Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun has declined to make a ruling on Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Willie Mongin’s alleged obscene gesture in the Dewan Rakyat as he says he did not witness it.
Opposition MPs accused Mongin of flashing his middle finger in the august House during a session presided by Azhar yesterday.
Mongin has denied making the gesture.
Asked by Khoo Poay Tiong (Harapan-Kota Melaka) this morning if he intended to make a ruling on it, Azhar declined.
“To be honest, I did not make any rulings yesterday because I am unsure over what happened. Honestly, I did not see what happened because I have problems with my eyesight this week.
“After hearing his (Mongin’s) explanation and asking him again for more explanation, the deputy minister denied doing it (flashing his middle finger).
“I watched videos of it many times, even on slow motion, but I could not determine if the incident happened or not,” he said.
The speaker thus requested lawmakers, who were upset over Mongin’s alleged gesture, to file a motion to allow the latter to explain himself before a parliamentary committee.
“I have watched the close circuit television footage myself, but I did not see it, I really did not see it,” Azhar stressed as more MPs arose to question him on the matter.
Khoo then offered to show the speaker a video of yesterday’s incident, to which the speaker accepted but said it would need to happen after today’s sitting.
The DAP lawmaker later shared photographs of his meeting with Azhar.
Also at the meeting were several other opposition MPs, including Tan Yee Kew (Harapan-Wangsa Maju), Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh (Harapan-Ledang), Maszlee Malik (Ind-Simpang Renggam) and Kelvin Yii (Harapan-Bandar Kuching).
Other Opposition MPs have suggested that Azhar allow the closed-circuit television (CCTV) recording to be played in Parliament as well as call for witnesses to come forward in light of his inability to verify the incident on his own.
Some also urged Azhar to seek clarification from Umno’s Parit Sulong MP Datuk Noraini Ahmad who was seated near Willie and could be seen trying to defuse the situation yesterday.
Motion against Shabudin
Meanwhile, Fahmi Fadzil (Harapan-Lembah Pantai) informed the House this morning that he had filed a motion to refer Shabudin Yahaya (BN-Tasek Gelugor) to the Rights and Privileges Committee over Monday’s bloc vote miscount.
Azhar said he received the motion and will seek legal advice before deciding on the matter.
Shabudin had mistakenly marked a supporting vote from Nazri Abdul Aziz (BN-Padang Rengas) during a bloc vote on Budget 2021 allocations for the Finance Ministry when Nazri was in fact absent.