In the House
> Topic of race-based politics sets assemblymen off against one another
SHAH ALAM: State assembly Speaker Hannah Yeoh had a tough time bringing the house to order after an argument broke out over the issue of race-based politics.
The commotion started as Amirudin Shari (PKR-Batu Caves), who is state exco member for Youth, Sports, Cultural and Entrepreneurship Development, was replying to Saari Sungib (Amanah-Hulu Kelang), who asked about the state government’s stand on the issue and efforts to eliminate such practices.
Amirudin said race-based politics is often played up for political expediency but have far-reaching and negative consequences, adding that the state government attempts to help all, regardless of race and religion, and hopes it will help the state shift from such politics.
Yaakob Sapari (PKR-Kota Anggerik) then claimed in a supplementary question that Umno and BN as a whole is responsible for much of the racial rhetoric in Malaysian politics.
This prompted Sulaiman Abdul Razak (BN-Permatang) to raise Standing Order 36(6), which states assemblymen cannot utter malicious statements with ill-intent against another member of the House.
Sulaiman said the government cannot claim moral high ground as DAP had caused the May 13 racial riots.
This incensed exco member for Trade and Industry Datuk Teng Chang Khim (DAP-Sungai Pinang), who called Sulaiman “bodoh”, which angered other opposition assemblymen.
Shouting ensued between BN assemblymen and government backbenchers, who demanded each other retract their statements.
Yeoh attempted to calm the situation by ordering the assemblymen to sit down, to no avail.
“You are all assemblymen elected by voters, let’s not accuse one another like we are children,” a visibly exasperated Yeoh said.
She later managed to get the assemblymen involved to retract their respective offending statements, before the assembly resumed.