THE antics of Kinabatangan MP Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin at the Dewan Rakyat are familiar to most of us.
He’s a recalcitrant who thrives on earning attention from the media and Members of Parliament through his outlandish behaviour.
Members of the august House are supposed to address each other as Honourable or Yang Berhormat, being elected members, but it’ll be interesting to see how this fits the man of the hour.
After all, he is notoriously known for his crass, disparaging and insensitive remarks. They may be sticks and stones to many of us. However, last week he crossed the line when he shouted “F*** you” at a fellow MP.
He was about to question Khairy Jamaluddin (BN-Rembau) on the price of goods at the Selayang wet market when Willie Mongin (PH-Puncak Borneo) said: “Not casino, is it?”
This was in reference to widely circulated photographs of a man resembling Bung Moktar at a casino apparently in Macau.
A visibly upset Bung Moktar retorted: “What is this? You are rude. You don’t deserve to sit here. Gangster!
“You want to fight? F*** you.”
With the microphone still on, his words were clearly audible, and as expected, his expletive spread like a disease on social media.
Bung Moktar has set a new “low” for his endless string of controversial remarks in and out of Parliament.
Last year, when he debated the tudung issue, he was quoted saying: “What is the problem with wearing a tudung?
“If she is a beautiful woman, even if she wears a tudung, she would still be beautiful. If she is not pretty, even if she is naked, who would want her?”
In 2011, he said “women drivers are slow and oblivious” and in 2007, he said women “bocor setiap bulan”, referring to their menstrual cycle.
He criticised then Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan in Parliament when she complained to the Speaker about the dilapidated condition of the august House’s roof which leaked every time it rained.
“Mana ada bocor? Batu Gajah pun bocor tiap-tiap bulan juga.” (Where is the leak? Batu Gajah leaks every month, too).
In 2008, Bung Moktar was caught making an obscene hand gesture at some MPs during the 30-minute daily live telecast of Question Time in Parliament on RTM1, though it went unnoticed as the set cameras were off him then. He admitted to making the gesture but insisted that it was “not what it meant” and shouldn’t be construed as rude.
That year, he even insulted the disabled community by asking veteran politician (now late) Karpal Singh to stand up in a show of respect to the House, fully aware the DAP leader had been paralysed waist down following an accident.
When Germany won the World Cup in 2014, he tweeted: “WELL DONE…BRAVO…LONG LIVE HITLER”, upsetting many people.
Bung Moktar will surely continue with his ways because all he needs to do is retract his offensive remarks, apologise and move on. That’s the privilege accorded to MPs.
He’s in good company, though.
Joining him is Lipis MP Abdul Rahman Mohamad, who reportedly shouted “P****ak” in the Dewan.
In retracting the offending word, Abdul Rahman said he had wanted to “teach” DAP’s RSN Rayer (PH-Jelutong) a lesson for his slur during the previous week’s proceedings.
Rayer uttered “kepala bapak”, a phrase he also used in the Dewan Rakyat the previous week.
The DAP MP from Penang must surely be clued in to what Malaysians think of his debating skills at the Dewan Rakyat, despite being a practising lawyer.
He is in danger of edging towards a slippery slope if he continues displaying his brash manners and ignoring the voice of the people who feel he must improve on his delivery and exercise self-restraint. Theatrical responses are so passe in the New Malaysia. Keep that in your ceramah, please.
And what was Mongin thinking when posting on Twitter that he accepted Bung Moktar’s challenge to a one-on-one fight in the ring?
“Too many blunders from Kinabatangan in Parliament.
“If he insists on a fight, I accept his challenge to go one-on-one in the ring. Just let me know the time and date,” said Mongin in his entry last week.
Perhaps he was angry with Bung Moktar’s remarks: “I have seen Puncak Borneo (Mongin) having drinks with perempuan pelacur (hookers) as well.”
The truth is, Bung Moktar doesn’t even deserve a response.
Mongin can choose to sit down with whomever he wants. After all, purported tainted politicians still walk the corridors of Parliament as Yang Berhormats, passing themselves off as righteous and principled figures.
And let’s not even deliberate Pasir Salak MP Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman’s disgraceful tirade on race and religion, and his highly imaginative and provocative speeches on how Malaysia is in danger of being taken over by Christians.
His hate-filled speeches bordered on sedition and his remarks often targeted Teresa Kok (DAP-Seputeh):
“The only woman with a ‘Kok’ is in Seputeh.”
The nation might be crying out for a new political culture, where debates can be conducted in a more mature and civil manner.
Sadly, we haven’t seen enough of it. Instead, we are still violated by a spectacle of ill-mannered MPs unable to behave with dignity or debate intelligently (not even intellectually) and with decorum.
But MPs like Bung Moktar are doing as they please because there are no rules in Parliament which restraint lawmakers who continuously distract and disrupt proceedings, and in the process, dishonour the House.
So, if we’re asked to rate the performance of Bung Moktar and other renegade MPs, we can only give them an F for failing us miserably.