PETALING JAYA : Two PAS leaders, one a minister and the other a deputy minister, turned confrontational with an FMT reporter today over a question about a ban on gaming outlets in Kedah announced earlier by the PAS-led state government.
PAS vice-president Idris Ahmad, a senator who is religious affairs minister, pointedly asked Minderjeet Kaur if she could tolerate her husband being a gambler, while Awang Hashim, who is deputy human resources minister and MP for Pendang, insisted that she ask the question in Bahasa Malaysia.
Minderjeet had initially approached Idris to comment on the decision by the Kedah state government, to which he claimed that everyone, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, was against gambling.
When asked how he arrived at such a conclusion, Idris said the policy on banning gambling had been implemented in Kelantan and Terengganu, adding it was well received by the non-Muslims in the two East Coast states.
Minderjeet then asked about the possible concern over such a policy being extended to other states, to which Awang reprimanded the reporter.
Awang : You tanya Bahasa Melayu lah (Ask the question in Bahasa Malaysia), you are Malaysian or not?
Minderjeet : I am a Malaysian, certainly.
Awang : You tanya (ask) (in Bahasa Malaysia).
Minderjeet : Please don’t do that to me.
Awang : You must also ask proper question, you know. You want me to respect you, you must respect us first… you cakap Melayu boleh tak? (Can you speak in Malay?)
And when Minderjeet pressed Idris on the possible concern over the ban in Kedah, the latter shot back.
Idris : You setuju ke kalau suami you kaki judi? I tanya you dulu. (Would you agree to your husband being a gambler? I ask you first?)
Minderjeet: It is not about my family
Idris : You jawab my question dulu (You answer my question first). Okay, itu cukuplah (Okay, that’s enough).
The ban was announced today by Kedah menteri besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor, who said the state government would not renew local council licences for gaming outlets. He said the decision was aimed at tackling gambling-related ills, which he said had destroyed families and led people to incur debt.
The decision by the Kedah government has since come under fire from political and business leaders, who say it ignores cultural diversity and would affect the revenue for the state and country.