PETALING JAYA: Lawmakers have commented that the "celaka" remark by R.S.N. Rayer was clearly inappropriate, but not necessarily seditious.
"I honestly do not think his comment was seditious, but it is clearly obnoxious," said Umno supreme council member Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
"The word celaka (accursed) is very offensive to Malays. It is clear that he does not like Umno and Barisan Nasional, but he does not have the right to say that about the party and certainly did not need to use such unparliamentarian words," said the Kota Belud MP, referring to the comment by the Seri Delima representative during the Penang state assembly sitting last month.
PAS national unity bureau chairman Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa said Rayer's arrest illustrates why the Sedition Act needs to be repealed as it does not look into context and intent.
"He first passed the remark in the assembly and it should have been rebutted then and there by Umno reps," said the Parit Buntar MP.
However, Mujahid stressed that he did not think what Rayer did was right.
"I may not agree with what Rayer said, however, terming it as abusive is another matter.
"Unless it is abusive and intended to incite others, I would not have lodged a report and probably just rebutted it during the assembly sitting," he said.
"Legislative members should also resort to a more parliamentarian remark when making a point. We should be well-mannered with our words," he added.
Seri Delima DAP assemblyman R.S.N. Rayer was arrested over the celaka remark he uttered at the state assembly sitting last month.
He is expected to be charged with sedition on Thursday and had turned himself in at the Georgetown district headquarters on Wednesday evening.