Obscene gesture, vote miscount cause Dewan Rakyat ruckus

pic by BERNAMA

THE Dewan Rakyat sitting was interrupted yesterday due to squabbles and obscene gestures between MPs, amid voting for Budget 2021 at the committee stage.

Deputy Primary Industries and Commodities Minister and Puncak Borneo MP Willie Mongin (picture) was accused of showing his middle finger at the Opposition prior to the bloc voting.

“Mongin showed his middle finger and it is an insult to the MPs, especially to the women. Please ask him to apologise,” RSN Rayer (Pakatan Harapan-Jelutong) said.

According to him, Mongin flipped the bird twice in the Parliament, which prompted the Opposition MPs to request the

Dewan Rakyat speaker to make a ruling under Parliament’s Standing Orders.

Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun, however, declined to make the ruling based on Mongin’s denial over the matter.

“This accusation is not true, but if the Opposition MPs assume I made the gesture, I’m ready to apologise,” Mongin said.

His winding-up speech was also cut short after Opposition MPs chanted “pengkhianat” (traitor) repeatedly, which was believed to be directed at him, who is also a former PKR member.

Pasir Salak MP Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman also caused an uproar after calling Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman budak or a small boy during a debate on Mongin’s speech.

Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh defended Syed Saddiq, raising a standing order that it was not the first time the Muar MP was disrespected. Azhar dismissed the standing order, saying that the jibe thrown at the Muar MP was done in a joking manner.

Earlier in the morning, a war of words erupted among MPs over a voting mistake by Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Shabudin Yahya in the bloc voting on the Ministry of Finance’s (MoF) allocations on Monday.

Deputy Dewan Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon revealed that Shabudin had included Padang Rengas MP Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz in the list of MPs who favour the bill, when Mohamed Nazri was not present in the hall during the voting.

However, the vote counts did not change the decision for MoF’s allocations as the counts were mended to 106 instead of 107, while those who were against it remained at 95.

MoF receives RM35.1 billion in Budget 2021, of which RM20.8 billion is for operating expenditure and RM14.1 billion for development expenditure.

Yesterday’s sitting was also interrupted earlier and suspended for 15 minutes following a fire warning.

Azhar said the cause of the incident was being investigated.