Chaos in Dewan Rakyat as MPs hurl insults at each other

BY YISWAREE PALANSAMY
The furore started after Ketereh MP Tan Sri Annuar Musa subtly took a jibe at Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang over his long political career. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, March 15 — There was momentary chaos in the Dewan Rakyat here today when lawmakers from both sides of the political divide engaged in a verbal tirade against one another, using terms such as ‘bodoh’ and ‘pondan’.

The verbal insults began after Ketereh MP Tan Sri Annuar Musa subtly took a jibe at Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang over his long political career, saying that Kit Siang has surpassed the track record of Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and ex-Philippines president Ferdinand Marcos.

“Gelang Patah has been around for 50 years with all his political rhetoric. I would like to congratulate him,” Annuar said.

Kit Siang then stood up and retorted, advising Annuar to be brave and own up when hurling accusations.

The jibe, however, didn’t sit well with Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng, who then stood up and demanded that Annuar sit down, before proceeding to hurl derogatory words at the latter.

Pondan ah! Separuh jantan ah! Oi diamla! Eh pondan diam!” Lip Eng screamed.

Pondan is an insulting Malay term often used to address those who are considered effeminate, or transgender.

Lip Eng also called Annuar pengecut (coward), ayam (chicken) and chicken s***, when Annuar refused to allow Kit Siang from interjecting his speech, in which he criticised Kit Siang and the Opposition in general.

The argument prolonged for a while after which Annuar said that unlike the Opposition, Barisan Nasional (BN) lawmakers had always respected Kit Siang by refraining from interjecting his speeches.

He proceeded to take a swipe at Kit Siang yet again, claiming that Dr Mahathir had also labelled him a racist once, leading to a confrontation by DAP’s Rasah MP Teo Kok Seong, who demanded that Annuar retract his remarks.

To this, Annuar’s party comrade, Pendang MP Datuk Wira Othman Abdul, stood to defend the former.

“It was Mahathir who said that. Eh stupid! Rasah is stupid,” Othman screamed.

Annuar then continued his speech, indirectly suggesting that Kit Siang was also anti-Muslim.

“Your opposition to Marang’s (PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang) is a sign that you do not respect Islam,” Annuar added.

Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee then ordered the MPs to take their seats, reminding them of the orders in the Lower House.

“Sit down. If you want to interject, you have to follow the House rules.

“When Gelang Patah spoke, no one disturbed him, so ask for permission (when you interject),” Kiandee said.