Baling Member of Parliament (MP) Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim has today, 14 July, apologised for his 'too dark' comment targeted at Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto
The second day of the 14th Parliamentary sitting was opened with newly-minted Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun ordering Abdul Azeez to apologise for his offensive remark made against Kasthuri.
Azhar, who refused to make a ruling on the matter during the commotion yesterday, 13 July, said he found Abdul Azeez's comments were offensive after reviewing the Hansard.
"The first thing I want to raise today concerns Baling MP's 'too dark' and 'put on some powder' remarks, which he made yesterday," Azhar said in his opening speech.
"I have scrutinised the Hansard on the remarks and I concluded that the words used were offensive. I wish to instruct Baling MP to apologise and retract the words."
Following that, Abdul Azeez stood up to make his apology, but not before he offered his explanation behind the remarks
"I will comply, but allow me to explain the issue in my capacity as a lawmaker," said the Baling MP.
"First of all, I have no intention to call anyone dark."
The House immediately heard a wave of protests once Abdul Azeez said that.
Despite that, he continued, "I sat at the same spot (opposition bench) for two years. The place is undeniably dark and we had always failed to catch the attention of the Speaker."
"Yesterday, I said the place was 'too dark, can't see'. I meant to say the spot was too dark."
"It is important for the innocent people and netizens out there to know that I have no intention to call anyone dark," he explained, adding that God had made him dark too, thus he had no reason to call another person dark.
"With this, I retract and apologise," he said.
After Abdul Azeez sat down, Kasthuri took to the microphone and said he should not be let off with just a mere apology
Kasthuri thanked Speaker Azhar for demanding an apology from Baling MP, but she said regardless what was the reason behind Abdul Azeez's remarks, there was no need for him to say those words.
"Why didn't he explain (yesterday) and why did he want to escalate the situation by saying 'use some powder'," said Batu Kawan MP.
"That was a very sexist comment and his 'too dark' remark was racist."
She added that the Baling MP is a "repeated offender" and many women MPs in the House had in the past became victims of his remarks. She urged the Speaker to make a ruling against him.
However, Speaker Azhar dismissed Kasthuri's demand and said he will ensure Abdul Azeez face serious consequences if he ever makes the same offence again.
In a press conference after the proceedings, Kasthuri said Abdul Azeez called her a 'pondan' in 2015
An old KiniTV video heard the Baling MP telling Kasthuri to "balik Tong San" as well.
Kasthuri said Abdul Azeez had also in the same year described a woman's menstrual cycle as 'bocor' (a leakage), reported Malaysiakini. According to her, Abdul Azeez said some women may be 'leaking' when they enter mosques.
"We are considering our next step, but many MPs proposed to refer (Abdul Azeez) to the Rights and Privileges Committee. We are looking at gathering evidence and then to refer him to the committee," Malay Mail quoted her as saying.
She said this would set a precedent for lawmakers to show proper decorum in the House in the future.