Speaker bans “Zionist”, “kafir” from Parliament, urges MPs to put national interests first

DEWAN Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul has banned lawmakers from bringing up issues and making statements related to “kafir”, “Zionists” and “Yahudi” (Jews) or any equivalent terms when speaking in the august house.

According to Johari, such words contravened Standing Order 36(10)(c) which prevents lawmakers from using words likely to promote feelings of ill-will or hostility between different communities in the federation.

He said various arguments put forth by MPs during last week’s 2024 supply bill debate were “sensitive, hurtful and divisive” particularly when today’s conditions are not conducive for such language.

“Honourable members should show commendable behaviour when addressing the issues of the people and the country and make the national interests their main goal, instead of using this house as a political arena for groups or individuals,” he said this morning (Oct 23).

“…Let the debate of the honourable members be based on issues to defend the fate of the people out there. I emphasise that I will not tolerate any more and will take action if the issue and words referred to earlier are raised again,” he said this morning.

The Dewan Rakyat witnessed uproar on two separate occasions last week, the first being on last Tuesday when Pengkalan Chepa MP Datuk Ahmad Marzuk Shaary questioned DAP’s Ipoh Timor MP Howard Lee for citing Quranic verses in a viral video.

Marzuk was reported to have labelled DAP as “kafir” during the heated exchange.

The next day, a shouting match occurred in Parliament after Kota Melaka MP Khoo Poay Tiong interrupted Pagoh MP Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s speech to raise the issue of his son-in-law Datuk Seri Muhammad Adlan Berhan who is wanted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Pendang MP Datuk Awang Hashim cut in and told Khoo to not “act like a Zionist”.

At the start of today’s Parliament session, Johari further called for MPs to “turn over a new leaf” and set aside the heated issues from the previous week.

“I emphasise that I would not compromise further and would take action if the aforementioned issues and words are raised again,” he asserted.

Citing Standing Order 23(i) and 36(9), Johari also reminded that personal issues raised and reported outside Parliament should not be brought up or discussed within the chamber.

“Therefore, personal issues raised and reported outside the chamber should be resolved outside the Parliament,” he said.

Standing Order 23(i) states that MPs may not be questioned in the Dewan Rakyat on the accuracy of statements that had been reported by the media.

Meanwhile, Standing 36(9) states that no member of the House shall impute improper motives to any other member. – Oct 23, 2023


Main pic credit: The Star

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