Thursday, May 17, 2007

MORE PICS & Video - Protest by Enraged Women - Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned; NO Apology Yet from 2 BN Sexist MPs; Friday Meet with Shahrizat

Shahrizat to tackle 'bocor' MPs

Husna Yusop, Pauline Puah and R. Manirajan; SUN

KUALA LUMPUR (May 16, 2007): The Cabinet discussed the "bocor" issue today and mandated Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil to handle the matter. Shahrizat has since arranged a meeting on Friday (May 18) morning with MPs Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan), who made the "bocor" remarks in the Dewan Rakyat, and Datuk Mohd Said Yusof (BN-Jasin), who supported him. In a statement after the cabinet meeting today, Shahrizat said the press would be informed of any press conference after that.

The statement deflated an anticipation by women non-governmental organisations of some form of decisive action by the Cabinet on this matter which had enraged women. This morning, an English newspaper (not theSun) had sent out SMS alerts (before Shahrizat's statement) saying Bung Mokhtar and Mohd Said had apologised to Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan and all Malaysian women over the sexist remarks. Last week, during a heated exchange about the ceiling leakage in Parliament, Bung Mokhtar was quoted saying "Mana ada 'bocor'? Batu Gajah pun 'bocor' tiap-tiap bulan juga (Where is the leak? Batu Gajah MP also leaks every month)." Fong, who reviewed the video recording of the proceedings, said Mohd Said had supported Bung Mokhtar, saying: "When I wanted to debate on the serious issue, there was this scuffle and shouting."

Contacted, Bung Mokhtar (ABOVE) said he was not going to say anything pending the meeting with Shahrizat. On the SMS news alert, he said he withdrew the apology statement for the time being. He had also told the Sun in the morning he apologised to women "if he actually hurt their feelings". "Let me brief Shahrizat first on what actually transpired during the debate. Being a good listener and a good leader, I will comply by the Cabinet's decision," he said.

Mohd Said (ABOVE)called for a press conference in Parliament at 3pm today, purportedly to explain his side of the story but cancelled it after being informed of the Cabinet's decision. Bung Mokhtar said he had experienced a similar situation before when an opposition MP had called him 'binatang' and he had objected and asked for the statement to be withdrawn. "I did not make the remark to all women, I only addressed it to Fong. But since it concerned the DAP, they made a big thing out of a small matter," he said.

ABOVE: Batu Gajah MP pointing her finger at whom?

Asked on the matter in a function in the Defence Ministry, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, who is also the BN chief whip, said the two MPs had not intended to hurt or insult women. "They uttered the words during a debate as they were angry with the speech made by the Batu Gajah MP (Fong) (ABOVE)," he said. On whether the two MPs should make a public apology, he said the meeting on Friday should be allowed to go on first before any other decision is made. Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz felt it was unnecessary for the two MPs to apologise as it would be difficult for MPs to debate in the House in future. "You cannot control people's emotions all the time. This (Parliament) is not a place where you have academic exercise," he said in a press conference.

"These are all unguarded moments. I don't think the two have (an) agenda against Po Kuan, but it's the unguarded moments. I don't condone, but they all human beings." However, he said the duo owe an explanation to the women who had been offended by the reports, adding that the cabinet had no directive on how the duo should deal with the situation.

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Wednesday May 16, 2007; the STAR;

MPs apologise for sexist remarks
Datuk Mohd Said Yusof (Jasin – BN) and Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (Kinabatangan – BN) have apologised to all Malaysian women for making the now infamous bocor remarks in Parliament last week. The remarks caused a nationwide furore, leading various women’s groups to protest against the two MPs outside the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry on Tuesday. "I am very sorry. I apologise to all women. It was a slip of the tongue, said in the heat of the moment," said Mohd Said, adding, "I respect all women and the liberation of women."

In Kota Kinabalu, Bung Mokhtar also expressed his apology to all women for his "unintended remarks." "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 the Barisan Nasional of corruption. "I strongly feel that women's feelings should be respected," he told The Star. Both MPs got into hot soup when they remarked, "mana bocor? Batu Gajah pun bocor setiap bulan" (Where is the leak, Batu Gajah [MP Fong Po Kuan] also leaks every month) during a heated argument last week over a leaked ceiling.

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Angry women demand apology from sexist MPs

By : June Ramli, NST; 2007/05/16
Some of the protesters who gathered at the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry to highlight their anger at the sexist remarks made by the two MPs in parliament.

KUALA LUMPUR: They fumed, they shouted and they demanded an apology from two members of parliament who had uttered sexist remarks. More than a hundred women gathered at the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry yesterday to urge action against the MPs for the remarks made in parliament. They only left when the minister, Datuk Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, came out to calm them and accept a statement of protest. Shahrizat, who spent about five minutes talking to the protesters, said: "Please don’t be over emotional, we know that it is very important to be gender sensitive and that sexist remarks should not be made in parliament. I will bring it up to the cabinet."

Backbenchers Datuk Radin Bung Mokhtar (BN-Kina- batangan) and Datuk Mohd Said Yusuf (BN-Jasin) are said to have passed sexist remarks to Fong Po Kuan (DAP-Batu Gajah). "Where is the leak, the member for Batu Gajah also leaks once a month," they were alleged to have said. Since then, both MPs have come under fire from various groups and individuals., remained in front of the ministry from 10.30am to noon. The banners screamed words such as "Unthinking Male MPs", "More Women MPs less MCPs", and "Hina Wanita tak layak Jadi Pemim- pin" (Those who degrade women do not deserve to be leaders). The protesters, from various non-governmental organisations and political parties, called themselves the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG). Leaders of the various organisations addressed the gathering. Maria Chin Abdullah, the executive director of Women’s Development Collective, who spoke on behalf of JAG, called for a public apology from the MPs.

MCA Cheras division branch head Felicia Ling said: "Just because the sexist remarks were said by two Barisan Nasional MPs it does not mean that the BN is not gender sensitive. "We want the minister and the government to take the necessary action and I want to tell them that 50 per cent of the population (all the women) is behind you on this so there is nothing to be afraid of."

Sisters In Islam executive director Zainah Anwar said the situation was not funny any more. "I would like to say that Mokhtar, Said, Datuk Mohamad Aziz (Sri Gading-BN), Abdul Fatah Harun (Rantau Panjang-Pas) and Datuk Badruddin Amirulddin (Jerai-BN) should not be selected to contest in the next general election. "And if they are selected, I urge the voters to reject them. We will also campaign to enlighten their voters as to why we think they are not fit to be elected," she said. Women’s Aid Organisation president Meera Samanther said MPs should not utter such remarks. Other groups which took part in the protest included the All Women Action Society, Women’s Centre for Change, Malaysian Trades Union Congress and the DAP.

ABOVE: From Malaysiakini 30 s Video Clip H E R E

Watch Video Clip (2min) - Protest by Enraged & Scorned Women - Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned; NO Apology Yet from the 2 BN Sexist MPs; Friday Dressing down by Shahrizat?
Shahrir: Apologise outside Parliament
; Nazri; Beyond Control:Najib Wait for outcome

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ABOVE: From Malaysiakini - 5 min Video Clip HERE


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