By Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi
Some MPs do not know, or do not understand, or do not care about good manners.
It is funny that we teach our schoolchildren to raise their hands when they want to speak but we accept shouting from our MPs even when they haven’t asked for permission to speak.
We punish our children when they utter obscenities and yet all we say to MPs who do the same is, “Tarik balik, Yang Berhormat.”
We teach our sons to respect women, but we seem to tolerate MPs who use obscene expressions such as “Boleh masuk sikit?” instead of “Maaf, boleh saya mencelah?” We teach our young people to honour each others’ heritage, and yet we hear racial slurs being flung about in Parliament.
It is time that we, the rakyat, put our foot down.
The speaker of Parliament should consider the following punishments for violation of good manners.
Anyone who utters swear words that are not racial in nature, like “pu—mak” and “celaka”, shall be fined RM2,000 per utterance. The MP who utters such a word shall retract it and apologise, but the fine remains. The fine can be deducted from his or her allowance.
Anyone who utters a racial or religious slur shall be fined RM3,000. If he or she uses the word “pendatang”, the fine shall be RM3,500. Again, a retraction and apology shall be required.
A fine of RM5,000 shall be levied on any MP who directs a lewd remark at his female counterpart. Perhaps an MP guilty on this count should suffer the loss of a month’s allowance.
MPs who like to shout or jeer without being given permission to speak by either the speaker or the MP who is making a speech shall also be fined. Perhaps RM1,000 per MP per occasion is appropriate. With full CCTV coverage, it should be easy to catch the guilty.
We do not expect such behaviour during a church or mosque gathering. Why should we tolerate it in Parliament?
Some might say that such behaviour is normal even in Parliaments outside Malaysia, such as India and Taiwan, although perhaps not in Britain. Well, this is Malaysia and we, the rakyat, don’t want to see our MPs behave like children at a zoo or our Parliament treated like a football field.
And this is Malaysia Baru not because Pakatan Harapan beat the pants off Barisan Nasional, but because we, the rakyat, are now king and the MPs work for us.
Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi is a professor at UCSI University.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.