Azhar urged to “right a wrong.”
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun said he will find out what transpired during the fiery exchange in the House on Wednesday (July 20) involving Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN-Pasir Salak) and a few Opposition MPs.
“I was not presiding at that moment,” he said.
“Let me ask the (Deputy) Speaker who presided at that moment. Let me handle this matter,” he added.
Lim Guan Eng (PH-Bagan) had said it was no “laughing matter” adding that it was important to address the matter for the dignity of the House and the women MPs.
“I hope Speaker can call him. Let’s not play games. If he had said it, ask him to admit, retract and apologise,” Lim said.
“If he is brave, ask him to swear that he didn’t use expletives because everyone here heard him,” he added.
He said Azhar as the Speaker must “right a wrong.”
Tajuddin went on a tirade against Opposition lawmakers on Wednesday even going on to call several women MPs indecent and foul-mouthed.
The incident was sparked when Tajuddin accused several Opposition MPs of deliberately instigating and provoking their counterparts including the Dewan Rakyat Speaker during debates.
However, Rashid only issued a warning to Tajuddin.
Tajuddin had confronted the Opposition over the remarks made by some of the MPs on Tuesday (July 19).
Meanwhile, civil society groups and advocates of women’s rights in the country were disgusted with Tajuddin’s tirade against female Opposition lawmakers.
“Clearly, MPs need gender-sensitisation so they can understand the law reforms which call for non-discrimination and equality,” said Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (Arrow) executive director Sivananthi Thanenthiran.
“Some parliamentarians have a history of spouting uncouth and unbecoming statements about female MPs and also about women’s dressing and menstruation.
“Ironically, making sexist statements can also be construed as a form of harassment, and that swear word uttered during the reading of the Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill just goes to show the need for such a law,” she said.
Sisters in Islam executive director Rozana Isa was more direct.
Johor Women’s League president Thanam Visvanathan-Suresh said that while Tajuddin’s words may have attracted some laughter from some MPs, such sexist comments were no laughing matter.
“When a clown moves into a palace, it does not make him king, it just makes the palace a circus,” she said.
Thanam said Tajuddin was “tone-deaf and clueless about his own behaviour” for trying to defend himself after his remarks.