Malaysia

Art Harun says no more sexist remarks in Dewan Rakyat under his watch

Newly minted Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun today advised lawmakers to refrain from making sexist remarks. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Newly minted Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun today advised lawmakers to refrain from making sexist remarks. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 — Newly minted Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun today advised lawmakers to refrain from making sexist remarks, after an earlier pandemonium in the Lower House involving Baling MP Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim and Batu Kawan MP Kasthurirani Patho.

Kasthuri had accused Abdul Azeez of calling her “gelap tak nampak” and then telling her to apply powder to look more visible, after she questioned the lack of women representatives in the list of the Parliamentary Selection Committee members announced today.

Azeez, himself of Indian Muslim descent, was heard making the remark in apparent reference to the ethnic Indian politician.

The comment caused Jelutong MP RSN Rayer to stand up and demand that Azeez retract what he had just said, which then devolved into a shouting match.

“I think we are all against sexist remarks. We are all against sexist acts. Of course, we do not condone any sexist acts, but whether that remark was sexist or not is open to interpretation at that time.

“But you know, things were a bit rowdy. In any event, I think the MP who did it quickly apologised, and he withdrew the remark. So that was it basically, but of course, in the future, I hope no sexist remarks will be uttered again in the Dewan Rakyat,” Azhar said.

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