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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tajuddin may get the stick

Malay Mail (28/11/08): Psychoanalysts say overreaction is a trait exhibited by children. But if you follow this argument, then you would be at a loss trying to explain the behaviour of our politicians, some of whom are, figuratively speaking, older than the hills.

When children misbehave or conduct themselves badly, adults advise or chide them to try to get them to mend their ways. Most grow out of their difficult years, but some of our politicians, unfortunately, may still be children trapped in adults’ bodies.

Whether he is one of them is subject to debate, but one thing is for sure: Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN-Pasir Salak) is ultra-stubborn.

Having earned many colourful nicknames, among them keturunan lanun (descendent of pirates), from his peers and foes alike, Tajuddin, who came under heavy fire for uttering the word "b******" in parliament recently, yet again showed his defiance to calls for gentlemanly conduct in the august house.

Repeatedly warned by speakers and deputy speakers in the past for his penchant for vulgarities and crude behaviour, the menacing parliamentarian yesterday remained true to form as he raised his voice, volleyed abuses interjected with sexual innuendos.

It was too much to bear, even among his Barisan Nasional colleagues, as both backbenchers and opposition rallied to keep such unparliamentary behaviour out of the House.

This prompted Deputy Speaker Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar to announce that a decision would be made against Tajuddin for uttering remarks deemed suggestive in nature to Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa (Pas-Parit Buntar) in the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday.

Noting that some MPs had gone overboard in using harsh language and unparliamentary words, Wan Junaidi said he would discuss with his colleague Datuk Ronald Kiandee, the Deputy Speaker in charge on Wednesday, and Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia before making a ruling.

"I was not in the House at that time. I did not watch the proceedings on the monitor and was not aware of what had happened. But I have been informed about it. And I feel sad that this has been done by an MP," Wan Junaidi said.

"However, I can’t make a decision in haste. I will discuss it with Kiandee. But, from the information I received, it was indeed disappointing that such words were used," he said, adding he would also check the Hansard.

Earlier, Fong Po Kuan (DAP-Batu Gajah) said that Tajuddin had used sexually offensive language against Dr Mujahid when he (Mujahid) was debating a motion tabled by Teo Nie Ching (DAP-Serdang).

"Pasir Salak has always been using harsh words. Yesterday (Wednesday), he insulted another race. And then, he used words which berbau lucah (have sexual connotations). How can we let him repeatedly tarnish the (reputation of) Parliament? Stern action must be taken against him," said Fong.

"Why does he continuously insult the Dewan and the MPs and gets away scot-free? Please make a decision to protect the good name of the Dewan."

Fong was supported by M. Kulasegaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat), who called for Tajuddin to be suspended from the Dewan under Article 26(1)(h) of the Standing Order.

He said if action was not taken against Tajuddin, the House would be practising double standards because when "Gobind Singh Deo (DAP-Puchong) used disrespectful words and he was thrown out," Kulasegaran said.

Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Bandar Kuching) said he witnessed the incident on Wednesday and saw Kiandee "shaking his head in disgust".

"What Tajuddin did was humiliating."

Datuk Seri Wilfred Bumburing (BN-Tuaran), who supported the call, said BN MPs also viewed the matter seriously. As a long-term MP, he felt the MP must be of a "higher standard" and uphold their dignity.

The episode unfolded on Wednesday during a motion to dock RM10 from Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein’s salary when it turned into a shouting match with Tajuddin calling Kulasegaran "k*****".

Opposition MPs demanded Tajuddin immediately withdraw the derogatory term, with Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak) protesting to Kiandee that Tajuddin was up to his offensive name-calling tricks again and deserved a strong telling off. Kiandee agreed and asked Tajuddin to withdraw his inflammatory word.

"I don’t want to. Why is he (Kulasegaran) allowed to say anything he wants? He is the one who’s kurang ajar (uncouth)," said the unfazed Tajuddin, which earned him a reprimand from Kiandee and a rebuke from Datuk Muhammad Aziz (BN-Sri Gading).

Tajuddin withdrew the derogatory word he hurled at Kulasegaran but the peace was only momentary.

A short while later, while Azmin was following-up on the RM10 ringgit motion against Hishammuddin, Tajuddin sprang to his feet and interjected Azmin’s criticism as biol (stupid).

Azmin blurted out his annoyance: "This is too much. If it is only once or twice, it is forgivable, but everytime he opens his mouth, he has no respect for anyone."

After prompting Kiandee to order a withdrawal, Tajuddin retracted but showed no remorse.

"OK la, the good, smart... and interesting YB Gombak. I withdraw the word biol," he said.

The altercations overshadowed the sexual innuendoes he earlier uttered while Dr Mujahid was speaking.

This had not escaped Yong’s attention as she yesterday expressed her disgust with Tajuddin’s suggestive remarks.

"His actions have affected the name of Parliament. Before this, he had used abusive words and this had hurt the people's sentiment. Are you going to allow him to repeatedly abuse the sanctity of Parliament?" she asked.

During the entire speech by Dr Mujahid, Tajuddin kept interrupting to be allowed to interject, uttering remarks like masuk, tak masuk lagi, tak bagi masuk, main tepi saja, bila nak keluar air dia!

And Dr Mujahid, innocently kept saying tunggulah, nantilah and sabar lah, belum lagi.


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