Khairy says Nga calling the kettle black over Taliban row

GEORGE TOWN: Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin today told Nga Kor Ming, the deputy speaker of the Dewan Rakat, that if his use of the word “Taliban” had marred the image of the august house, then Nga, too, was equally guilty of the crime.

The issue began as Khairy was speaking about the cost of living aid meant for the poor called the Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH). He had asked the finance minister if a recently passed additional RM19 billion budget would be used to increase the BSH allocation in view of the upcoming Rantau by-election.

Nga then asked Khairy to clarify his question, to which, Khairy said: “In conjunction with Rantau by-election. Do you have a comprehension problem, Taliban?”

Nga then asked Khairy to retract the word “Taliban”, which he did. Outside Parliament, Nga had said Khairy should apologise to the Parliament for tarnishing its image.

The “Taliban” word is in reference to Nga’s use of the word to describe the alliance between Umno and PAS, saying the country would be similarly run as in Afghanistan.

In a statement today, Khairy panned Nga for demanding that he apologise for tarnishing Parliament’s image, saying Nga himself was guilty of doing so many times.

Khairy gave examples of Nga’s utterances of the word Taliban outside the Parliament in two public events in January and March 8 respectively as such examples. He said outside the House, Nga was still regarded as a deputy speaker in the eyes of the public.

He also said Nga had allowed Tanjong MP and Penang CM Chow Kon Yeow to use “bodoh” (stupid), an unparliamentary word on Tuesday (March 26), and that Nga had defended him by saying it was not directed at any MP.

He said Nga also allowed Jelutong MP RSN Rayer to bring up subjudice matters several times.

“So, to Nga, don’t be arrogant and hide under the speaker’s robe. You have made many statements that sullied the good name of the deputy speaker’s post and the Parliament.

“At the same time, you could cause the harmony of the people to be affected by sowing threats which have in the end caused some of the people to be angered.

“The word Taliban has become famous thanks to Nga himself. Although his statements are made outside the Parliament, he is seen as the deputy speaker of the parliament. Whatever he says is a reflection of the post that he holds,” Khairy said.