A comment made by a Perikatan Nasional (PN) lawmaker against a Pakatan Harapan (PH) lawmaker has sent the Dewan Rakyat into disorder today, 13 July
When Batu Kawan Member of Parliament (MP) Kasthuri Patto took the microphone in the august house to voice her discontent about the lack of women in the list of MPs being tabled to replace the current parliamentary selection committee, Baling MP Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim made a sharp remark and changed the subject of debate.
"Too dark, can't see," said Abdul Azeez, who is aligned with UMNO.
After hearing Abdul Azeez's comment, Jelutong MP RSN Rayer stood up and demanded that the Baling MP retract his comment
"Before we proceed, Speaker, based on the rules, I request Baling MP to retract his 'too dark, can't see' comment," said Rayer.
To which Abdul Azeez shouted into the microphone, saying, "I am 'too dark, can't see' too. What's the difference here?"
"YB is dark too. Being dark is not an issue."
As Rayer and Abdul Azeez continued arguing over each other, newly-minted Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun muted their microphones.
When Abdul Azeez got the chance to speak again, he reiterated that he is dark too.
"I did not say this YB is dark, I never said she is dark. I am also dark, just put on some powder," he stressed before sitting down.
"You cannot allow that kind of language," Rayer told the Speaker
"Speaker, please. You are a newly-minted Speaker. You must have some order."
"You cannot allow him to use such language," Rayer protested.
Other PH lawmakers, such as Setiawangsa MP Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad and Tanjung Malim MP Chang Lih Kang, also stood up to demand that Abdul Azeez retract his comment.
In self-defence, Kasthuri cited standing order 36(4), which stipulated that offensive or sexist remarks are not allowed to be used by members of the House. She added Abdul Azeez not only called her dark, but also asked her to put on some powder.
Rayer shouted with a pointing finger, saying that Abdul Azeez is a "racist".
Kasthuri also raised her voice, asking why female MPs in PN remained mum in face of such sexism.
As the commotion dragged on, opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng spoke up and urged the Speaker to make the right decision
After hearing Abdul Azeez retracting his remarks, Speaker Azhar tried to repeatedly calm the House down, but to no avail.
Eventually, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan suggested postponing the proceeding to tomorrow and the motion was read out by Speaker Azhar.
The proceeding ended shortly after that.
Today's Parliament seating witnessed the removal of Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof as the Dewan Rakyat Speaker: