Retract, Nancy told on ‘greedy beggars’ claim

Batang Sadong MP Nancy Shukri.

KUALA LUMPUR: Batang Sadong MP Nancy Shukri was today told to retract her claim that Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had referred to the people of Sarawak as “greedy beggars”.

Deputy Dewan Rakyat speaker Nga Kor Ming said the decision was made following a review of the documents she had sent to the speaker’s office on Dec 4.

Adding that both he and speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof had examined the documents, he said there was a lack of evidence against Lim and that Nancy’s statement appeared to be based on “bad intent”.

Nancy said she would only retract her statement if Lim apologised for his.

However, Nga said the speaker’s decision was final, and that she had been given adequate space to prove her stand.

“If he didn’t say it, it would not be right to ask him to apologise.

“As an honourable member of the house, that is the most appropriate thing to do. We are not asking you to apologise, but to retract,” he said.

Nancy then asked if this was part of the parliamentary reforms the new government had been talking about, adding that the issue concerned the dignity of Sarawakians.

But Nga told her not to hurl such accusations, adding that it had nothing to do with Sarawak.

“This is a personal issue,” he said. “Don’t link it to the people of Sarawak.”

Nancy said as a Sarawak MP, she spoke on behalf of the people.

“But the people of Sarawak did not elect you to slander,” Nga said. “As a responsible MP, we talk based on facts.”

Nancy eventually retracted her statement after asking if she would be referred to Parliament’s select committee if she did not apologise.

She said on Oct 14 that Sarawak had only received about half of the funds promised by Pakatan Harapan in its manifesto, adding that Sarawakians were “not hard to please”.

“I want to strongly refute Bagan’s allegation, which is clearly a lie,” she had said during the debate on the 2020 Budget, referring to Lim, who is the MP for Bagan.

“A few days ago, he insulted the people of Sarawak by calling us greedy beggars when we, Gabungan Parti Sarawak, were only carrying out our responsibility with regards to the budget.”