BN Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) deputy chief Bung Mokhtar Radin told the Dewan Rakyat today that “provocative speeches” could have resulted in MPs using sexist language in the House.
During the debate on the proposal to amend to Standing Orders 36(4) today, Bung Mokhtar (BN-Kinabatangan) pointed out that a ban on “provocative statements” is not included in the proposed amendment.
“I note that the amendment includes the word ‘sexist’ on top of ‘rude (language)’. It does not refer to provocative speeches.
“Perhaps, because of this provocation, there is an uneasy environment among the MPs and they will make provocative statements.
“As a result of this provocation, unhealthy statements will appear,” said Bung Mokhtar (left), whose legislative career had been pockmarked by a string of controversial statements about women in the Dewan Rakyat.
The most infamous remark was levelled at Fong Po Kuan (DAP-Batu Gajah) in 2007, during a debate on roof leakage at Parliament House.
Bung had shot back at Fong’s complaint by asking: “Where’s the leak? The Batu Gajah MP leaks every month too”.
This earned the ire of women’s rights groups.
In March last year, Bung again raised eyebrows when he blamed women drivers for road accidents.
There was uproar in the Dewan Rakyat when Fuziah Salleh (PKR-Kuantan) proposed that BN legislators undergo a gender sensitive course.
“What is the view of the Rantau Panjang MP, should the MPs from BN be given a course on gender sensitivity so they would not utter sexist remarks in the future?” Fuziah asked Siti Zailah Mohd Yussuf (PAS-Rantau Panjang).
Siti Zailah was the original MP who proposed that gender sensitive courses be conducted for all legislators.
However, Fuziah’s proposal was objected to by Nancy Shukri (BN-Batang Sadong) who claimed that Fuziah was uttering a sexist remark by making the proposal.
“Mr Speaker sir, I think this is an unfair statement. Please retract the specific reference to BN. Such a statement could be described as sexist,” said Nancy.
Fuziah then replied that she made the proposal as most of the sexist remarks made in parliament were uttered by BN MPs.
Ibrahim Ali sceptical
Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali (Independent-Pasir Mas) was sceptical over the effectiveness of the amendment.
“I do not have the confidence such practise may stop… if we look at the attitude of certain people, as I am not confident all MPs will abide by this proposed amendment,” said the Pasir Mas MP.
In winding up, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Abdul Aziz rejected Bung Mokhtar’s proposal that the amendment to the Standing Orders be expanded to include provocative statements.
“I think this cannot be accepted as provocation is normal. It adds the spice in the Parliamentary debate,” he said.
However, Nazri agreed that gender sensitive courses be conducted for all parliamentarians.
“The parliament will take into consideration Siti Zailah’s suggestion. This can be brought up in another motion, as I agree that all MPs including the speaker and his deputy can attend,” said the minister.
The amendment was then passed unanimously by the MPs at 2.54pm.