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.”