Thursday, 17 May 2007

Of Apologies And Explanations

Can a vulgar and sexist remark against an MP in Parliament be explained away?

In Bolehland, probably. Actually there are impending signs of it.

Shahrizat to tackle 'bocor' MPs
Husna Yusop, Pauline Puah and R. Manirajan

KUALA LUMPUR (May 16, 2007): The Cabinet discussed the "bocor" issue today and mandated Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil to handle the matter.

Shahrizat has since arranged a meeting on Friday (May 18) morning with MPs Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan), who made the "bocor" remarks in the Dewan Rakyat, and Datuk Mohd Said Yusof (BN-Jasin), who supported him.

In a statement after the cabinet meeting today, Shahrizat said the press would be informed of any press conference after that.

The statement deflated an anticipation by women non-governmental organisations of some form of decisive action by the Cabinet on this matter which had enraged women.

This morning, an English newspaper (not theSun) had sent out SMS alerts (before Shahrizat's statement) saying Bung Mokhtar and Mohd Said had apologised to Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan and all Malaysian women over the sexist remarks.

Would I be right to guess it was The Star?

Last week, during a heated exchange about the ceiling leakage in Parliament, Bung Mokhtar was quoted saying "Mana ada 'bocor'? Batu Gajah pun 'bocor' tiap-tiap bulan juga (Where is the leak? Batu Gajah MP also leaks every month)."

Fong, who reviewed the video recording of the proceedings, said Mohd Said had supported Bung Mokhtar, saying: "When I wanted to debate on the serious issue, there was this scuffle and shouting."

Contacted, Bung Mokhtar said he was not going to say anything pending the meeting with Shahrizat.

On the SMS news alert, he said he withdrew the apology statement for the time being. He had also told theSun in the morning he apologised to women "if he actually hurt their feelings".

If, eh?

"Let me brief Shahrizat first on what actually transpired during the debate. Being a good listener and a good leader, I will comply by the Cabinet's decision," he said.

Oh dear. I nearly choked laughing.

A good listener? A good leader?? There's nothing good that I can see from that piece of well, no-good-loser.

Mohd Said called for a press conference in Parliament at 3pm today, purportedly to explain his side of the story but cancelled it after being informed of the Cabinet's decision.

Bung Mokhtar said he had experienced a similar situation before when an opposition MP had called him 'binatang'and he had objected and asked for the statement to be withdrawn.

"I did not make the remark to all women, I only addressed it to Fong. But since it concerned the DAP, they made a big thing out of a small matter," he said.

Small matter? Methinks they are only digging their graves. Not digging - excavating, more like.

Asked on the matter in a function in the Defence Ministry, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, who is also the BN chief whip, said the two MPs had not intended to hurt or insult women.

"They uttered the words during a debate as they were angry with the speech made by the Batu Gajah MP (Fong)," he said.

On whether the two MPs should make a public apology, he said the meeting on Friday should be allowed to go on first before any other decision is made.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz felt it was unnecessary for the two MPs to apologise as it would be difficult for MPs to debate in the House in future.

"You cannot control people's emotions all the time. This (Parliament) is not a place where you have academic exercise," he said in a press conference.

No, but you would expect something better than uncouth barbarians, really.

"These are all unguarded moments. I don't think the two have (an) agenda against Po Kuan, but it's the unguarded moments. I don't condone, but they all human beings."

However, he said the duo owe an explanation to the women who had been offended by the reports, adding that the cabinet had no directive on how the duo should deal with the situation.

I can offer a suggestion.

Just shut down BN.

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