Hanipa apologises to Azalina in Parliament over 'man or woman' remark

KUALA LUMPUR: Proceedings at the Dewan Rakyat erupted into a furore when a deputy minister made a sexist remark against a Barisan Nasional lawmaker and was ordered to retract his comment.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohamed Hanipa Maidin said that he was unsure of Datuk Seri Azalina Othman's (BN-Pengerang) gender due to her appearance.

"Sometimes, even I can't differentiate if you are a woman or a man," he said in jest in response to Azalina's earlier remark when she was debating the Bill to repeal the Anti-Fake News Act on Wednesday (Oct 9).

Hanipa had given way for Azalina to interject while he was replying, with the latter taking her time to respond as she looked for her glasses.

"I want to wear my glasses because I want to see you clearly (referring to Hanipa).

"Sometimes you look big, sometimes you look small," she said, while wearing her glasses.

Before starting with his reply, Hanipa had then said he had trouble identifying her gender.

This caused a ruckus, as several Opposition lawmakers stood up and demanded that Hanipa retract his statement.

Azalina, too, demanded that Hanipa retract and apologise for his remark.

Hanipa obliged, retracting and apologising to Azalina.

After some ruckus, Opposition leader Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri (BN-Bera) had called for a bloc vote on the Bill at the policy stage.

Those who voted aye were 93, while 53 voted nay for the policy stage.

Another bloc voting was called for the committee stage as well.

The Bill was eventually passed with 92 who voted yes, while 51 were against it.


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