Kuala Lumpur - Batang Kali assemblyperson Mohd Isa Abu Kasim has denied making a sexist remark during yesterday's Selangor state assembly proceedings.
Responding to the consternation stirred up by his remarks on a certain "forest" yesterday, he told the assembly today that he was merely referring to the forest reserves in Bukit Lanjan, exco member for environment Elizabeth Wong's constituency.
"I'm surprised, which part of my statement yesterday is sexist? Is it Subang Jaya assemblyperson (Hannah Yeoh) who is overly sensitive, or the exco? Please state it," he said during today's sitting.
Yeoh then confronted Isa (right) asking, "What do you mean by ‘hutan diri you sendiri' (your own forest)," after quoting Malaysiakini's report of the Batang Kali rep's remarks yesterday.
Isa replied, "If you refer to the Hansard, I did not say ‘hutan diri you sendiri'. I said... listen carefully, if a person feels the description fits them, they will know it (dia yang makan cili memanglah rasa pedas).
"I said it is good that the exco (from) Bukit Lanjan is looking after forest reserves, take care Bukit Lanjan Forest Reserve, that's all I said," he told the assembly.
(Yang saya beritahu, exco Bukit Lanjan jaga hutan simpan memeng bagus, jaga baik-baik Hutan Simpan Bukit Lanjan. Itu saja (yang) saya cakap.)
However, the Hansard of yesterday's proceedings is still being prepared and was not ready for inspection at press time.
Gender-sensitivity training 'welcomed'
"Thank you Batang Kali representative," Yeoh replied. "We will wait for the Hansard and correct it, but I think there should be no problem sending assemblypersons for gender-sensitivity training for their own good".
Isa was responding to Yeoh's suggestion during the assembly today, that all assemblypersons should undergo gender-sensitivity training, adding that Isa should be sent for an "emergency crash course".
According to a report yesterday, Isa, when responding to Wong's (left) comments on the alleged deforestation at Templer Park, had said, "I am very happy the exco is continuing to look after forest reserves to prevent encroachment, but don't do this to the extent of neglecting to look after your own ‘forest'".
(Saya juga cukup amat gembira kerana exco menjaga kawasan-kawasan ... teruskan menjalankan aktiviti mengawas hutan-hutan simpanan ini daripada diceroboh ... jangan sampai lupa jaga hutan diri you sendiri.)
Women's affairs exco member Rodziah Ismail, to whom Yeoh's suggestion was directed, welcomed the suggestion but said the matter should be referred to the privileges committee first because Isa has yet to retract his statement.
‘Pakatan Rakyat assemblypersons have poor morals'
However, Isa apparently took offence to the suggestion and interjected Yeoh mid-speech.
"Send the Pakatan Rakyat assemblypersons (for training) lah! We all know that you people are of poor morals," he said.
Rawang assemblyperson Gan Pei Nei (right) then pointed out that in the Dewan Rakyat and the state assembly's records, it is Barisan Nasional and especially Umno representatives who often utter sexist remarks.
"If we recall, last time it was Kinabatangan (MP Bung Moktar Radin) at our parliament. In view of what Batang Kali (representative) just said, it is clear that he is unaware and don't understand (gender sensitivity).
"So I agree that we give him a special course in the near future. Never mind if it is given free, this is a special offer from Pakatan Rakyat to BN and Umno that was, is, and forever sexist," she said, before the time is up for the next assemblyperson to ask questions.--Courtesy of Malaysiakini