In De­wan over ‘Kok’ re­mark

> Deputy Speaker dis­misses calls for cen­sure, says there was no ill-in­tent


KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Na­sional and op­po­si­tion MPs were em­broiled in a shout­ing match yes­ter­day when a deputy min­is­ter ut­tered an al­legedly sex­ist re­mark at a fe­male MP.

Deputy Agri­cul­ture and Agro-based In­dus­try Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Ta­jud­din Ab­dul Rah­man di­rected the com­ment at Teresa Kok (DAP-Se­puteh) dur­ing a ques­tion-and-answer ses­sion.

Ta­jud­din was heard say­ing “the only woman with a Kok”.

Just prior to the re­mark, both sides had been trad­ing barbs on is­sues re­lated to the Ber­sih 5 gath­er­ing on Satur­day.

The op­po­si­tion floor said Ta­jud­din was re­fer­ring to the male gen­i­tal.

Datuk Mah­fuz Omar (PAS-Pokok Sena) then urged the Speaker to bar Ta­jud­din from the De­wan Rakyat.

“Not only did he not answer my sup­ple­men­tary ques­tion, he made grossly in­ap­pro­pri­ate re­marks.

“He is not qual­i­fied to be in the De­wan Rakyat and I call on the Speaker to bar him from en­ter­ing,” Mah­fuz said.

How­ever, Deputy Speaker Datuk Seri Ron­ald Kiandee dis­missed calls by op­po­si­tion law­mak­ers to cen­sure Ta­jud­din, say­ing that Ta­jud­din was re­fer­ring to the sur­name “Kok”, with­out any ill-in­tent.

“We do not want to pro­long it. I (have de­cided) that he was re­fer­ring to the sur­name,” Kiandee said.

Khalid Sa­mad (Amanah-Shah Alam) and Kasthuri Patto (DAP-Batu Kawan), among oth­ers, were not sat­is­fied with the ex­pla­na­tion by Kiandee.

“We are not stupid. We know ex­actly what he meant,” Khalid said.

“The words ut­tered by Pasir Salak are un-par­lia­men­tary and the Speaker must ask him to re­tract his state­ment,” Kasthuri said.

Ta­jud­din re­sponded by mock­ingly re­peat­ing the words of the op­po­si­tion MPs in a high-pitched tone, leav­ing the House and media per­son­nel be­mused.

The drama did not end there as both Khalid and Ta­jud­din shouted and hurled abuses at each other.

“You are a dis­grace to the songkok you are wear­ing ... a rude and ‘sial’ min­is­ter!” Khalid shouted.

Khalid later dared Ta­jud­din to sue him for re­peat­ing the “sial” re­mark at a press con­fer­ence out­side Par­lia­ment.

“He chal­lenged me to re­peat my state­ment out­side Par­lia­ment, so here I am.

“He wears a songkok like a Malay but his words, ac­tions and at­ti­tude is un­be­com­ing of an MP and this is not Malay cul­ture.”

Teresa Ta­jud­din

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