Batu Kawan member of parliament Kasthuriraani Patto was ejected from the Dewan Rakyat for questioning the deputy speaker’s finding that Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman did not swear in the House last week.
Datuk Rashid Hasnon said he had referred to the Hansard and legal officers, and did not find that Tajuddin (Barisan Nasional-Pasir Salak) had used the Malay swear word “p*****k” in the lower house last week.
Rashid said based on the Hansard, he had warned Tajuddin and asked the latter to leave the Dewan Rakyat.
“My ruling is, number one is when he (Tajuddin) remarked that DAP women (are rude and indecent), I already gave a warning.
“Second, regarding the remark, I will only mention the word with the letter P, there is no mention in the Hansard. I have consulted with the legal advisor. When I ordered Pasir Salak (Tajuddin) to get out, Pasir Salak automatically gets two days’ (suspension) including the day of the incident. This is my ruling,” he told the Dewan Rakyat.
Kasthuriraani, RSN Rayer (Jelutong-PH), Teo Nie Ching (Kulai-PH) and Ramkarpal Singh (Bukit Gelugor-PH) all rose to call the ruling unfair and confusing.
This resulted in the deputy speaker issuing a first warning to Kasthuriraani.
She continued to speak and said this sets a “dangerous precedent” for the Dewan Rakyat.
“How can you deny? Nine MPs heard (Tajuddin saying the swear word),” she said.
Rashid then issued a second warning to the DAP MP, stressing that he had made a decision.
“I have referred to the Hansard, it was not there. The legal adviser also checked (the Hansard), and it was not there.”
Kasthuriraani then replied, saying that in her letter to the deputy speaker, she had already explained that the microphone was switched off when the incident happened.
She reiterated that nine witnesses had heard, including those from the government.
“What’s so difficult about asking Pasir Salak to leave? Is it so hard to ask an MP to apologise and retract his statement?” she questioned.
A third and final warning was then given to Kasthuriraani. In the background, she and Tajuddin were heard arguing with the microphones off.
Kasthuriraani continued questioning Rashid, asking if giving a warning was all he could do.
Hearing this, Rashid lost his cool and began to raise his voice.
“I have made my ruling! Don’t you understand? Check your Hansard please.”
She refused to back down, and continued to pressure Rashid to take strict action, to which Rashid ordered her to leave the house.
This caused chaos in the Dewan Rakyat, with several opposition MPs questioning Rashid’s move.
Kasthuriraani did not immediately leave, and accused BN MPs of allowing expletives to be used in Parliament.
“Tak malu (shameless)! BN MPs support the use of obscene words in the Dewan Rakyat.
“I expected a good ruling from you, Datuk speaker, I’m disappointed,” she said, before leaving.
Earlier, Rashid had allowed Tajuddin to respond to the allegations against him.
Tajuddin said he rejected and denied the accusations thrown against him, describing it as a political agenda to bring him down.
“I strongly reject and deny the accusations by Batu Kawan and her friends who conspired to bring down my image.
“This is political assassination, slander, to give an impression that I am not qualified to be a representative of the people.
“I have been an MP for four to five terms, and an Umno leader for 50 years. If I am a kind of person that doesn’t respect people or doesn’t respect women, I cannot be holding a position for the last 50 years or MP for 20 years. Half of the voters are women,” he said.
Tajuddin’s punishment for his alleged use of curse words involved two days of suspension – a punishment which Rashid claimed started last Wednesday when he had ordered Tajuddin to leave the House.
However, it is not clear when the second day of the suspension will be implemented.
Harian Metro reported that Tajuddin was present in the Dewan Rakyat the following day, and it was seen that the deputy speaker failed to order Tajuddin to leave the House today.
Meanwhile, Kasthuriraani said that she was unsure of the duration of her discharge from the Dewan Rakyat.
“If I’m allowed back tomorrow, I will be back tomorrow. I will go and see the speaker to tell him I am extremely disappointed because the speaker handed it to the deputy speaker to handle.
“So, when the deputy speaker failed (at) his job, it’s equivalent to the speaker (failing), because it is the chair, not the person alone. It’s the sanctity of the chair.
“We all depend on the speaker for guidance, ruling and to set the bar of language in the house, he has failed Parliament as a whole,” she added.