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“Babi” invective by UMNO MP -
most sad and shocking reflection that 50 years after Merdeka, there are Umno political
leaders who are still very deeply - ingrained in communal thinking and
prejudices, making them poor models of a Bangsa Malaysia
(Parliament, Wednesday) : The “babi” invective by an UMNO MP in Parliament yesterday is a most sad and shocking reflection that 50 years after Merdeka, there are Umno political leaders who are still very deeply-ingrained in communal thinking and prejudices, making them poor models of a Bangsa Malaysia.
I admit that I had lost my cool when I was badgered and heckled the whole afternoon yesterday when I had sought clarifications during the Ministerial winding-up of the debate on the Royal Address.
The badgering from Barisan Nasional MPs had started when I sought clarification from the Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on integrity issues concerning the award of contracts in the national service training programme, the mega-commission scandals in defence purchases such as US$100 million for Sukhoi jets from Russia and US$120 million for submarine from France and it continued when I had sought clarification from the Deputy Internal Security Minister, Datuk Johari Baharun, whether on the serious corruption allegations which had been made against the Deputy Minister in the “freedom for sale” scandal, the most basic failure in police reform when police still refused to accept police reports or the issue of abuse of detention-without-trial powers under the Emergency Ordinance.
When BN MPs from Umno, MCA and Gerakan continued to try to drown out my attempts to seek clarification from Johari, I lost my patience and told BN MPs who did not want to listen to the clarifications which were public interest issues to “mampus” and leave the House.
I accepted the Deputy Speaker, Datuk Lim Si Cheng’s ruling that the term “mampus” was unparliamentary and had not hesitation in withdrawing the term.
In the heated atmosphere in Parliament, the Umno MP for Dungun, Datuk Rosli Mat Hassan hurled the “babi” invective against me.
Although Rosli subsequently withdrew the “babi” invective, it is a most shocking episode which should be the subject of deep reflection not only by MPs regardless of party but also by all Malaysians – as it demonstrated a most abject failure after 50 years of nation-building.
Exchanges between MPs from both sides of the House during heated moments are not uncommon but there can be no justication in the use of invectives which are racist and communalistic.
When I used the word “mampus” under great provocation, which I regret using, it was addressed to all BN MPs, whether Umno, MCA, Gerakan or MIC, as it was made in disgust at the repeatedly heckling by BN MPs to stop me from seeking clarifications from the front-bench. There was no tinge of communalism at all.
But when Rosli responded with the “babi” invective, it was purely communal in nature, directed only at only one community, the Chinese. Coming from an Umno MP who is supposed to be more sophisticated than the ordinary run of Umno MPs, and holding the post of MARA chairman, it is a sad reflection of an important failure of Malaysian nation-building after 50 years, as it is proof that there are Umno MPs who continue to set the worst examples of communal thinking and prejudices.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman