Verbal fight over martial art

  • Metro News
  • Friday, 16 Oct 2020

Zolkifly (centre) taking a break at the state assembly sitting.

PENANG’S state assembly meeting once again was filled with shouting when an assemblyman was told to retract his words with some assemblymen wanting an apology on top of the retraction.

Zolkifly Md Lazim (Bersatu-Teluk Bahang) was ordered to take back a remark which Deputy Speaker Dr Amar Pritpal Abdullah found to be racial.

On Wednesday as he was debating the state’s budget, Zolkifly found fault with a book on sports events published by the state.

The book listed down multiple sports events organised by the state for the year and included martial arts such as karate, taekwondo and wushu but not silat.

Several Pakatan Harapan assemblymen then demanded that Zolkifly retract his statement pointing this out as he was raising a racial issue in the Hall and having ill intentions which is against the rules of the assembly.

Penang youth and sports committee chairman Soon Lip Chee explained to Zolkifly that the publication was part of a series that has not been fully published because the sports events had been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr Amar Pritpal then ruled that he would wait and check the Hansard transcripts first.

Yesterday, the transcripts showed that Zolkifly uttered:

“...neglects the rights of an ethnic (group) so when we raise it, don’t call us racial”.

Zolkifly agreed to take his statement back but a few Pakatan assemblymen were not satisfied.

“If there are no punitive measures, then this will just continue.

“I ask that Zolkifly show some repentance or regret, ” said Satees Muniandy (PH-Bagan Dalam).

State exco member Phee Boon Poh joined in the call for an apology and in a flurry of words, ended up calling Zolkifly a frog and liar.

Unhappy, Zolkifly asked the deputy speaker to make Phee retract.

Satees then retorted that the courts had decided in a previous case that the label ‘frog’ was not derogatory and defamatory.

Dr Amar Pritpal remained stoic and ended the matter by deciding that Zolkifly had no ill intentions by raising the absence of silat in the sports book and it was only a poor choice of words.

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