Issue resolved, Speaker says over PAS MP’s remarks on Menu Rahmah

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Halimah apologised for her remarks on the Menu Rahmah programme causing ‘cancer, autoimmune diseases and autism.

The issue of Dr Halimah Ali’s (PN-Kapar) remarks on the Menu Rahmah programme, where she purportedly linked the initiative to cancer and autism, has been resolved, says Dewan Rakyat Speaker Johari Abdul.

This comes after Halimah apologised if her remarks in the Dewan Rakyat were misunderstood.

Johari had invited Halimah to respond to Bandar Kucing MP Dr Kelvin Yii’s request for her to clarify her remarks, which she previously denied making.

“If my speech had been misinterpreted, I apologise (saya menyusun 10 jari),” she said.

Mukhriz Hazim

Halimah said her intention was to speak for her constituents and function as a check and balance on the government. “Isn’t that the role of (opposition) elected representatives?”

She then asked her fellow MPs to refer to the Dewan Rakyat Hansard for Feb 14, from pages 124 to 137, to see her remarks in full.

Johari then thanked the Perikatan Nasional (PN) MP, saying she had answered all his queries.

“I consider that this case has been resolved and we can move along with proceedings,” he added.

Last week, Yii submitted a motion for Halimah to be referred to the Dewan Rakyat’s rights and privileges committee over her remarks, accusing the PN MP of attempting to mislead the House.

He added that Halimah should have been more mindful of her words as an elected representative and also a member of the medical fraternity.

Halimah, who is from PAS, had created a stir when she allegedly linked the government’s low-cost meal scheme to autism and cancer during the Dewan Rakyat’s debate on the royal address on Feb 14.

The transcript obtained from the Hansard available on the Parliament’s website showed that she said the B40 and hardcore poor should not be fed “low-quality food” that could “cause them to be exposed to cancer, autoimmune diseases, to autism and others”.

Halimah’s comments led to brickbats from MPs and autism-related groups, but she later said her remarks had been misunderstood.

However, Yii slammed Halimah, saying she had sidestepped the main issue of her remarks and that her apology was “insincere and unapologetic”.

He told FMT that he will be seeking to meet Johari to discuss the matter since the Speaker had already made a ruling in the House.

“The main thing is the need for her and all MPs to know that we must be careful and accountable with our words in Parliament,” the DAP Youth chief said. – FMT