Why is Jamaludin Jarjis reneging on his apology last Thursday for the sexist remarks and sexual harassment  by Bung Moktar and Thong against two women DAP MPs?

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): I am shocked to read in The Sun today of the crude  attempt by the Barisan Backbenchersí Club (BBC) Chairman, Datuk Jamaludin Jarjis (BN-Rompin) in the budget debate in Parliament yesterday  to justify the sexist remarks made by two Barisan Nasional MPs, Bung Moktar Radin (BN - Kinabatangan) and Thong Fah Cheng (BN - Ipoh Timor) against two women DAP MPs, Chong Eng (Bukit Mertajam) and Fong Po Kuan (Batu Gajah) last week.

Jamaludin should explain why he had reneged on his apology to DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka Kerk Kim Hock for the sexist remarks and Bung Moktar and Thong against Chong Eng and Fong when the two Barisan Nasional MPs used very offensive and sexist language like "Boleh masuk sedikitkah?" and "Beri masuk sikitlah" as sexual harassment against the two women DAP MPs.

Having tendered an apology to Kerk on behalf of BBC for the sexist remarks and sexual harassment of Chong Eng and Fong by the two Barisan Nasional MPs, it is most ungentlemanly for Jamaludin to backtrack on his apology and now tried to justify the sexist remarks.

Jamaludinís claim that the terms used by Bung Moktar and Thong were Sabahan style of speaking is unacceptable.  Jamaludin would want Malaysians to believe that Sabahans  are only entering  the  Malaysian Parliament for the first time - when Sabah had been part of Malaysia for 37 years since 1963, and Sabahans had been represented and speaking in Parliament for nearly four decades.

Can Jamaludin give one instance in the past 37 years in Parliament when a Sabahan had stood up and used the terms "Boleh masuk sedikitkah?" or  "Beri masuk sikitlah" instead of minta jalan to seek clarification from an MP holding the floor, especially from a woman MP?

This is Jamaludinís third term as an MP. Can he give an instance since he had entered Parliament in October 1990 when a Sabah MP had used any of these two terms to ask for clarification in Parliament?

If not, why is Jamaludin spoiling his reputation as a gentleman in now reneging on the apology which he had freely and voluntarily given as BBC Chairman to the DAP Secretary-General for the sexist remarks of the two Barisan Nasional MPs and their sexual harassment of Chong Eng and Fong - an apology which was witnessed?

What Jamaludin should do is to get Bung Moktar and Thong to unconditionally apologise to Chong Eng and Fong  as well as to Parliament for the sexist remarks and sexual harassment and give a solemn undertaking that they would not repeat such sexual harassment in Parliament in future.

The BBC should also make amends for the sexist remarks and sexual harassment by Bung Moktar and Thong by agreeing with the Barisan Alternative MPs that these two terms are unparliamentary and should never be allowed to be used in the Malaysian Parliament.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman