I have officially written to the Speaker of the House Datuk Johari Abdul to table a motion to refer the Member of Parliament of Kapar YB Dr Halimah Ali to the Parliamentary Committee of Privileges under Standing Order 36(12) for making a clear statement that has mislead the House and is deemed to be in contempt of the House on the 14th February 2023.
In her debate of the King’s speech, she made a statement saying that “… the Menu Rahmah movement, I do not want the B40 group to be exposed to diseases like cancer, autoimmune diseases, or autism,”
The statement is untrue and irresponsible because it is not only not based on facts and science, but also can cause misunderstanding and stigma against the autistic and disabled community in Malaysia. Her statement gives a wrong impression to the public, further causing immense stigma and belief that autism is caused by poor care and determined by your level of income.
Autism, also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects an individual’s social interaction, communication, and behaviour. ASD is a complex and lifelong condition, and while the exact causes of ASD are not yet fully understood, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that poor diet or bad food causes autism.
As a Member of Parliament in authority and a member of the medical fraternity, she has to be mindful and responsible with her words and not allow it to feed into unproven conspiracies or pseudo-science arguments that are not evidence-based or proven by science.
Fact of the matter is, the Member of Parliament Kapar was given many opportunities to apologize and withdraw her statement. Even with public criticism including a rebuke from the The Autism Inclusiveness Direct Action Group (Aida), she continues to mislead both public and the House. She continues to deny it in several public statements including a statement in the House where she tried to mislead the House again by denying that such statement was ever uttered and asking the House to refer to Hansard to prove that the statement was never spoken.
However, according to Hansard on 14 February 2023, including a video recording of Parliament clearly shows that such a statement was clearly spoken in the House. Evidence of such was also furnished to the Speaker for further action.
I strongly believe she not only needs to retract and clarify that statement, but make a clear and sincere apology to the different communities that are affected and also the public for continue to lie about it.
Therefore, to ensure that each parliamentary is held to the highest standard of accountability in our speech and deed, I urge the Speaker to approve the motion that was submitted in the House to refer the Member of Parliament Kapar to the Parliamentary Committee of Privileges in accordance with Parliamentary SO 36(12).
Dr. Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen
MP of Bandar Kuching
DAPSY National Chief