KUALA LUMPUR: An insulting remark made by a member of parliament (MP) caused a stir in the Dewan Rakyat today, resulting in a war of words between representatives from both sides.
The person in question, Pasir Salak MP Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, had in the past been ejected from the chamber for disrupting the meeting and was recently involved in an argument with a fellow Barisan Nasional (BN) MP Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Mohamed Said at the parliament lobby.
Tajuddin today interjected while R.S.N Rayer (PH-DAP-Bukit Jelutong) was speaking, asking if the white mark on his forehead was of the ash of the late communist leader Chin Peng.
He went on to repeat the question several times, prompting protest by Rayer and Kasthuri Patto (PH-DAP-Batu Kawan) who asked Tajuddin to retract the statement, which they said was an insult to the Hindu community.
This happened when Rayer asked Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik if the ministry would consider including the works of more local political leaders in the school syllabus during the question-and-answer session.
The argument prolonged well into the debate session despite Tajuddin retracting the statement, prompting Ramkarpal Singh (PH-DAP-Bukit Gelugor) to interject and cite Standing Order 36 which covers contents of speeches by MPs.
He said Tajuddin made the statement with malicious intent and urged the speaker to make a ruling.
Amid the chaos, Ismail (BN-Kuala Kurau) interjected and asked the other MPs not to prolong the matter further as Tajuddin had already retracted it.
“I also believe Bukit Gelugor (Ramkarpal) only referred to Pasir Salak, not Barisan Nasional as a whole,” said Ismail, who is a former Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker.
Khoo Poay Tiong (PH-DAP-Kota Melaka) then argued that action must be taken against Tajuddin.
Not willing to tolerate the argument any longer, Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Yusof instructed the duo to leave the chamber.
“I don’t want to hear anything related to it anymore. Do not disrupt the meeting; please sit down. Ruling has already been made. This is too much. Kota Melaka, Pasir Salak, you are ejected (and suspended) for two days. Pasir Salak (is being ejected) for disturbing the meeting (and) Kota Melaka for disobeying the speaker."
Khoo protested and said: “I want to put on record that this is not the way to protect the sanctity of the Dewan (Rakyat).”
The visibly upset Ariff replied: “I don’t have a problem with that (Khoo's statement) being recorded.”