Parliament must be stern and not tolerate any derogatory remarks against the various ethnic groups in Malaysia

Yesterday, I received a two-day suspension from the Dewan Rakyat Speaker. This happened after Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (MP Pasir Salak) from UMNO asked if the “ashes” on the forehead of my colleague, RSN Rayer (MP Jelutong), are the “ashes from Chin Peng”.

If the suspension is the price that I have to pay for standing up against racist insults and defending the rights of our fellow Malaysians, so be it.

The remark by Tajuddin is not only an extremely derogatory remark against my colleague RSN Rayer (MP Jelutong), but also an insult towards the Hindu community and attack against their religious practices.

The Speaker has accepted Tajuddin withdrawal without any punishment, although he showed no remorse. In Tajuddin’s own words, he said “oklah, tarik balik lah… apa masalah?” while continuing to laugh at the matter.

I stood up to strongly protest against the decision. I believed that the speaker was setting a negative precedent because this means that any MP can make a derogatory statement that insults other religion and get away with it by just withdrawing the statement later.

Unfortunately, the speaker then decided to suspend me from parliament for two days for creating a “ruckus”. Tajuddin was also then suspended, and he openly challenged the Speaker to suspend him for a longer period.

I harbour no ill feelings against the Speaker, but as I’ve said before leaving the Dewan Rakyat, let it be on the record that this is not the way to conduct the proceedings of the Dewan Rakyat. How can we allow an elected MP to utter a derogatory and insulting remark against the Hindu community in the Dewan Rakyat without any action taken?

I also informed the speaker that this was not the first time Tajuddin and other BN MPs uttered such derogatory remarks in the Dewan Rakyat. Who could forget the four-letter profanity uttered by Bung Moktar (MP Kinabatangan) last year, who also escaped punishment?

Stern action must therefore be taken in order to protect the integrity and sanctity of the Dewan Rakyat. Today, I will write to the government to urge a minister to file a motion to refer Tajuddin to the Rights and Privileges Committee for further action.

I also challenge BN, especially MIC and MCA, to come out and state if they agree with the insult made by their colleague, Tajuddin Abdul Rahman.

Khoo Poay Tiong
Media statement by Khoo Poay Tiong in Malacca on Wednesday, 4th December 2019