Sothi vs Pokuan – MIC National VP should stop being a lout and unconditionally apologise for his boorish conduct

It is shame that MIC National Vice President and Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Environment, Datuk S. Sothinathan is not prepared to admit his wrong in challenging woman DAP MP Fong Po Kuan (Batu Gajah) to a fist-fight and is instead trying to deny the undeniable.

Yesterday, Sothinathan said: “No man in the right frame of mind would physically fight with a lady. Not in our culture.”

Sothinathan is right this time, and this is why his “right frame of mind” came under question when he challenged Po Kuan to a physical fight, and not to an electoral contest in the next general election as he now claims.

Eye-witness accounts of what happened in Parliament on Monday are more reliable and better testimony than Sothinathan of the despicable behaviour of the MIC National Vice President on Monday.

The body language of Sothinathan was so unmistakable that the Chinese newspapers, Sin Chew Daily, Nanyang Siang Pau, China Press, Guang Ming, Oriental Daily the next day reported the next day that Sothinathan had challenged me to a physical fight outside the Chamber.

The Chinese newspapers were wrong as Sothinathan did not challenge me to a fight. The challenge was directed at Po Kuan in the expanded exchange between DAP MPs with BN MPs.

The mistake of the Chinese newspapers is understandable as there was a lot of confusion in the Chamber at the time, with voices coming from all directions in Parliament. A video of the parliamentary episode is available on YouTube.

This is what Hansard of 19th November 2007 recorded of this challenge by Sothinathan directed at Po Kuan:

Dato’ S. G. Sothinathan: Siapa takut? Berani, mari lawanlah!!

Tuan Pengerusi: [Datuk Dr. Yusuf bin Yacob]: Ya, ya, Timbalan Menteri, teruskan, teruskan.

Dato’ S.G. Sothinathan: Oh, cakap macam lelaki bukan? Mari lawan, mari lawan!! Jangan cakap no gender bias.

A poster on my blog, Jeffrey, had delivered the most eloquent rebuttal of Sothinathan’s denial of the undeniable in his following comment on my blog on the thread “Sothinathan challenging Po Kuan to a “fight” on YouTube” yesterday:

Sothinathan denied challenging Po Kuan to a fist-fight. At the press conference, Sothinathan clarified that in politics, the term ‘fight’ refers to elections and not to the exchange of blows. He has given the word “fight” a twist.

To divine what he meant one must look at the context in which the “fight” was mentioned.

He said, Siapa takut? Cakap seperti seorang lelaki bukan? Berani, mari lawan lah. Jangan cakap “gender bias!”

When he told the person he addressed not to raise “gender bias”, he obviously meant, in context, “fist-fight” in respect to which the issue of gender inequality only arises, since it is common nowadays for women to contest in elections in respect to which the question of gender bias does not arise at all.

It is apparent that in the heat of arguments he directed the challenge of a fist-fight to Po Kuan, whether he actually meant it or not.

As Sothinathan in his moment of lucidity has admitted that “No man in the right frame of mind would physically fight with a lady”, the MIC National Vice President should do the only decent thing open to him — stop being a lout, stop prevaricating and to unconditionally apologise for his boorish behaviour in challenging Po Kuan to a fight in Parliament on Monday.

If Sothinanthan continues to be obstinate, unapologetic and unrepentant, we will leave it to the people of Malaysia to decide as we will show the videoclip of the boorish behaviour of the MIC National Vice President which is available on YouTube all over the country.

The parliamentary fracas on Monday erupted because Sothinathan came out with the classic Barisan Nasional “red herring” that I was trying to “politicize” the the Kedah quit rent controversy, where 120,000 signatures of protest had been collected from a broad cross-section of Kedahans of all races and which had been submitted to the Kedah Mentri Besar last Sunday.

Let all face the brutal reality – nobody in Malaysia can run away from politics. It affects every aspect of one’s life. Those who talk about “politicising” like Sothinathan were just looking for escape routes to avoid addressing controversies close to the heart of the people and to evade accountability, and should therefore be condemned in no uncertain terms.

  1. #1 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 22 November 2007 - 12:58 pm

    Forgive Sorrynathan lah. He lost his “official BN supplied script”. As the incident was unscripted, he didn’t know what to say so he followed the official MIC stance which is always to “fight”.

    But why haven’t Poh Kuan accepted this challenge, I don’t know. Come on Poh Kuan, accept his challenge. Don’t let him chicken out. I just love to see this fight.

    Shove his chilly down his throat. Sorrynathan does have one doesn’t he? No? Maybe? Maybe not.

  2. #2 by pulau_sibu on Thursday, 22 November 2007 - 1:04 pm

    Please check with his wife about the domestic violence. How many times was she under lawan?

  3. #3 by shaolin on Thursday, 22 November 2007 - 1:14 pm

    You are a Pondan, No Balls like Eunuch. Better go and
    fly your kite somwhere in the estates where you come
    from…!! Shame on you!! Coward!! Aqua!!

    Pondan is bar from Malaysia Parliament as MP!! Cockhead!!

  4. #4 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 22 November 2007 - 1:26 pm

    In a Malaysian election, its not up to the opposition to chose when to fight so Sothinathan saying it was an invitation to contest an election is ungenuine. Fong Po Kuan does not have a choice when to fight him in an election. How can it be about an election.

    Again, in making up excuses Sothinathan is behaving like [deleted] – pathetically dishonouring his race and prepetuating prejudice on his race. He does not only have to apologize to Fong Po Kuan, he has to apologize to his own race. With leaders like him, who can blame the Indians for taking to streets???

  5. #5 by bennylohstocks on Thursday, 22 November 2007 - 1:27 pm

  6. #6 by bennylohstocks on Thursday, 22 November 2007 - 1:42 pm

  7. #7 by oedipus on Thursday, 22 November 2007 - 2:02 pm

    dear bigjoe, whenever i hear the ‘k’ word i get very pissed off even though im not an indian. as i know your post is meant in good intentions, but maybe perhaps we should NOT use any overt racist words in YB Lims’ blog. i do not think YB Sothinathan deserves being called cruel names like that despite of all his weakness.

    cause think this blogs’ supporters are better than that to resort to using such racist remarks.

  8. #8 by grace on Thursday, 22 November 2007 - 2:06 pm

    Before you fight Po Kuan I suggest you put on this attire:

    Bra (Triumph or Wacol , your choice) Size 50

    Underwear: What is your size aa?

    Lipstick : Color- red

    Sanitory towel

    Yes, Samy Velllooo will be at your corner.

  9. #9 by kanthanboy on Thursday, 22 November 2007 - 4:02 pm

    O grace, please don’t be so graphic. If sothi does as you say, Po Kuan will be scared to death.

  10. #10 by LittleBird on Thursday, 22 November 2007 - 6:55 pm

    Saudara Lim,
    Actually, I think you shouldn’t have said “kalau macam ini BN akan kalah..” Isn’t that dragging politics?

  11. #11 by Jerry E on Thursday, 22 November 2007 - 8:42 pm

    I’m very disappointed with the behaviour of M’sian politicians. Both with the ruling and opposition parties as well as the Speaker. They can’t seem to discuss things in a civilised manner. It’s a disgrace that such behaviour is apparent in parliament.
    Sothi was wrong to have used such language. But when you think about it, the DAP politicians taunted and provoked him. There was shouting everywhere and the Speaker is such a lame duck who can’t even control the floor. Look at the Singapore and Australian parliaments. They’re truely respectable, very professional and civilised.
    I feel sorry for ordinary Malaysians and Malaysia itself. I think it truly needs new leadership which unfortunately from my point of view, none of the current political parties can provide.

  12. #12 by EARNEST on Thursday, 22 November 2007 - 9:32 pm

    During the heat of the moment, sometimes some ordinary men in the street — especially those pugnacious type — do or say things they later regret, sometimes for life… when they come to their senses.

    Like road rages, a person can use a steering lock to smash the head of another person who just scratched his car, or just because another person flashed his headlight to another car in front as a signal to overtake, one of them can actually chop off the other person’s head. Overreaction may lead to very big problem. Like a ancient Chinese proverb that goes — One wrong step may lead to a lifetime of regret.

    Even under pressure, the MIC party to which he belongs being verbally attacked for being subservient and docile like a slave to Umno, which was callous enough to hold their Umno assembly during Deepavali, by LKS, Sothinathan, as an MP is supposed to behave in a more polished manner than challenging a woman to a physical fight. No doubt, he was piqued by LKS. Hence, his overreaction in finding an outlet for his rages in attempting to wallop Fong Po Kuan in his subconscious mind. And this got recorded in the Hansard of 19th November 2007.

    Of course, Sothinathan later came to his senses, and attempted to explain away his overreaction, like those road rage culprits who came to their senses in jail.

    Of course, Sothinathan may not be coming to his sense in jail after a fight with Fong Po Kuan. He could be coming to his senses in hospital after being walloped by Po Kuan, who looks like a better fighter at least to me.

    What Sothinathan should have done is to say “Now that i have come to my senses. I must say I am sorry, Po Kuan. It was a slip of the tongue. I was so enraged with LKS that I was temporarily out of my mind. I should not have taken it out on you. You see, LKS was so belligerent that he scared me off. Your case was just an unfortunate collateral damage. Unintentional, y’know. You happened to be just a soft underbelly for an attack”

  13. #13 by undergrad2 on Thursday, 22 November 2007 - 10:36 pm

    “Yesterday, Sothinathan said: “No man in the right frame of mind would physically fight with a lady. Not in our culture.”

    So it is OK to fight with a woman who is not a lady!

  14. #14 by budak on Friday, 23 November 2007 - 12:03 am

    LittleBird, actually Uncle Lim try to be nice to these [deleted]…
    but always misunderstand Uncle Lim kindness…

    Uncle Lim try to remind them that Rakyat not happy because these [deleted] ministers [deleted]… therefore Rakyat may not “X” them in coming election…

    ada salah? ada mempolitikan BN (Barisan N)…?

  15. #15 by undergrad2 on Friday, 23 November 2007 - 1:53 am

    “What Sothinathan should have done is to say “Now that i have come to my senses. I must say I am sorry, Po Kuan. It was a slip of the tongue. I was so enraged with LKS that I was temporarily out of my mind. I should not have taken it out on you. You see, LKS was so belligerent that he scared me off. Your case was just an unfortunate collateral damage. Unintentional, y’know. You happened to be just a soft underbelly for an attack” EARNEST

    I am sorry and I apologise. It was my tongue working overtime. However, if this matter goes to court, I intend to plead not guilty because of temporary insanity.

  16. #16 by RealWorld on Friday, 23 November 2007 - 9:46 am

    Watch the video with an open mind again and you will see it was LKS who started the fight. LKS brought in irrelevant issues like UMNO assembly during Deepavali, MIC being subservience etc. He should have debated the quit rent issue instead.

  17. #17 by eagleye on Friday, 23 November 2007 - 12:10 pm

    LKS throwed a very sensitive issue to Sothinathan while debating, which made Sothi’s mind blur on that moment. Maybe he felt ashamed for that challenge and that makes him to give the best answer from his mind to win the argument. Ah, wrong answer!!! Well, whatever it is, learn how to handle objection smartly Sothi, don’t use violent words as a solution. You are people’s leader. Democrat. Not millitary. Do some homework!!! Improve yourself from the mistake!!!

  18. #18 by EARNEST on Saturday, 24 November 2007 - 1:38 am

    LKS, YB Lim rather, respect, respect, respect… is a good provocateur, and as a corollary may be a good motivator. He is an old ginger. With his no-nonsense bombardments, hopefully, the quality of debate contents in Parliament may improve.

    There are some MPs who would just make baseless allegations to deflect YB Lim’s cogent arguments or just emit insensible and incoherent noises with the sole purpose of drowning his voice in the
    pandemonium. They are a disgrace to the august parliament and really have no standards whatsoever and deserved to be rebuked and insulted severely so that they refrain from such unacceptable behavior. The most acerbic and hurtful insults may not be relevant to the topic of discussion, but they may serve their purpose. Sometimes under special circumstances or situations the ends justify the means.

    Otherwise, irresponsible MPs who make baseless allegations and rowdy MPs who just make insensible and incoherent noises with the sole bad intention of drowning another MP’s sensible arguments should be suspended immediately to ensure smooth uninterrupted proceedings. Of course there are Standing Orders MPs need to comply with in their speeches. It is farcical to ask for a vote whether to suspend an offending MP, because that is encouraging undesirable mob rule. Punishments must be strictly enforced in order to obviate the necessity of irrelevant provocations or motivations. When there is no law and order, someone will be forced to take the law into his own hands.

    Furthermore, though irrelevant to the topic of discussion, altercation or provocation may induce exudation of previously unknown characteristics of targets. In this case, someone was wondering whether Sothinathan was a wife beater?

    This is important at least to voters, especially women folks.

  19. #19 by EARNEST on Sunday, 25 November 2007 - 12:12 am

    “However, if this matter goes to court, I intend to plead not guilty because of temporary insanity.” — undergrad2

    There is absolute protection against defamation lawsuits in the court of law for whatever derogatory things said by an MP in Parliament against another person/s . That is why recently, Mr. Karpal Singh dared to criticize a Federal Court judge for not writing 35 judgments, including death sentence cases in Parliament, which had denied victims the appeal process. Anybody can enlighten us as to what happened after that? What happened to transparency? YB Lim?

    In the 60s, the late Dato’ D.R. Seenivasagam, founder and President of PPP criticized the then Minister of Health for corruption over a bat guano business in Parliament. The latter challenged him to repeat his “defamatory” statements outside Parliament. Seenivasagam courageously accepted the challenged and on September 11 1963, he repeated his “defamatory” statements at the Chinese Assembly Hall KL after informing the Health Minister and the press well beforehand. Subsequently, the Health Minister sued Seenivasagam for defamation in a multi-million ringgit suit. Without absolute privilege protection, Seenivasagam had to rely on the defence of justification. He won the case at the Federal Court in 1966.

    That means YB Lim and Sothinathan can attacked each other however maliciously during Parliamentary proceedings and yet they have immunity against defamation suits in the court of law, but not outside of Parliament. Of course, they are liable to be punished under Standing Orders. In the 60s, the maximum penalty was RM1,000 or two weeks in jail. To maintain some semblance of order in Parliamentary debates perhaps the penalty must be increased substantially. What is the penalty now in the 21st century? YB Lim?

    We are ordinary citizens, not privileged MPs. So whenever we criticize powerful individuals, we need to be sure we can defend ourselves by relying on the defence of justification, fair comments on a matter of public interest, JIC.

    FYI, and if I am not mistaken Sothinathan has sued the President of PPP, Dato’ M Kayveas for defamation in a RM20 million suit. CTOS has also sued Kayveas for defamation. It seems that Kayveas has been embroiled in numerous lawsuits.

  20. #20 by ktteokt on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 - 8:21 am

    Parliament has turned into “MAFIA”????

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