Of skin colour and off-colour remarks

Ahli-ahli parlimen Dewan Rakyat dari Blok kerajaan dan pembangkang membahaskan usul pertukaran Yang di-Pertua Dewan Rakyat pada sesi pembukaan Parlimen.

What gives the Baling MP Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim the right to mock Kasthuri Patto, the member for Batu Kawan, over the colour of her skin? Why was he not censored by our newly minted Speaker who was once the voice of human rights?

What gives Azeez the right to turn racial in insulting another human being?

Has power already gone to his head on the first day of a parliamentary sitting? Are his racial sentiments also shared by his colleagues in the Perikatan Nasional government and PN backbenchers? What can one achieve by being so disgusting and rude?

Are these the values we want to teach the young and impressionable?

Anyone who looks down on fellow human beings and makes disparaging remarks about someone else’s outward appearance merely shows up their own upbringing.

Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, MP for Baling

Perhaps Azeez grew up in an environment in which he believes it is his divine right to treat others with such contempt, and that his insulting behaviour is acceptable to people who are rich and powerful?

There is, however, one major difference between the humble Kasthuri and the arrogant Azeez.

Kasthuri has not been charged in court with corrupt practices.

Have we not witnessed enough racial discrimination in other countries where treatment of Africans and the Chinese community have gone viral? Do we want to follow their example? Haven’t we seen enough of hate being spewed openly by white supremacists against people of other colours, creeds and religions?

Must the leaders of our beloved country behave in such a manner? What happened to the spirit of the Rukun Negara and the foundation on which this country was built by our forefathers?

Our politicians are supposed to be professionals and are expected to conduct themselves as such. Society demands that they carry the voices of the people who put them in office to the halls of Parliament with proper decorum and etiquette. Why is it so hard to do this? You are supposed to represent people like me. I put you there for a purpose. You are expected to bring my concerns to Parliament.

Kasthuri Patto, MP for Batu Kawan

At no time at all have I been worried about the colour of the skin of my neighbours, their culture or beliefs. Did I ever ask you to speak on such childish issues like this? Did your voters empower you to discriminate? So why pass snide remarks when you represent the area where I vote? I am sure that there are bigger issues in Baling that you can and should speak about.

Where is this country heading for when politicians get away with blue murder? Where has consideration and the need for fair play and justice gone? Where has human dignity and compassion gone?

This is what happens when someone who has assumed power becomes big-headed and condescending. Remember, pride always comes before a fall.

To Kasthuri I have only this to say. Stay the course and do not be distracted by the likes of Azeez. You have been elected to represent Batu Kawan and I firmly believe that the constituents of that area look beyond such nonsensical discrimination. Your track record speaks for itself.

You, Kasthuri, rightfully deserve to be addressed as the Honorable Member for Batu Kawan.


Clement Stanley is an FMT reader.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.

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