Heated row leads to ‘go eat thosai’ retort by minister

AN Opposition MP was told to go “eat thosai” by a minister during a heated exchange over the Malaysian Indian Community Transformation Unit (Mitra) scandal.

The incident happened when M. Kulasegaran (PH-Ipon Barat) asked National Unity Minister Datuk Halimah Sadique on the status of investigations conducted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) into the mishandling of Mitra funds.

Halimah replied that she could not answer his query as the MACC falls under the purview of the minister in charge of law, Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

“My advice is that you should direct the question to him,” she said.

A verbal spat ensued between Halimah and several Opposition MPs, which led to V. Sivakumar (PH-Batu Gajah) being ordered by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun to temporarily leave the House.

Halimah informed the House that a special briefing will be held on March 22 for MPs on the government’s action plan for the Indian community.

“The Opposition chief (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) has agreed to the briefing and questions can be raised there,” she said.

However, several Opposition MPs badgered Halimah over Mitra despite several warnings by Azhar to stop interrupting the minister.

“Opposition MPs accuse me of not following House rules, but when I apply the rules, they are not happy,” Azhar said before issuing his final warning for order in the House.

Sivakumar continued to defy the Speaker’s warnings and was finally ordered out of the Dewan Rakyat for 10 minutes.

Despite this, Kulasegaran continued to interrupt the proceedings and accused Halimah of avoiding answering on the Mitra issue.

Halimah then asked him whether he has eaten breakfast. “Have you eaten breakfast? Go back and eat some thosai lah.

“I have already answered you, yet you still don’t understand my reply,” she shot back.

The noisy situation died down when the Speaker announced that the sitting would continue after the lunch break.

Mitra is a special government unit set up to address the socioeconomic development of the B40 group among Malaysian Indians.

Last October, the MACC arrested 18 people involving 10 companies, associations and non-governmental organisations to assist investigations into the misappropriation of Mitra funds. In January this year, a further 22 people were arrested.

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