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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