MALACCA: It is up to Barisan Nasional state assemblyman Datuk Ramli Mohd Said to decide if he wants to apologise over remarks suggestingthat one should use a bra for protection against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome if there is a shortage of masks.
Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said he would let Ramli, who made the remarks during last month's State Assembly sitting, handle the matter himself.
Durian Daun state assemblyman Betty Chew, who is also state Wanita DAP chairman, had demanded that Ramli apologise, saying:
“It is disgraceful and irresponsible for an assemblyman to use his position at the Malacca State Assembly on May 13 to show his discrimination and bias against women.”
She gave Ramli a week to apologise. When he failed to do so, she lodged an official complaint to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad on May 24.
Mohd Ali said Chew lacked political capital and used the “bra joke” to create an issue.
“Ramli was just using it as an example after reading about the matter in the newspapers,” he said.
Ramli, the Masjid Tanah state assemblyman, said he had not intended to discriminate against women, adding:
“I saw a photograph in the newspapers and related it in the Dewan when the DAP state assemblymen accused the state government of not taking action on SARS.
“I am also not aware that Chew is asking for an apology. I was not serious. It was just a joke,” said Ramli, when contacted.
He added that he sent a letter to the Prime Minister on Friday to explain the matter.
“I think the DAP is lacking political capital now. We have more serious work to discuss and perform,” he said.
Ramli had on May 13 suggested in the form of a pantun (poem) that those who did not have a mask to protect themselves against SARS should use a bra instead when Banda Hilir state assemblyman Sim Tong Him was speakingon SARS.
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