Saturday, May 19, 2007

"We're Sorry"

The two Barisan Nasional MPs have apologised to "all women" for their remarks that made references to the menstrual cycle of a woman opposition MP in the Dewan Rakyat.
Bung Mokhtar Radin (Kinabatangan) and Mohd Said Yusof (Jasin) made the public apology yesterday (Friday, May 18 2007) after a 40-minute meeting with Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Jalil at her office in Kuala Lumpur.
The apology came a good nine days after they made the notoriously insulting insinuation to the menstrual "leak" of Fong Po Kuan (DAP-Batu Gajah) after opposition MPs tried to raise a motion on the leaking ceiling near the media centre which, incidentally, is a serious problem and not a petty issue.
Shahrizat said that with their apology, the issue was now closed.
"As they have tendered their public apology to the women of Malaysia through this ministy, we must have the grace to accept it with a serious reminder that this kind of episode must never recur."
Easier said than done, sister.

This was how Bung Mokhtar, after a brief statement, apologised as quoted by the NST: "We are apologising to all women. OK. Thank you, I have to catch a flight."
I was told that the two appeared to be in a hurry to get it over and done with.
Mohd Said was reading from a prepared text.

Read the Bernama story here.
And the Star story here.

I find it amusing that the two have accused the opposition of blowing the issue of of proportion.
The opposition as the bogeyman again.
Not this time, boys.

You see, we heard the words uttered. I think everyone in the august House heard too.
Sorry. Perhaps, they don't make women like they used to.
You both were not about to get away with it.
It's true, the target of your insult was a member of the Opposition. But that MP happens to be a woman.
Sorry, boys, you insult her, you insult me and my sisters.
I'm sure the women BN MPs wished they could give you a tongue-lashing, but I suppose they're wearing the same badge so didn't want to step out of line.

Now, did you actually think that the rest of the women in the country would do the same - take the matter lying or sitting down?
You didn't think we'd be offended, insulted and enraged?
You mean you just wanted the publicity? At whatever cost?

Sure looked like you were whipped into saying sorry.
The Cabinet had to direct Shahrizat to have a little chat with you. Perhaps, a little whack here and there. Perhaps, none at all.

Okay. Yeah. It's over. But, when are you boys going to apologise to Ms Fong?

31 comments:

Ayah said...

kurang betul la pemikiran diorang ni... sangat kurang! Why can't they just go meet Fong and ask for apology. The same 'kurang' guy who defended their action in Parliamen should apologize to all women as well...

bakaq a.k.a ~penarik beca said...

Sorry after 40 minutes meeting with Shahrizat?

Tak ada maknanya!!

Nora said...

I'm sure the women BN MPs wished they could give you a tongue-lashing, but because they're wearing the same badge, they didn't want to step out of line, so to speak.

Bukan apa, kalau bersuara nanti next election tak dipilih untuk bertanding. So takut melepas kepada calun lain pula.

Adios

old female fart said...

To me the incident has been given the official seal of goodwill but the matter has not ended!

It's not just these 2 MPs who have behaved abominably on the pretext of defending BN. Some Opposition MPs are no less obnoxious!The 2006 UMNO general assembly had its share of loony, loose-tongued goons! Blogosphere is not free from blame either!

What some MPs lack in political ideology, convincing parliamentary argumentation, creative ideas they make up for in attention-grabbing outbursts like snide remarks, crude insults and rude comments. Much like the Mat Rempit strategies!

To me there needs to be a serious relook and redefinition of parliamentary etiquette and decorum. And a massive language and communication exercise for MPs!

Definitely the person(s) to look into should not be Nazri Aziz or Shahrir Samad!

KakDah said...

Salam,
Perkataan 'begitu' pernah didengari waktu kakdah kecil2 dulu semasa di kampung, tetapi dikatakan dengan perlahan sekali...itu pun kepada kawan baik ataupun adik beradik perempuan yg bertanyakan sudah solat atau belum .....kini perkataan 'begitu' dilaungkan/dijeritkan di Dewan yg mulia....oleh Datuk-Datuk MP.....yang 'terpelajar' yg punya isteri, anak-menantu dan mungkin sudah bercucu.....ah! malunya!!!!

Hi&Lo said...

Not acceptable! What's a sorry without repentance and remorse.

Saying sorry at the same time trying to rationalise their crassiness is very childish.

The sandiwara is too poorly scripted after realising the outrage has reached a cross-section.

All men who have mothers, sisters and daughters are as equally insulted.

"If there is injustice somewhere, injustice is everywhere."

Pi Bani said...

Their apologies looked more like when budak kecik kena paksa minta maaf bila buat salah. Bukan sebab betul mengaku salah, but still have to apologise to the other party, otherwise nanti mak marah...

Well, they do act like small kids in parliament anyway!

nstman said...

To these two morons - apology not accepted bcause it is not an apology. Hey, morons, tell your spokeswoman Shahrizat Jalil to stop fooling the public. Tell her she is women's No 1 enemy. Shahrizat, you have been doing a good job of being an apologist for men, good luck to you. You are an insult to women.

Berita dari gunung said...

Dear,

The two male MPs are just stealing the limelight. You think they are serious?. Not for a minute!!

Dia orang main-main saja. Seperti biasa-biasa.

Agak saya la.

J.T. said...

When they insulted Ms Fong, they insulted all women and men alike. As Hi&Lo said, "All men who have mothers, sisters and daughters are as equally insulted."
They apologised to all women. We can either accept it or not. That is up to each individual. That apology is not enough. Ms Fong was never given a personal apology. That imbecile remark was directed at her. She deserves the apology first before the women of the country. If that was done earlier, then this probably would not have been a huge and digusting issue.
Excerpt of the report from the Star:
On whether they would be reprimanded, Shahrizat said the two men have already been punished “as the media had gone to town (with the issue)”.
You call that punishment??? sigh..

WANSHANA said...

They're "sorry"?!

Yeah, right...then I'm Angelina Jolie...

Just as they said "bocor" meant "K", and not "P", I guess when they said "Sorry", it meant "We're NOT sorry at all - we only say it because we want to kiss somebody's a** so as to save our a**!"

Well, we can't expect much (or anything at all!)from these two MPs (or rather - MCPs), I guess...

bakaq a.k.a ~penarik beca said...

Nuraina

Bila baca alasan-alasan merapu dua pendekar bocor tu, teringat pula alasan seorang lagi pendekar yang A Voice tulis:

"He mentioned about some interesting request he gets from family members back in Permatang Pauh that “interlock” with Pak Lah’s. He was asked to hold back his criticism of Pak Lah for reasons he is an Ulamak’s grandson."

Saya ni penyokong Iran. Masa saya dalam Abim dulu (saya ahli Abim sampai Mac 1982), pendekar inilah, yang pada masa itu kuat menyokong agen Amerika, Abol Hasan Bani Sadr, menyifatkan ulama-ulama yang menentang Bani Sadr sebagai ulama-ulama bodoh.

Barangkali dah tua-tua ni, orang yang dahulunya menghentam ulama, hari ini menghentam cucu ulama pun dia tak nak.

Insaflah agaknya...

Jauh pulak saya pi. Yang saya nak sebut, apa bezanya taraf alasan dua pendekar bocor dengan alasan seorang lagi pendekar tu?

Sensitip ni.. Kalau you tak nak siarkan pun, saya tak gaduh..

KerinchiGuy said...

i think all you bloggers are most unkind to the MPs who used sexist words without thinking of whothey hurt. please be kind to them . they not know what they do. they react and all of freudian's defence mechanisms come into play. both of them could be 'mati pucuk'for all we know, sans viagra, sans cialis.

treat them nice. treat them cool . they are not made of wood. hah ah. they can't get an early morning woodie even !

treat them nice. you all senang condemn aje. orang mati pucuk needs help.could both of them be reaching out for help?

reach out and touch someone.but no touchy feely, ok.

salam
kerinchi guy

AHIRUDIN ATTAN said...

Sorry, luv, but I think them two are too dumb to know what "sorry" means.

They will only know their sins if they are sacked!!!

Syed said...

There are obviuosly bigger issues here:
The standard of debates in our parliament left much to be desired - members can't seem to put across their views without interruptions, table-thumping and name calling - all done simultenously like a group of children shouting at each other.

The power and capability, and indeed the impartiality of the Speaker or his Deputy: much can be done by them to avoid such incident. If they had been in real control the issue needn't come to this at all. All the Speaker had to do was give an instant reprimand and ask the MP's concerned to apologise for what was obviously an uncalled-for remark.

With two-third majority in the House and the Speaker a govt appointee we can only dream....(?)

nstman said...

What really shocked the nation was the way these two morons joked and grinned when they made the sexist remarks. The smirk on their faces tell it all. They have been denigrating and demeaning women with impunity, aided by fellow-uncouth MPs, men and women included. Barisan is the ruling party but sad to say their behaviour is crass, vulgar and idiotic. They ride roughshod over the opposition just because of their superior numbers. In fact, most of their MPs, if not all, cant even debate issues properly. More often than not they use barbaric language to get a point across. And unfortunately, women are often used as an object of derison to further their stupid and fallacious arguments. Granted the opposition has a prelidection for dramatics but is that cause for resorting to crude, vulgar language which is beyond the norms of decency? Barisan MPs have an image problem, and it is a serious one. They have acted like idiots, morons and uneducated louts, and I dont think most of them realise it. We must educate women in this country to stand up and be counted for once and shame these uneducated morons. As Zainah Anwar of Sister in Islam said, they are not funny any more. Nazri, Shahrir and Najib may think the matter is too trivial but I tell them one thing - if you are women would you feel the hurt? Finally I would like to urge Pak Lah to tell his moronic MPs to respect women.

Kata Tak Nak said...

There are 2 things I am waiting for.
1. Apology to Ms Fong.
2. Will they be candidates come election time.

elviza said...

Kak Ena,

You know I have always love my weekend papers. But this week it was utterly spoilt y the pictures of those two.

Apology in its sincerest form is difficult to find Sista.

Whatever to those two

Mr. Smith said...

The two MPs could have been put in place there and then (in Parliament) if only the women MPs in Barisan or the Speaker or fellow Barisan MPs had admonished them and demanded a retraction and apology.
To make matters worse other UMNO MPs -Sharir, Aziz, and Najib - acted as defence counsel for Bung and Said.
They gave the duo moral support and thus the smugness, arrogance and empty pride.
Why only blame the two, blame the other MCPs as well.

Hi&Lo said...

If the apologies are sincere with remorse and repentant, it's good enough even if they found too hard to offer personally to Fong.

To change the world we must begin with ourselves. We should not tolerate any jokes that run down another human being.

bukan anak jantan said...

Ahirudin is right. These guys are too thick. They will do it again.

And I don't remember Adnan apologising to women bloggers for his offending remarks not too long ago.

Why do we have women ministers who can't even defend women from these goons?

Ibu said...

It's hard for them to say they're sorry?

To the very extreme about it, they are ridiculing the very nature of the biological cycle of women as created by Allah.

And if someone who are in speaking terms with read this, pls convey to them, if it is too difficult for them to say sorry to a woman, then apologise to Allah!

Sesunggguhnya menjatuhkan air muka orang lain dikhalayak ramai sesuatu perbuatan yang tidak disukai Allah.

(Awat yg bongkak & besar diri sangat sampai nak mintak maaf pun rasa tak perlu? Alahai.... )

Anonymous said...

Do you think they meant it? Definitely NOT!!! Just wait, the two jokers will put their smelly feet in their filty mouth again soon. To them (and to most half past six MPs in Parliament) thats the way to get noticed and to be a big heros when they meet their UMNO buddies. I have sat with the likes of them a few times and witnessed their glee at the very mention of their names in the media. After all there is no such things as a 'bad' publicity. The voters are to be blamed for voting these jokers.
NanaDJ

shanghaistephen said...

My dear,
Just as I have posted the "We're sorry" in my blog ,someone actually alerted me by sms and for out of this country, of this Datuk Bung ,who in 1999 interupted this same Ms. Fong in parliament with his "minta masuk sikit" sexist remark. Now if it is true,this worm must really have the "hots" for the Batu Gajah rep. And that calls for drastic and severe action against this moron,right ? or can anyone verify this ? Ohhh dear, we are truely surrounded by morons, my dear!

Hi&Lo said...

NanaDJ is spot on. The likes of these 2 clowns reflect the moral level of Umno today. Yes, they will repeat their antics again and again. After all the top guns are defending him and blaming the media for playing up the issue.

Najib had said it was only a joke and not to be taken seriously.

We must not underestimate our collective power to bring abt change. Without the hue and cry, Sharizat won't have stage the apology.

zewt said...

if accepting apology is all they want... doesnt really need to get shahrizat involved... no?

salwa said...

Not only them, even DPM condoning their stupid remarks by saying that the clowns said it in jest. Dato Nazri also defended these two clowns. And these are the people we choose to run this country?Memalukan.

If it is ok to say such things in jest, I suppose it is okay to say that their "thing" susah nak naik. Oh, and I am just kidding here...

adik said...

An apology after all the uproar.

Kind of late aint it?

And yes did they apologise to Miss Fong?

Anonymous said...

Is it okay if I ask their mothers/wives/daughters whether they also 'b***r'? I can say 'joke lah' later. Is it okay for Islamic people to do this? Oh, I know, these two are not not Islamic, only muslim malay male donkeys.

hawaiichee said...

Below attached the statement by female ASEAN MP representatives. This even emphasizes my point that we should stand up for the rights of all women as these are symbols that threaten the position of women. Cancer in Malaysia can spread to cancer throughout ASEAN. That is why these leaders are adopting a proactive role and DO WHAT IS RIGHT.

Many bloggers said that we should not jaga tepi kain orang lain and mind your own business when it comes to other race and religion. Nope, WE NEED TO STAND FOR THE RIGHTS OF ALL WOMEN EVEN IF IT IS ANOTHER RELIGION OR RACE. Same goes for ANOTHER COUNTRY as exemplified by these ASEAN MPs.

Today I feel comforted and strengthened by the statement of Solidarity by the women of ASEAN. We are not alone. It is time we STAND UP FOR MUSLIM WOMEN IN KELANTAN WHO HAVE TO RUN AWAY FROM MUSLIM MEN when they do groceries. ALL MUSLIM WOMEN NEED TO BE LIBERATED.

Our childrens generation need to see a change. We can not let women be looked down as a lower class citizen who needs to be hidden and told off what to do. Women have a brain and a life and a right to stand up to INJUSTICE.

2 sexist Malaysian MPs condemned - joint statement by ASEAN MPs
Joint Media Statement by ASEAN MPs (and former MP) from the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia in Tokyo on Tuesday, 22nd May 2007:

Sexism by two male MPs in Malaysian Parliament on May 9 an affront and outrage to all ASEAN MPs and ASEAN women – deserves fullest condemnation by all ASEAN Parliamentarians and ASEAN civil society as sexism has no place in a progressive ASEAN

We, the undersigned ASEAN MPs (and former MP) attending an international conference in Tokyo have decided to issue the following joint statement:

We are very distressed by the rank sexism in the Malaysian Parliament on May 9 when two male MPs made crude vulgar, derogatory, sexist and gender-offensive remarks at the woman MP for Batu Gajah Fong Po Kuan, which have been regarded as a shame and dishonour to Po Kuan, Malaysian Parliament, Malaysian women and Malaysia’s international reputation.

It is more than that – it is also an affront and outrage to all ASEAN MPs and ASEAN women and deserves the fullest condemnation by all ASEAN Parliamentarians and ASEAN civil society as sexism has no place in a progressive ASEAN.

In fact, it is also a global affront and outrage, which was why MPs and State Legislators attending the GlobalPOWER (Partnership of Women Elected/Appointed Representatives) 2007 Conference in Washington May 7 – 11, 2007 was the first global response to the “sexist and demeaning statements that male Members of Parliament in Malaysia made to their women colleagues”.

The GlobalPOWER 2007 statement, issued by woman Parliamentarians from four continents, i.e. Asia, North America, Europe and Africa who attended the Conference, pledged that they “stand in solidarity with our sisters in the Parliament of Malaysia and demand that the Parliament censure the Members who verbally insulted and denigrated their colleagues”.

The GlobalPOWER 2007 statement said:

“We declare that these remarks are an affront not only to our sister, the Honorable Fong Po Kuan and other women MPs in Malaysia, but to all women elected officials worldwide, to the women of Malaysia and, indeed, to all women worldwide.

“The failure of the leaders of Parliament to take action to censure the offending Members makes the entire Parliament complicit in this behavior. The failure to act further implies that this sexist behavior is acceptable and will continue to be tolerated and condoned by Parliament. This is unacceptable to all of us who, as Members of Parliament, stand in solidarity with our sisters in Malaysia and worldwide.”

It is most regrettable and deplorable that 12 days after the unacceptable exhibition of male chauvinism in the Malaysian Parliament, there has been no proper and honourable closure of the disgraceful incident and the two errant MPs had been able to get away with their deplorable conduct with impunity.

We fully agree that the seeming apologies which the duo had made last Friday merely added insult to injury, as they were not genuine apologies at all on close examination but back-handed justification of their unacceptable sexist conduct.

There was not only no remorse or contrition on the part of the duo for their sexual harassment of Po Kuan and insult to women of Malaysia, ASEAN and the world, they stubbornly made clear their intention to repeat their irresponsible conduct if the same set of circumstances presented themselves again!

In the era of information and communications technology, we are now in a borderless world. ASEAN will be celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Both these factors must be inspiration for ASEAN MPs to come together to express the ASEAN community spirit for justice, fair play, freedom, solidarity and respect for women, children and family.

Let the Po Kuan case be the first for ASEAN MPs to act and declare that an affront to and attack of a woman MP in one ASEAN country because of her gender is an affront and attack on all women and men MPs in ASEAN and deserves the fullest denunciation of the ASEAN Parliamentary community and civil society.

We endorse as an acceptable ASEAN formula the five-point penalty for the two recalcitrant MPs as proposed by the public forum “Respect Women’s Dignity Towards a 1st World Parliament” in Kuala Lumpur on 17th May 2007, viz:

1. Six-month suspension as MP.

2. Six-month community service with women groups.

3. Donation of the their entire parliamentary allowance during suspension to women groups.

4. Full apology to Fong Po Kuan and Malaysian women.

5. If no full apology, the six-month suspension and community service to be extended to 12 months.

Signed:

Senator Aquilino P:imentel
(Senate Minority Leader, Philippines)

Nursyahbani Katjasungkana
(MP – Indonesia)

Lim Kit Siang
(Parliamentary Opposition Leader – Malaysia)

Son Chhay
(MP – Cambodia)

Buranaj Smutharaks
(Former MP – Thailand)

Tokyo
22nd May 2007

hawaiichee said...

Angin perubahan sudah tiba. Wanita di Malaysia akan berdiri sama tinggi dan duduk sama rendah dengan lelaki.

Change is inevitable as I always say. There is hope for women. Already many Muslim women like Zaniah Anwar and many others are championing the cause of Muslim women and correcting the screwed mind of the religious authorities. As I always said too, that the only way to change is to replace what is old with what is new and in this case, the religious authorities in Malaysia and once we have that, Malaysia will change for the better.

What we need to do as women

1. Increase our women solidarity by always saying comforting words to all women regardless of race.

2. Stand up for Muslim women. The threat of gender inequality, sexual harassments among Muslims is a cancer eating the gender relations status in Malaysia. What affects the Muslim women affects all women in general. It is time women wake up and not be ignorant about gender relations of the Muslim women.

3. Bagi paha, mahu betis. That is the mentality of the Muslim men. That is why we see the gender relations among the Muslim women now encroaching to Parliment and to every sphere of society. You give them the bloated self esteem that they are higher than women, and the Muslim men will want to claim that all over Malaysia. Time to draw the line and reclaim back all of gender relations including the Muslim women.

4. Continue to fight against symbols that depreciate the value of women and position of women. This was how the blacks in America fought for their rights. Rosa Parks denied her seat to a foreigner men. Similarly, women should deny men the opportunity to be harassed at work place, at Parliment, at TV and newspapers. Increasingly, Muslim women should claim the right to be active in the mosque and fight for any discrimination and separation in places where women are not allowed to stand on the same ground as men.

5. Lobby for more women leaders. It is time women take up leadership position and other women endorse them. It is time we lobby for women leaders as MPs. We need women to defend women rights.

6. Lobby for laws that are discriminating women or who are bias towards protecting the welfare of women and family. Any laws that are not favoring the women should be lobbied for awareness for change. We should continue to read about gender relations outside Malaysia and laws that have been taken out in other countries that were deemed to be bias and discriminating against women.

Change is inevitable. But, we need to be persistent about it. Be educated and spread the news to ensure we unite women.