Sunday, May 27, 2007

Wan Azizah wins unopposed - The Star

By Shahanaaz Habib and A. Letchumanan

SEREMBAN: In a dramatic turn of events, Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail won the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) presidency uncontested.

It came after her husband Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was denied the right to contest by the Registrar of Societies (ROS) on Friday and Abdul Rahman Othman pulled out of the race at 2pm yesterday.

Anwar is barred from entering politics until April 2008 but had applied to the ROS for an exemption. The ROS letter came at 4.30pm on Friday.

The former deputy prime minister, who was sacked from Umno and jailed for corruption, was released in September 2004.

In a special address to the delegates at the party's fourth national congress, Anwar said he would be the party's de facto leader.

“If you want me to be legitimate, then give Wan Azizah the president's post but I will lead the party.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

MPs say sorry - The Star

By Jane Ritikos

KUALA LUMPUR: Nine days after they made their “bocor (leak)” remarks that led to an uproar among women’s groups, the two Members of Parliament finally made a formal apology to all Malaysian women.

Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin, who made the remarks in Parliament on May 9, and Jasin MP Datuk Mohd Said Yusof who supported him, issued a public apology yesterday to women “who might have been offended” by their words.

Bung Mokhtar and Mohd Said however maintained that they were merely carrying out their duty as Barisan MPs in defending the Government against “the Opposition’s unfounded claims”.

In doing so, some of the Barisan MPs might have gone overboard but there was no intention to insult women, said Mohd Said.

On May 9, during a heated exchange in the Dewan Rakyat with Opposition MPs over the roof leak at Parliament House, Bung Mokhtar had said: “Mana ada bocor? Batu Gajah pun bocor tiap-tiap bulan juga. (Where is the leak? The Batu Gajah MP also leaks every month.)”

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Shahrizat to meet with MPs - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil will meet with the two MPs who have been criticised by groups for making sexist remarks against a female MP in Parliament recently.

“I will meet MP for Jasin Datuk Mohd Said Yusof and MP for Kinabatangan Datuk Bung Mokthar Radin on Friday,” said Shahrizat in a press statement.

She said the meeting was scheduled following a Cabinet mandate yesterday.

“The issue alleging MPs who had used the bocor (leaking) word has been discussed in Cabinet. I have been asked to look into the issue further,” said Shahrizat.

Her statement, however, did not state the general sentiment of other Cabinet members when the matter was brought up for discussion.

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MP says sorry to women, then retracts his apology - The Star

By Muguntan Vanar and Florence A. Samy

KOTA KINABALU: Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Moktar Radin said he was sorry to all Malaysian women for his “unintended remarks,” but retracted the apology following a Cabinet directive to discuss the matter with Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

“I tender my apologies to all Malaysian women,” Bung Moktar said when contacted yesterday morning.

“It was not my intention to hurt any woman. I said it in the heat of an argument with DAP members who were calling me binatang (animal) and accusing Barisan of corruption.

“I too strongly feel that women’s feelings should be respected as I too have a mother whom I respect greatly. If my remarks have hurt the feelings of women in Malaysia, I sincerely apologise,” said Bung Moktar, who with Jasin MP Datuk Mohd Said Yusuf were accused of using un-parliamentary language against Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan at Wednesday’s sitting.

However, Bung Moktar said the public must understand that at the time of the incident, there was a heated exchange of words between government backbenchers and opposition MPs.

“They (the DAP MPs) were all standing and we also stood up and in the heat of the argument, I uttered the words without intention to hurt anyone, let alone women,” he said, adding that the Speaker had rejected the opposition motion.

“I am ready to apologise in Parliament if I am asked to,” he said, adding that the next session of Parliament would only be on June 18.

In the afternoon, he called up The Star requesting to withdraw his earlier statement.

“I have been directed by the Cabinet to meet with the Women, Family and Community Development Minister to explain what exactly transpired in Parliament,” he said.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Group hands over memo to minister, demands apology - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: A group of women – and men – gathered in front of the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry yesterday to protest against the sexist remarks made by two MPs and demanded their suspension and an apology.

Led by the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG), a coalition of seven non-governmental organisations, the protestors, including representatives from various political parties like Wanita MCA Beliawanis, DAP, PAS and Parti Keadilan Rakyat, handed over a memorandum to minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil calling for an end to sexism in Parliament,

The furore started last week in the Dewan Rakyat when Opposition MPs tried to raise a motion on the leaking ceiling near the media centre.

Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN – Kinabatangan) and Datuk Mohd Said Yusof (BN – Jasin) then said “Mana bocor? Batu Gajah pun bocor setiap bulan. (Where is the leak? Batu Gajah [MP Fong Po Kuan] also leaks monthly).”

[More at]

Jasin MP denies making ‘bocor’ comment - The Star

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Mohd Said Yusof, one of the two Barisan Nasional MPs, who uttered sexist remarks against women in Parliament, refused to say if he would apologise or not.

The Jasin MP even denied making such statements saying that the media had blown it out of proportion.

This is despite Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s plan to bring up the matter in today’s Cabinet meeting to see if it is possible to amend the Standing Orders to include a requirement that the language used in Parliament be gender sensitive.

Shahrizat also said on Monday that it would be an honourable thing for the MPs to apologise.

When asked if he would apologise, Mohd Said said: “Let it be. The press exaggerated it. I didn’t say it. I don’t want to comment anymore.”

Mohd Said said he would issue a statement on the matter in Parliament today.

[More at]

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sexist remarks to be brought up to Cabinet - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The issue of sexist remarks by two Barisan Nasional MPs will be brought up in tomorrow’s Cabinet meeting.

Stating her “deep displeasure” over the remarks, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said an apology from the MPs would be the honourable thing to do.

“I will bring this up to the Cabinet to see whether it is possible to amend the Standing Orders to include that language used in Parliament must be gender sensitive.

“I see this happening over and over, and it’s getting worse,” she said.

Last week, following Fong Po Kuan's (DAP – Batu Gajah) observations of leaks in the Parliament building, Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN – Kinabatangan) reportedly said:

Mana ada bocor, Batu Gajah pun tiap-tiap bulan bocor juga (Where is the leak? Batu Gajah leaks every month too).”

[More at]

Monday, May 14, 2007

Said refuses to apologise - The Star

THERE will not be any apology from Jasin MP Datuk Mohd Said Yusof over his remark to Batu Gajah MP Fong Poh Kuan, reported China Press.

Mohd Said was quoted as saying that he did not need to apologise because his bocor tiap-tiap bulan juga (leaks every month, too) statement did not mean a woman’s period.

Mohd Said and his colleague Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin have come under fire for saying in the Dewan Rakyat that Fong also “leaked every month.”

“Who says that it means the menstruation cycle? Bocor can be translated into different things.

“Besides the leaks in the Parliament building, it can also mean to urinate.

“Apologise to Fong Poh Kuan? What is there to apologise for? I did not mean to offend her or other women,” he said when contacted by the daily on Saturday.

[More at]

Sunday, May 13, 2007

There they go again - The Star


It’s amazing how our lawmakers who repeatedly display political cockiness, make sexist remarks and behave in an uncouth manner can still get themselves re-elected.

THERE he goes again with his looney tunes. The incorrigible Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin has once again infuriated most Malaysians with another of his off-colour remarks.

The loud Sabah politician, who has a notorious reputation for using un-parliamentary language, created Malaysian parliamentary history when he uttered a four-letter word against a DAP woman six years ago.

The microphones of all MPs had to be switched off by the Speaker in the heat of the debate but Mokhtar’s profanity was loud enough for other members and reporters to hear. He must be proud of his record.

Strangely, the Hansard, which records the House meetings in verbatim, has no record of the outburst during the debate. Things would have remained that way until the media approached Bung Mokhtar in the lobby and, to their surprise, he admitted the deed and went on to defend himself on record.

Before that, the MP sparked a controversy when he uttered a sexist-tainted boleh masuk sikit? (Can I come in a little?) remark in his attempt to seek clarification from Bukit Mertajam MP Chong Eng.

As expected, he said he meant no harm and that the phrase was commonly used in Sabah.

[More at]

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Putera Umno skydivers to try similar feat in Mecca - The Star

PEKAN: Fresh from their successful jump in the North Pole, Putera Umno skydivers will attempt a similar feat in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The wing’s chief, Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, said they had received an invitation from the Governor of Mecca, Prince Faisal, who is also a keen freefall parachutist.

He said the entire team felt honoured and was prepared to create another historical feat.

“The North Pole expedition saw us creating six new records and had attracted the attention of many countries, including Islamic nations.

“We were proud to achieve feats dominated only by Westerners previously,” he said after attending an excellence awards presentation ceremony in SM Seri Pekan yesterday.

Abdul Azeez said the team, comprising 12 former Mat Rempit, was awaiting the right time and condition to make the jump outside the Holy Land.

[More at]

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

North Pole Jumpers Break Several Records - Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, May 2 (Bernama) -- The Putera Umno team which jumped at the North Pole last week has broken a series of records in skydiving, International Parachute Commission's (IPC) delegate Datuk Abdul Rahim Dahalan said.

Abdul Rahim, who was also Putera Umno North Pole Free Fall Expedition operations head, told Bernama here that the Association of Russian Polar Explorers Arctic and Antartica would officially endorse the records within a month.

He is the sole Malaysian representative to the IPC, which is a commission under the World Air Sports Federation (FAI).

The records involved the first world youth skydiving expedition team to jump at the North Pole and the biggest national flag carried to the region. The Malaysian and Umno flags unfurled there to mark the occasion were 100 feet long and 50 feet wide.

Sixteen jumpers, including 12 Putera Umno members aged between 19 and 24, had jumped from a Russian helicopter at the North Pole on April 23.

Abdul Rahim said the team also cracked two Asian skydiving records.

[More at]

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Umno shuts the door on ex-deputy president forever - The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno has closed its doors permanently on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“He will not be taken back. Period,” Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad told reporters after the Umno supreme council meeting yesterday.

He said the meeting had discussed Anwar, who was sacked as deputy president in 1998, and reaffirmed that he “would never be accepted back into the party”.

“There has been talk that Anwar has friends in Umno and people are talking about him coming back. Let me just say that he will not be taken back.

“We made that decision before and we reiterated it today,” he added.

After Anwar’s release from prison in September 2004, the party's supreme council decided that the door was shut on him “for now”.

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