Deputy Plantations Industry and Commodities Minister Willie Mongin was accused by opposition Members of Parliament of raising his middle finger after he finished delivering his winding-up speech on the allocation proposed for the ministry under the 2021 Budget.
RSN Rayer (Pakatan Harapan-Jelutong) made the accusation after the bloc voting session on the allocation had concluded. He asked Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun to make a ruling under Parliament’s Standing Orders, saying it should not be dismissed as a joke as done earlier with another government lawmaker.
Pasir Salak MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman had earlier called Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman a “small boy” in mockery. No ruling was made then either.
“After he finished delivering his winding-up speech, Puncak Borneo (Willie Mongin) flashed an obscene gesture to this side (opposition lawmakers).
“The gesture was witnessed by all… about 10 people (MPs) who are seated on this side of the house. He showed his middle finger.
“This is an insult to the MPs. This is serious. Please ask him to apologise,” Rayer said.
Willie, after being asked to explain by Azhar, denied doing so.
“I would like to stress that this accusation is not true. However, if they (the opposition MPs) assume I had committed such an act, I am ready to apologise,” he said.
His explanation did not go down well among the opposition MPs.
His reply only incensed the Opposition further and sparked another round of shouting.
“The deputy minister is a liar”, “you did it, just admit it” were some of the remarks heard.
At this juncture, Kasthuri Patto (PH-Batu Kawan) rose and claimed that Noraini Ahmad (Barisan Nasional-Parit Sulong) also saw what Willie did.
“Parit Sulong… You saw it when you asked him to calm down. Don’t lie. And you shouted it (asked Willie to calm down) twice. What a mockery to this august house,” she claimed.
Amid the shouts by opposition MPs for Azhar to re-examine the CCTV footage, the speaker decided to adjourn the proceedings without taking any further action.
A video of the incident has been uploaded on Twitter.
Willie was caught on camera making the gesture twice after delivering his ministry’s winding-up speech, which drew an outcry from Opposition MPs who called him “traitor” in Malay while thumping their hands on their tables in objection.
Willie is among 10 MPs who defected from PKR to Bersatu in February, causing Pakatan Harapan to lose its majority in Parliament.
This is not the first time Willie has courted trouble in Parliament.
In Aug 2018, he, while with PH, had accused Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan) of visiting casinos, prompting the latter to challenge him to a fistfight.
Bung, who is now Sabah deputy chief minister, had also shouted back “Fxxx you!” at Willie.