‘Child molester’, ‘bangsat’ exchanges in Parliament

Azril Annuar
Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim (BN-Arau) and Pang Hok Liong (PH-Labis) got into a war of words today. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 — A pair of Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Umno MPs earned a public chiding from Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof for using unparliamentary language in today’s sitting.

Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim (BN-Arau) and Pang Hok Liong (PH-Labis) were also ordered to eat their own words or face ejection from the House, to which both complied, after disrupting proceedings.

The verbal war started when Shahidan called for a rejection of Pang’s question on the allowance and other benefits accorded to the Yang di Pertuan Agong.

“Standing Order 36 (7) states that we cannot question anything regarding the Rulers. However, Parliament had received a question by Labis on July 2, 2019 asking clarification on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s allowance and the benefits he receives.

“This is a question on the Rulers. Parliament should have retracted this question, the minister in charge of Parliament should not have allowed this question.

“I ask Parliament to retract question 104 and ignore Labis’ question because it is insulting to the Agong and the Rulers,” said Shahidan.

Before he could continue, Pang interjected and said: “At least I don’t molest underage girls.”

The government backbencher was referring to an incident where Shahidan was charged with molesting a teenaged girl in a vehicle at the compound of Tuanku Syed Putra Stadium in Perlis at about 11.30pm on October 20 last year.

The former Perlis mentri besar was discharged but not acquitted of the crime by the Sessions Court in Kangar on April 24.

Shahidan retorted immediately to Pang’s jibe, saying: “Hey! Bangsat Labis!”

The derogatory Malay word means “rascal” or “knave”.

The Speaker immediately switched off the microphones in the House and ordered both Shahidan and Pang to retract their remarks.

Pang tried to explain that his words never described Shahidan, to which the Arau lawmaker called Pang a liar.

The verbal fracas continued briefly until Mohamad Ariff warned both that they would be booted out of the House if they didn’t take back their unparliamentary words.

“How am I supposed to retract my statement if Labis has not retracted his statement?” Shahidan shot back.

Pang then retracted his statement, followed by Shahidan.

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