KUALA LUMPUR: The Dewan Rakyat today turned heated after the government backbenchers had a prolonged argument over "anak papa" (father's son) remark made by an opposition member Datuk Awang Hashim towards Sungai Petani member of parliament Dr Mohammed Taufiq Johari.
The uproar erupted after Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim (PN-Arau) earlier questioned Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Alice Lau over the motion he submitted two days prior.
Shahidan, in his question, also pointed out Dr Taufiq's confiscation of 180 metric tonnes of local white rice in Kedah recently was allowed to be debated even though it was submitted yesterday.
Following this, Awang (PN-Pendang) quipped with the "anak papa" remark, which pulled a trigger among the government backbenchers who requested the Pas MP to retract the remark.
Awang, however, refused to do so despite being bombarded with calls to retract his statement.
For the record, Dr Taufiq is the son of Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul.
"Yes, conflict of interest may happen (in certain situations) and what is wrong with that? Isn't everyone here a son of a father?
"I am my father's son as well. Hence, if it does not concern you, why did you react (as such)?" said Awang.
Following this, opposition leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin (PN-Larut) also came to Awang's defence, saying that there was a possibility of a "conflict of interest" in the situation.
Hamzah also pointed out that, unlike Shahidan whose motion was not yet approved despite being sent earlier, Dr Taufiq's motion was allowed to be debated at special chambers.
Meanwhile, Lau in her judgement also clarified that Dr Taufiq's motion was reviewed and approved by the Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Datuk Mohd Ramli Mohd Nor based on the Speaker's instruction.
Lau then requested Awang to retract his remarks, but the latter refused to do so, further triggering reactions from the government backbenchers.
"Retract, retract (tarik balik, tarik balik)," heard from the government bench.
At the same time, Dr Taufiq also continued to force Awang to explain the reason why he cited a conflict of interest had occurred in the matter.
However, Lau lost her cool with both divides over the prolonged argument and ordered Awang to leave and return after lunch hour.
"I do not want to waste time on this. I already clarified and what Pendang (Awang) said was in bad intention.
"(And) since you (Awang) do not want to retract, I suggest you take leave and return after lunch time."
Lau then had to raise her voice in order to get the Lower House in order to allow the session to resume.
"I said everyone sit down!" she said.