MPs trade barbs in Dewan over ‘molest’ remark

Shahidan Kassim and Pang Hok Liong exchange heated remarks in the Dewan Rakyat today.

KUALA LUMPUR: Two MPs from opposite sides of the divide traded insults in the Dewan Rakyat today, causing the speaker to threaten to eject both of them from the hall.

The war of words began when Shahidan Kassim (BN-Arau) asked the speaker to strike out a question by Pang Hok Liong (PH-Labis), who had asked how much the Agong receives from the government each month.

Shahidan said Parliament’s Standing Orders clearly state that members cannot ask about matters related to the king.

“What is further shocking is that the question is from a rep from Johor. He should be asked to retract his question as it is a clear insult to the royalty,” Shahidan said.

Pang then responded, saying: “At least I did not molest (cabul) an underaged girl.”

Enraged, Shahidan shouted: “Eh bangsat Labis, eh babi.” He also demanded that Pang retract his statement.

This resulted in a shouting match between MPs from Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Harapan, forcing speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof to mute all the microphones in the house.

He also told Shahidan and Pang to retract their remarks or risk being ejected from the hall.

The duo agreed to retract their statements, following which Shahidan brought up Lim Guan Eng’s (PH-Bagan) refusal to retract his “robbed” remark concerning the goods and services tax (GST) refunds.

He urged the speaker to censure the finance minister for refusing to retract his statement despite being told to do so.

He also accused Lim of causing a crash in the Kuala Lumpur stock market for three weeks over the country’s supposed debt levels, saying Lim should “watch his mouth”.

RSN Rayer (PH-Jelutong) interrupted, saying it is rude to say “watch your mouth”. Shahidan subsequently retracted his comment and revised it to “watch your statements”.

“Bagan and I are good friends. We were both chief ministers at one point,” he said.

“Since you (Rayer) are buddies with Bagan, can you ask him to retract his false statement and to ensure that no more communist-like statements are made in this house?”

Rayer defended Lim, saying the minister does not need to retract his comment as the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) had “proven what he said”.

Lim had accused the previous BN government of misusing RM19.4 billion meant for GST refunds.

The PAC said earlier this week that no money was missing although a violation had been made of the Goods and Services Tax Act 2014 where the money was transferred into a Consolidated Revenue Account instead of the GST Refund Account.