PARLIAMENT Lawmakers must stop flinging insults before their disagreements turn physical, warned Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia.
"If I don't reprimand (all of you) like this, one day it will be like in other parliaments, where fights are physical and not just verbal arguments," Pandikar said.
This is a possible reference to other parliaments such as in Taiwan, which has become infamous for physical brawls among lawmakers.
Pandikar said this after angrily reprimanding the MPs over yesterday's row, which began after deputy Umno minister Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said Teresa Kok (Seputeh MP) was a woman with a 'Kok'.
The surname Kok is phonetically similar to a slang word for the male genitalia.
"Every time I sit, every time my deputies sit here, you are reminded not to use words that court (bad reactions)," he said in a stern voice.
Pandikar entered the Dewan to replace deputy speaker Ismail Mohamad Said when Kasthuri Patto (DAP-Batu Kawan) stood up in a bid to refer Tajuddin to Parliament's Rights and Privileges Committee.
Kasthuri claimed that deputy speaker Ronald Kiandee had said that he would defer a ruling on Tajuddin, and let Pandikar decide.
However, Pandikar angrily told the DAP lawmaker that the Hansard clearly showed that Ronald had made a ruling.
Ronald yesterday declined to order Tajuddin to retract his statement against Kok, saying the deputy agriculture and agro-based industries minister was referring to the latter's surname.
Hence, Pandikar said, according to the Standing Orders, a motion must be filed if they wanted to review Ronald's ruling.
In reprimanding Kasthuri, the speaker also said that there was no need to bring Tajuddin to the Rights and Privileges Committee as what was said clearly happened, and not something that needed to be investigated.
He then pointed out that the Hansard showed that other harsh words were hurled in yesterday's session, including the word sial (damned).
This is in reference to Khalid Samad (Amanah-Shah Alam) who called Tajuddin 'sial' after the latter did not apologise to Kok.
Pandikar also pointed out that he had allowed Zuraida Kamaruddin (PKR-Ampang) to reprimand Tajuddin while debating the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry's budget yesterday.
The speaker said yesterday's incident should be a lesson for MPs not to court negative responses.- Mkini