Fed Up With Sexist Remarks, Women MPs Are Now Calling For A Female Speaker In Parliament

The Dewan Rakyat has not had a female speaker or deputy speaker since 1959.

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According to Free Malaysia Today, female members of the Parliament think it is high time to appoint a female speaker in the Dewan Rakyat after years of tolerating sexist remarks

The Dewan Rakyat has not had a female speaker or deputy speaker since 1959.

MP Zuraida Kamaruddin said that culprits are often let off the hook with barely a slap on the wrist, despite the Dewan Rakyat's rules that no representative should make sexist remarks

"The speaker and his deputies see sexist comments as something trivial because they do not understand how this can hurt women's feelings," said the Ampang MP.

"As long as there is a speaker who is insensitive, women MPs will not see our rights upheld." 

"I think if there is a woman in the Dewan, the men will show more respect in the house and be careful before saying something," she added.

Wanita MCA chief Heng Seai Kee shared Zuraida's sentiments, contending that, "Women are equally qualified as men for the job"

Image via SMASA News

"A woman speaker or deputy should not be there just because they are sensitive in handling or stopping sexist remarks. Sensitivity should be applied across genders," she added.

Sexist comments made in Parliament over the years have been highly publicised, especially those by "repeat offender" Bung Moktar Radin

More than a decade ago, the Kinabatang MP controversially told DAP MP Fong Po Kuan that she "leaked every month", referring to the women’s menstrual cycle while debating the leaking roof issue in Parliament.

Other notably sexist remarks made by Bung in Parliament include when he told opposition MP Zuraida that he pitied her husband for having a fierce wife like her in 2015, and when he exclaimed that, "If a woman is not pretty, even if she is nude, who would want her?" in 2017.

In related news, Parliament is expected to be dissolved by the end of the month:

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