A disgrace to all Malaysians

By Sheith Khidhir Bin Abu Bakar

Allowing Pasir Salak MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman to enter the Dewan Rakyat is allowing Parliament to be disgraced. To allow him to remain as a deputy minister is to disgrace Putrajaya. To allow him to keep that songkok on his head is to disgrace Islam.

When he said yesterday that Seputeh MP Teresa Kok was the only woman with a “kok”, it was not the first time that Tajuddin had shown a crudeness one normally associates with juvenile delinquents and ill mannered boors rather than a person of his position. In 2008, Tajuddin used the words “bastard” and “bloody bastard” against Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran. In 2015, he was reported to have threatened to slap any Chinese who would complain about Malaysia when abroad.

It was truly a day for mourning when a venue for debates on national issues was so effortlessly turned into a freak show, thanks to Tajuddin. But one must also blame Deputy Speaker Ronald Kiandee, who not only refused to take action against Tajuddin but even tried to defend him by saying the Pasir Salak MP was only referring to Teresa’s surname.

It is remarkable how a man could get away with uttering such a sexist, despicable, disgusting word in the halls of what many consider to be the ultimate symbol of democracy.

Fortunately, all is not lost, thanks to Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, who has shown that chivalry is not dead in Malaysia. He could have easily remained quiet, but he chose instead to risk being thrown out of the Dewan by repeteadly calling Tajuddin a “menteri sial”, which can be translated as “accursed minister”.

Khalid was also heard demanding that Tajuddin show the decorous behaviour required by Islam, particularly because he was wearing a songkok, which by Malaysian convention identifies a Muslim.

It would have been interesting to hear Tajuddin’s response to that particular remark, but instead, as if to emphasise that he had the mentality of child badly brought up, he went on to mimic Batu Kawan MP Kasthuriraani Patto when she voiced her own protests against the misogynist remark.

These are the actions you’d expect from a school bully, not from a 68-year-old member of parliament.

One wonders what use Umno has for people like Tajuddin and whether Umno leaders care at all about their party’s image. Surely the fact that Tajuddin praises Prime Minister Najib Razak every chance he gets is not enough of a reason to keep him around.

Every time Tajuddin opens his mouth is another blow to Umno and another reason for voters to question whether they should support the party.

Just a few days ago, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi exhorted Malaysians to reject the negative stereotypes of races in order to move forward. Now that Tajuddin has insulted a Chinese family name, perhaps Zahid should decide to get his own party in order before telling other Malaysians what to do.

Remarkably, Tajuddin was offended to hear Khalid call him a “menteri sial”. He implied that Khalid’s parents did not raise him well. Perhaps he should have instead considered how devastated his own parents would have been if they had known that their son would grow up to be a person with no respect for women, for Islam and indeed for all Malaysians who look to Parliament as an institution that represents them. – FMT

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