 6:15 pm

    As the Prime Minister, if he wishes, if he wants to, one stern word from him will send those uncultured idiots scurrying for cover but he too bad he too is indifferent, chooses to bury his head in the sand.

  6. #6 by ahkok1982 on Monday, 21 May 2007 - 6:26 pm

    Way to go! At least this is a big enough publicity for those two SOB. Let those two be the same of BN and have more people internationally condemn BN for siding with those two SOB.
    Sad to say, just stopping at ASEAN will not do much good because the blood suckers do not have the mental capacity to know how big ASEAN is. This needs worldwide recognition and condemnation. Since the ASEAN condemnation network has been established, use this network to expand the condemnation network. I am sure that those who support this will have contacts to groups outside of ASEAN. Use their contacts to the fullest.
    Shame BN till there is nothing left to shame (although this is quite impossible because they have lots to be ashamed of). Everyone knows tt BN blood suckers care for their air muka more than anything else, hence the trojan horse apology which has a knife attached to it to stab your back if you accept it.
    Libra2 is also right… it should not stop at those two SOB. others who supported them and those who used this chance to sandiwara should also be shot right between the eyes. Good work!!! Keep it up!! (^_^)b

  7. #7 by micsifu on Monday, 21 May 2007 - 6:30 pm

    As we are aware sexism has always been a global issue,as such i am not suprise that other countries will condemm such act like this.Situation like this will only make the people in this country are backwards because the elected leaders themself are setting a bad example to other country.

  8. #8 by WFH on Monday, 21 May 2007 - 7:03 pm

    Therefore can all the shenannigans happening in the Malaysian Parliament be brought out into the international platform? Is embarassment of the Malaysian Government the way to go? Questionable benefit should be weighed against the risks of unsmart actions by less than intelligent people claiming to hold the reins of Government.

    Be very careful as this may cause repercussions and consequent backlash from the unholy alliance called the UMNO-led BN. Not that I am afraid of what they might do if they are able to respond intelligently – my worry is that the responses from less than bright characters forming the Government may be overly stupid , thus bringing more damage on home soil to the rakyat. And I do not expect the follower component parties to dare to make a stand one way or other.

    By the way, and of great importance is, is there any international platform for expressing views on the unjust Malaysian election practices? Now, that will be a worthwhile “project” once the “bocor” episode is ultimately brought to a conclusion.

  9. #9 by osaya on Monday, 21 May 2007 - 7:09 pm

    sad isn’t it? malaysia always needs international publicity, or more accurately, humiliation, before something concrete is done.

  10. #10 by ahkok1982 on Monday, 21 May 2007 - 7:12 pm

    to osaya, nothing concrete is done yet…. and dont expect any… dont forget that bn blood suckers are very thick skinned and proud. they might just tell all other ASEAN leaders to go to “that hot place” and mind their own business as this is an internal issue.

  11. #11 by budu on Monday, 21 May 2007 - 8:25 pm

    Let the whole women in the world know about this two bocors shitheads, then only BN will wake up. Is this what BN wants to teach the future male leaders.

    “Oh its ok to use sexist words if u r voicing for BN n definitely ok if its directed to the opposition, don’t worry lah our BN women understand”.

    Spare the rod and spoil the child, what happened to the UMNO’s deciplinary committee? Sleeping kah?

  12. #12 by budu on Monday, 21 May 2007 - 8:47 pm

    Can v call them dtk bocors when we meet them. Will they be offended. And if they are offended will they accept our since..err apology.

  13. #13 by lakshy on Monday, 21 May 2007 - 10:09 pm

    good names for them…..datuk bocors!

  14. #14 by zzzzzzzzzzz on Monday, 21 May 2007 - 10:20 pm

    …and this makes me wonder what are the politicians really dreaming of when they have a parliamentary meeting… and can they claim back expenses spent on coming to these meetings ?

  15. #15 by Jong on Monday, 21 May 2007 - 10:24 pm

    How creative, “datuk bocors”!

    So the other uncouthed MCA guy from Ipoh should be “dato boleh masuk”?

  16. #16 by kelangman88 on Monday, 21 May 2007 - 10:38 pm

    siapa tak suka,boleh keluar ASEAN

  17. #17 by ktteokt on Monday, 21 May 2007 - 11:30 pm

    This is what “Malaysia Boleh” is all about! Creating disgrace for itself with such “uncivilized” behaviour even for highly educated people like MPs. “Malaysia Boleh!” “Malaysia Pasti Boleh!(Mati)

  18. #18 by Godamn Singh on Monday, 21 May 2007 - 11:51 pm

    President Bush said in the Rose Garden to reporters that he “strongly condemns the use of vulgar language by the two MPs in Malaysia”. He further said that he used such language only when he was drunk and when Laura Bush was not around.

  19. #19 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 22 May 2007 - 12:33 am

    I notice the domestic issue of offensive sexist remarks have now been escalated to the attention of international forums – ASEAN Parliamentarians and MPs and State Legislators attending the GlobalPOWER (Partnership of Women Elected/Appointed Representatives) 2007 Conference in Washington May 7 – 11, 2007.

    Against the backdrop of such escalation, two issues immediately arise:

    The first is whether when the majority in parliament defeated the DAP’s motion to commit two Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs, Datuk Mohd Said Yusof (Jasin) and Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (Kinabatangan) for their ‘sexist’ bochor remarks, Parliament may be deemed itself to be taking a sexist stance, a transgression compounded by the government’s seeking to bring closure to the duo’s transgression by having them make a perfunctory apology excluding specific reference to the aggrieved party (Batu Gajah Fong Po Kuan) – and whether by these various deficiencies of remedial action, Malaysia has breached the spirit if not letter of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) to which Malaysia is signatory and legally bound by its terms.

    Signatory states undertake under CEDAW:

    “Article 2 (b) To adopt …measures, including sanctions where appropriate, prohibiting all discrimination against women;
    Article 2 (c) To establish legal protection of the rights of women on an equal basis with men and to ensure through ….. other public institutions the effective protection of women against any act of discrimination;
    Article 2 (d) To refrain from engaging in any act or practice of discrimination against women and to ensure that public authorities and institutions shall act in conformity with this obligation;
    Article 5(a) To take all appropriate measures to modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women, with a view to achieving the elimination of prejudices and customary and all other practices which are based on the idea of the inferiority or the superiority of either of the sexes or on stereotyped roles for men and women….”

    Have any of these provisions been infringed by what took place, and if so Po Kuan complain to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and what would be the consequences of such a complaint?

    The second issue is this : whether it would be appropriate – from the standpoint of patriotism and national interest or image – for an Opposition Party aggrieved by the ruling government’s handling or mishandling of a domestic grievance like offensive and sexist remark made to an Opposition member without appropriate punishment to escalate such a domestic issue to international forums like ASEAN or UN under CEDAW.

    What is your take on these issues?

  20. #20 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 22 May 2007 - 12:38 am

    Correction Third para from bottom should read :”..and if so CAN Po Kuan complain to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and what would be the consequences of such a complaint?”

  21. #22 by ihavesomethingtosay on Tuesday, 22 May 2007 - 2:50 am

    2007 Conference in Washington May 7 – 11, 2007 – This response is faster than the lame excuse offer by BN, what a shame.

  22. #23 by ihavesomethingtosay on Tuesday, 22 May 2007 - 4:23 am

    With MP’s like these, who needs opposition?

    I should think that any sensible leader, while awake, would seriously ponder the continuation of careers of these 2 MPs’ careers , they are fast becoming a “HOT” item that one should never wish to be caught with.

  23. #24 by sotong on Tuesday, 22 May 2007 - 7:32 am

    The total failure of leader/s to act and almost all MPs, including senior Ministers, support the behavior of these two sexist and abusive MPs speak volume of the people we put in place to lead and represent the country.

  24. #25 by Cinnamon on Tuesday, 22 May 2007 - 8:07 am

    This is good job, getting the ASEAN counterparts to know how some of the MPs in Malaysia behave.

    It is fact that the apologies were not sincerely. It is a shame that Sharizat accepted the apology, and the stupid Gerakan ball carrier can say the issue is closed.

    Please don’t stop here,,, take the issue further, bring it out at EU, Commonwealth, US forums. Get in touch with Rights Group, am sure they will support this course. Make this MPs and they supporters be ban from entering their countries.

    In fact Jamaluddin Jarjis also need to be taught a lesson that he will never forget the rest of his life.

  25. #26 by sotong on Tuesday, 22 May 2007 - 8:08 am

    The good name of the country and decent ordinary people should not be further tarnished by these people……..enough damage had been done already!

  26. #27 by ahkok1982 on Tuesday, 22 May 2007 - 8:45 am

    somehow i still dont think that this issue is big enough for bn to take any actions whatsoever. The ideal case is to have bn pressured on both sides and squeeze their balls so hard that they will spill their own beans…
    on one side, the international community is pressuring them to mete out real punishment for the two bocor MPs and on the other hand, if bn does mete out punishment to them, they might spill the beans of bn’s dirty work. It will be a real headache for them but for now, the external pressure is still not enough.

  27. #28 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Tuesday, 22 May 2007 - 9:41 am

    Now that ASEAN Parliamentarians have condemned Bung & Said’s sexist remarks, the next will be to get the United Nations to express its outrage and intolerance for such sexist remarks!

    Malaysians have to stop electing idiots, particularly from BN, to Parliament! They are such an embarassment with their stupidity and antics in Parliament. If we need to see monkeys, we know how to see some real ones in the zoo, not in our Parliament.

  28. #29 by paix on Tuesday, 22 May 2007 - 12:32 pm

    The bodohland family can’t discipline its own and some outsiders have to step in to do it for you. How embarrassing and humiliating!

  29. #30 by hawaiichee on Tuesday, 22 May 2007 - 12:38 pm

    Is this covered by our local newspapers? Anyone has any links of news of this in any NEWSPAPER in Malaysia? What about foreign newspapers? We should broadcast this statements by the ASEAN MPs in all blogs and ensure it is published in the newspapers.

    We need to OVERHAUL gender relations in Malaysia. Women need to be respected by men of all races and any unfair traditions should be analyzed and studied for change. WOMEN NEED TO DISSENT INJUSTICE FROM NOW ON. The time is ripe. STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS WOMEN.

  30. #31 by Toyol on Tuesday, 22 May 2007 - 2:43 pm

    We as usual has again become the centre of attention for all the wrong reasons. What is our PM going to do about it? He is suppose to be our leader, yet he chooses to sit by and hope the problem will go away. There are so many pressing issues that begs his involvement yet he abstains from showing his leadership for reasons only known to himself. It is really sad for the country to be leaderless at this crucial moment. We are losing our competitiveness to our neighbours in all areas of the economy, from manufacturing to tourism and yet nothing is done to arrest this decline. Seems like we can’t depend on the government anymore.

  31. #32 by Jimm on Tuesday, 22 May 2007 - 3:02 pm

    Come guys, leave AAB out of these. He is only a puppet and public icon for KJ’s masterplan.
    KJ and his 4th Floor boys are working on some form of responses (revised) since the few that were adopted failed to cool things down.

  32. #33 by Jimm on Tuesday, 22 May 2007 - 3:11 pm

    BN are focusing on the coming GE masterplan again. All those folks are being advised to vote for BN and UMNO-led government should they still prefers ‘peace’. You should see how those rural folks live each day waiting for ‘assistance’ from BN government. They are ‘being’ left in such ‘easy going’ development that they should not demand monies to stay at where they are. Go to each Kg and you can noticed that one ‘HERO’ representing government will rebuild a big house with big cars there. He will be the spokeman for the BN government and sharing his ‘opportunities’ and ‘connection’ to gain support from the local. This guy is like a ‘runner’ that act like an local icon to those folks. Come GE, this HERO will have to make sure that voters are voting .favoring BN.

  33. #34 by AsIseeit on Tuesday, 22 May 2007 - 4:33 pm

    If the report that the ASEAN MPs are expressing their disgust for the sexist views of our 2 Malaysian MPs – Bung and Said, then it creates a bad impression for Malaysia because of the conduct of the 2 MPs.

    But the greater problem is firstly, that the Speaker of the House rejected the motion to censure the 2 MPs. Further, lame excuses were given by the various Cabinet Ministers including Nazri among others for trying to treat the whole matter as a joke. It is indeed a bad joke that has turned its tables on us and also our reputation as a moderate nation in the eyes of the international community.

    Second, the problem relates to the issue of reporting on this matter. Our Malaysian newspapers are always championing themselves as speaking the truth and telling us the facts. If it is true that the report that the ASEAN MPs are speaking up against the sexist remarks of Bung and Said, then out newspaper should be fairminded enough to report this piece of news as well.
    It relates to issues of integrity of the Press. If they do not do so, then it can be surmised that they are biased in their reporting! Biased in support of the government of the day.

    Third, it relates to the role of the PM. The PM has the power to censure the 2 MPs. But his silence is ‘deafening.’ It will give the impression that silence means consent. Is this the way of Islam Hadhari as propounded by our PM – the way of progressive Islam – to condone sexism? I had high hopes that Malaysia will be ‘progressive’, but I am not so sure now.

  34. #35 by Alvin on Tuesday, 22 May 2007 - 11:39 pm

    Datuk Bocor’s saga continues unabated . . .
    Our PM’s nap relentlessly continues
    Meanwhile 4th floor boys getting ruffled
    Let’s see what temperature can this oven take
    while we await the joint statement by Asean MP’s from Tokyo

  35. #36 by sean on Wednesday, 23 May 2007 - 1:14 am

    Our PM is a smart guy afterall.By keeping quiet is exactly the best strategy for now.When the time is ripe..he will unleash his super weapon called “the leash”.He have legitimate excuse and will use it around his deputy’s neck to tame him for failure to solve preblems like these and other problems as well.The PM will use it to his own selfish advantage to pursue further in his political agenda by taming all his so called ally that are a threat to him.

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