No place for uncivil language in Dewan Rakyat, say elected reps

Pengerang MP Azalina Othman Said. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Government leaders should not indulge in bad-mouthing practices in Parliament, elected representatives and an NGO said following a deputy minister’s comments about Pengerang MP Azalina Othman Said.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Hanipa Maidin caused a stir in the Dewan Rakyat today after telling Azalina that sometimes she “looks like a man, sometimes like a woman”.

This came after Azalina remarked about Hanipa Maidin’s (PH-Sepang) size.

“I want to see the deputy minister clearly because sometimes he looks small and sometimes he looks big,” she said, before posing her question.

Kampung Tunku assemblyman Lim Yi Wei said: “Having watched the video, I think both sides’ remarks on personal characteristics were unnecessary.”

Lim added that it was quite well-known that Azalina gets bullied online for looking masculine.

“YB Hanipa, being an old-timer, as well as a deputy minister of the new government, shouldn’t have made that remark,” she added.

WAO advocacy manager Yu Ren Chung added: “The deputy minister’s comments are very unbecoming. Yet another example of sexist behaviour that women MPs have to deal with. We expect better from this deputy minister.”

Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh said the comments were not appropriate.

“I am glad Hanipa has retracted and apologised to Azalina. Azalina has accepted his apology.

“This matter has been dealt with speedily in the House.”

Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto said no one should be spoken to in a derogatory manner in the august house and this is a lesson for everyone.