THE parliamentary session today (Oct 12) was delayed for more than 15 minutes due to a commotion over Pendang MP Datuk Awang Hashim’s “anak papa” (father’s son) remark towards Sungai Petani MP Dr Mohammed Taufiq Johari.
The uproar erupted after Arau MP Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim (PN-Arau) questioned Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Alice Lau over the motion he submitted two days prior, with the former asking why Dr Taufiq’s motion, which was submitted yesterday (Oct 11) was approved before his.
“I’ve sent my motion on Tuesday (Oct 10) but was denied the right to be answered. I know I am not from the government bloc,” Shahidan said in the Dewan Rakyat today (Oct 12).
In response, Awang quipped “anak papa”, prompting anger among the government backbenchers who demanded that the PAS MP retract his remark.
Dr Taufiq, who is also Dewan Rakyat speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul’s son, demanded to know what Awang meant by “anak papa”.
“Conflict of interest,” Awang replied simply, which prompted another round of argument.
Dr Taufiq then questioned what Awang meant by “conflict of interest”, but the latter did not answer.
However, Awang insisted on not retracting his statement despite being instructed by the Deputy Speaker several times.
“We are all ‘anak papa’, why should he feel offended?” Awang said.
Lau earlier informed the MPs that Dr Taufiq’s motion to discuss the seizure of a hidden stash of 180 tonnes of local white in an unlicensed storage warehouse in Kedah on Monday (Oct 9), had been approved to be discussed in special chambers today (Oct 12).
Opposition leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin later came to Awang’s defence, saying the Pendang MP was merely stating facts.
“It is not wrong for us to say because he is his father’s son that there is conflict of interest. It is true that the conflict of interest caused the deputy speaker to have to make the decision (with regards to Dr Taufiq’s motion),” Hamzah said.
Lau ruled that there is no conflict of interest and said Awang’s remarks could create a negative perception.
As a result, Awang was asked to leave the August house until after lunch at 2.30pm. – Oct 12, 2023
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