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Now the two sexist BN MPs are treating Malaysiasns as suckers with their “apology” which is really no apology over their gender-offensive male-chauvinist remarks in Parliament last week


Media Statement      
by Lim Kit Siang  


(Parliament, Friday) : For the past fortnight, Malaysians have been treated as suckers by Cabinet Ministers – the most outrageous case being the demand by the Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu for RM22 million to inspect new government buildings in Putrajaya for defects, which did not include a subsequent and lengthening list of government building mishaps, such as the spanking new RM290 million court complex in Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur and now Parliament House which has become a  “HOUSE OF LEAKS” barely two years after a RM100 million renovation. 

Today, even the two sexist Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs, Datuk Mohd Said Yusof (Jasin) and Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (Kinabatangan), are treating Malaysians as suckers with their “apology” which is really no apology over their gender-offensive male-chauvinist remarks in Parliament last week, directed at DAP MP for Batu Gajah, Fong Po Kuan, but which brought shame and dishonour to Parliament, Malaysian women and the nation’s international reputation. 

I had not wanted to comment on the case of the two sexist BN MPs today, but when I read Malaysiakini news reports of the alleged “apology” of Mohd Said and Bung Mokhtar which the Women, Family and Community Development Minister, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jali had described as a “closure”, I cannot contain my outrage and wrath. 

This is because the so-called “apology” of Mohd Said and Bung Mokhtar orchestrated by Shahrizat was not only no “closure” of the abominable case of sexual harassment and gender abuse in Parliament last week, but had added “salt to the wound” of Po Kuan, as well as all women and men who want proper closure with  justice done to all aggrieved parties. 

After their 45-minute meeting with Shahrizat, Mohd Said and Bung Mokhtar said they would like to tender their apologies, if “women were offtended”. 

However, they destroyed all meaning in their apologies when they defended their words used in Parliament as necessary to defend the government during debates. 

They also did not issue a personal apology to Po Kuan. 

As if such qualifications were not adequate to destroy all meaning of their apologies, Mohd Said added insult to injury by alleging that “the incident was manipulated by the opposition who pictured it (the incident) negatively, and made it look different from what really happened in the Dewan Rakyat”. 

Bung Mokhtar said the incident was blown out of proportion by DAP by highlighting it in the media and dragging along the women’s organizations in the country. 

In one fell swoop, both MPs had destroyed all meaning in their alleged apology by justifying their sexist attacks on Po Kuan on the ground that the gender-offensive remarks were uttered following provocation. They went one step further in accusing women organizations of being too gullible and mindless in allowing themselves to be manipulated by the DAP, highlighting the duo’s contempt for the integrity, commitment and professionalism of women organizations! 

The  farce of  “apology to Po Kuan and all Malaysian women, then only to Malaysian women but not to Po Kuan, and then not even to Malaysian women” by the duo on Cabinet day on Wednesday, and their charade of an “apology” which is no apology this morning have proven right the indignation, outrage and resolution of the public forum “Respect Women’s Dignity Towards a 1st World Parliament” at YMCA Hall, Kuala Lumpur last night. 

The public forum, which was attended by over 300 people, unanimously agreed that Mohd Said and Bung Mohtar had been guilty of sexual harassment of Po Kuan and had brought shame and dishonour to Parliament, Malaysian women and the nation’s reputation internationally. 

They agreed that the suitable penalty  for the duo is the following five-point punishment: 

  1. Six-month suspension as MP.
  2. Six-month community service with women groups.
  3. Donation of the their entire parliamentary allowance during suspension to women groups.
  4. Full apology to Fong Po Kuan and Malaysian women.
  5. If no full apology, the six-month suspension and community service to be extended to 12 months.

Mohd Said and Bung Mohtar have now expanded the list of individuals and organizations they have to proffer their apologies – the women organisations and their leaders whom they insulted and humiliated this morning with their contemptuous dismissal of their integrity, commitment and professionalism.                          


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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