Pasir Salak MP Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman made a major blunder yesterday, 20 November, when he referred to Seputeh MP Teresa Kok as the only woman with a 'kok' in Dewan Rakyat
Tajuddin made the statement when responding to a question by PAS Pokok Sena Datuk Mahfuz Omar about raising local rice production in relative of imported rice.
Instead of answering the question, Tajuddin deviated into talking about the Bersih 5 rally and how it had caused the public a disturbance as most of the roads in Kuala Lumpur was closed off.
He was interjected by Deputy Speaker Datuk Roland Kiandee who asked him to answer Mahfuz's question about local rice production. Before replying, Tajuddin laughingly asked, "Seputeh, why? The only woman with a 'kok' is in Seputeh parliamentary."
The Seputeh MP's surname is phonetically similar to the male genitalia word.
Tajuddin's remark triggered a roaring protest from a number of opposition MP's who demanded that the Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister retract his statement.
Shah Alam's MP Khalid Samad, quickly stood up and called Tajuddin, 'sial' (damned) for making the statement against Teresa.
Tajuddin challenged Khalid to repeat the curse word against him outside of the parliament and threatened to sue him.
"They think they can say whatever they want and that we just have to listen. But can someone simply curse another person in a debate? I wish he (Khalid) would repeat the words 'Tajuddin sial' outside of Parliament and if he does, I will ask my lawyers to sue him. Someone needs to teach him.
"Her name is Teresa Kok. What’s wrong with me calling her name? Does this justify Khalid’s calling me ‘sial’? If my father and mother were alive today, how would they feel, someone calling me 'sial'?" responded Tajuddin.
Khalid, on the other hand, refused to budge and said that Tajuddin's statement and behaviour had "crossed the line".
"I maintain that his behaviour was unbecoming of a deputy minister and his behaviour was 'sial', which means damned and cursed," explained Khalid, as reported by the Malay Mail Online.
Agreeing with his brother Khalid's opinion, backbenchers club chairman Tan Sri Sharir Samad said that MPs should just refer to each other by the constituency and be more respectful towards one another
"It's a colourful assembly with colourful people. He doesn't need to refer by name. "One must refer by constituency. They must be more respectful to each other. The level of respect has been questionable since day one." said Shahrir, as reported by New Straits Times yesterday, 21 November.
Reacting to the situation, Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua commented on the quality and standards of Barisan Nasional MPs
"Hear how this rude BN minister insulted a female MP. What's worse is that the Deputy Speaker refused to take any action against the minister, by at least asking him to retract the statement," said Pua in a Facebook post about the incident.
Following suit with other opposition MPs, MCA vice president Senator Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun slammed Tajuddin for his remark, calling it a "childish outburst" and boorish behaviour
Condemning Tajuddin for throwing vulgarities against a Chinese family name, Chew said that she is outraged by his statement and that MCA will not tolerate any form of vulgarities by male MPs.
"Tajudin’s boorish behaviour is a self-reflection of his warped mental thoughts and imagery. Such behaviour is the last expected from a Deputy Minister," said Chew, adding that he should apologise to all Malaysian Chinese and women for making such a statement.
Despite all the uproar against Tajuddin's remark, Deputy Speaker Datuk Roland Kiandee refused to ask him to retract him "kok" statement on the basis on Tajuddin was only referring to Teresa's surname
Agreeing with him, UMNO MP Bung Mokhtar Radin defended Tajuddin, saying that he doesn't need to apologise to the Seputeh MP.
"I don’t think this issue needs to be played up because what Tajuddin was referring to was Kok’s surname and nothing else. In fact, Tajuddin does not need to give any explanation to the public on the matter because her name is Teresa Kok and the issue of an apology does not arise because Tajuddin had no ill intent," added Bung.
Reacting to the sexist remark thrown at her, Teresa Kok said that Tajuddin should be sacked if he doesn't apologise to her
"If he doesn't retract his remark and apologise, the prime minister should sack him.
"I did not disturb him, but he brought up all the sexist remarks," said the Seputeh MP as quoted by Malaysiakini yesterday, 21 November.