Speaker says did not see middle finger gesture due to eye problem

KUALA LUMPUR: Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun (pic) says he is unable to make a ruling on allegations that a deputy minister had showed the middle finger towards Opposition MPs in the House on Tuesday (Dec 1).

Azhar explained that he is still unsure on the details, despite going through videos of the alleged incident that have since gone viral.

The Speaker said he did not make an official ruling on the incident on Tuesday as he was unclear about the situation.

"I honestly did not see what happened because I am having some problems with my eyesight.

"I even asked the deputy minister to explain and he denied showing such gestures.

"I also saw the videos that went viral many times, even in slow motion, but I am still unable to tell if (the alleged gesture) happened or not.

"My decision is, I cannot determine if the incident did take place or not," said Azhar in reply to Khoo Poay Tiong (PH-Kota Melaka) who asked if the ruling made by the Speaker on Tuesday was final.

Azhar said those who are unhappy with the alleged actions by Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Willie Mongin could write a motion to refer him to the Rights and Privileges Committee for him to defend himself.

"I truthfully cannot determine if this incident took place or not, although there are differing arguments from both sides of the House on this issue," said Azhar.

Some Opposition lawmakers said Azhar should watch the Dewan's CCTV footage, to which, the Speaker said he has done so.

"I watched the CCTV but it was from the back so I couldn't see it clearly," he said.

Khoo then said he has a clear video of the alleged incident and would happily show that to the Speaker.

Azhar then invited Khoo to come to his office later so he can look at it as well.

Datin Paduka Dr Tan Yee Kew (PH-Wangsa Maju) also interjected and said she witnessed Mongin's alleged gestures clearly.

"I am sitting right in front of Puncak Borneo (Mongin), I saw it very clearly," she said.

Azhar said he needs to determine all the facts in order for him to make a decision.

"Both sides are saying different things so I need to look into this.

"Kota Melaka, thank you for volunteering, please come and see me later," said Azhar.

On Tuesday, Parliament descended into chaos following Mongin's gesture towards Opposition MPs in the House after a bloc vote was called.

The issue began right after bloc voting was called in the House as MPs from both sides of the political divide then started taunting each other before having their microphones muted.

Pakatan Harapan MPs could be heard chanting "pengkhianat" (traitor), while banging on their respective tables.

It was at that point that Mongin had allegedly showed the middle finger.

Several Opposition lawmakers demanded that Mongin apologise to the House.

Azhar had then asked Mongin if he had made the alleged gesture.

In response, Mongin denied that he showed the middle finger in the House, saying that MPs might have mislooked.

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