"It's Not Fair. They're Bullying The Minister!" – Shouts Tajuddin At The Opposition
Pasir Salak member of parliament (MP) Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman was at the centre of attention after he accused the Opposition of bullying a Cabinet Minister at the Dewan Rakyat
The incident happened during the special parliament meeting yesterday, 20 January, when Prime Minister's Department (Special Functions) Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad was winding up the debate on the floods, which hit the country in December last year.
Several MPs from the Opposition bloc — such as Shah Alam MP Khalid Abdul Samad, Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, and Jelutong MP RSN Rayer, among others — interjected Latiff numerous times whenever they were dissatisfied with his answers and claimed that the minister did not "get to the point".
"You only have 51 seconds left (to speak), can you answer the main question?" said Khalid, who is the former federal territories minister under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration.
"What steps will be taken to ensure this does not happen again? That is the main issue. You can answer the other questions in written form."
In response, Latiff said Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob will form a committee to review all the bipartisan suggestions raised earlier to better manage disasters in the future.
However, Opposition MPs were confused by the "suggestions" and pressed Latiff to list them out.
Several of them were then talking over each other, drowning out what Latiff was trying to say.
Many Opposition MPs also asked about the responsibilities of the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA), a government agency under the purview of Latiff's ministry
"We are in the process of drafting a bill on disaster management… which will cover, among others, the management, enforcement, preparedness, and disaster risk reduction," Malaysiakini quoted the Latiff saying.
However, his response had upset the Opposition, with Rayer saying, "If there is another flood, then we are finished. This is the standard of the ministers. We are doomed."
Kuala Selangor MP Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad and Puchong MP Gobind Singh were visibly vexed by Latiff's long-winded answers that failed to get to the point, saying the parliament sitting that was specially held was not productive.
Seeing that the minister required more time to respond to the questions, Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Rashid Hasnon extended Latiff's speaking time by three minutes
Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran advised Latiff to resign if he had trouble answering the questions, claiming the government has "no strategy at all" to handle the flood crisis.
In response to the call of resignation, Latiff said he was appointed to the position because he is a doctor.
Hence, he will not "leave my patients who are in the middle of an operation".
Earlier, Port Dickson MP and Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim also interjected to tell Latiff that one of his answers has a discrepancy with PM Ismail's directive.
Just as Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh managed to speak to Latiff, Pasir Salak MP Tajuddin raised his voice, bellyaching about the Opposition "bullying" the minister
"That is not fair, Speaker," stressed Tajuddin even though Rashid had gestured to tell him not to speak.
They are bullying the minister.
Tajuddin said the minister tried to "answer everything but you people tried to bully him"
He shouted "It's not fair" several times, before letting out an irate "Come on, man".
The MP, who was fired from a government-owned company chairman post, contended that the Opposition always blames the government.
"Always saying this government is not smart. When you were the government, were you smart?" he said.
Eventually, the Opposition MPs stopped interjecting and allowed the minister to finish the last few sentences of his speech.
But they were visibly dissatisfied with his answers.
In May last year, Tajuddin was fired from his position as the Prasarana Malaysia Bhd chairman over his poor performance at a press conference:
Read more #politics news on SAYS: