Tajuddin gets 'rare' support from Segambut MP

KUALA LUMPUR: In a surprise move, Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh agreed for the first time with Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman that they did not hear Deputy Speaker Datuk Rashid Hasnon ordering the Pasir Salak MP out of the House for uttering expletives during proceedings.

The issue began when Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun addressed the Tajuddin incident on July 20, after it was raised by Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching.

Azhar said he was chairing a meeting in Parliament when the incident took place and he was not aware that Tajuddin was booted out of the House at 12.30pm on July 20.

Azhar said he upheld Rashid’s decision to suspend Tajuddin for two days, and cited Standing Orders 100 when amending results of the bloc vote on the motion that the Pasir Salak MP voted on.

Tajuddin then spoke and explained his perspective, maintaining that he was not booted out by Rashid, who was chairing the then session on July 20.

"I went out voluntarily because I did not want to escalate the matter, that’s first. Secondly, I have other matters to attend to, that is why I left the House.

"But, it was interpreted as me being ordered out of the House. That is not true at all," said Tajuddin.

However, Tajuddin said when Rashid announced his suspension from Parliament several days after the incident, he decided to keep quiet as he did not feel like speaking on the matter any more.

"I did not want to waste time. So, whatever he said, I kept quiet.

"Honestly. I’m a Muslim," said Tajuddin, as he held his right arm and swore that he was telling the truth.

"I just want to say that I wasn’t booted out and suspended for two days. That is why my vote should be counted during that session," added Tajuddin.

In response, Azhar said he had watched a YouTube video regarding the incident and he did not blame Tajuddin for not hearing Rashid’s orders, given the intensifying shouting match that ensued in the July 20 incident.

Yeoh subsequently stood up and requested to issue a clarification on the matter.

"I think I agree with what Pasir Salak said for the first time. He did not hear the deputy speaker ordering him out and none of us heard him (Rashid) saying so," added Yeoh.

Yeoh said shortly after the incident involving Tajuddin on July 20, she and Teo went to speak to Rashid.

"The deputy speaker asked us as witnesses whether we heard Pasir Salak say those words and we testified," added Yeoh.

Tajuddin then stood up and asked "what word", to which Yeoh stood up and said he had used a derogatory word.

"The conduct of the deputy speaker is very problematic here. I think he made up the order because none of us heard him ordering Tajuddin out," said Yeoh.

Tajuddin, who looked visibly annoyed, then stood up and said he just wants to move on from the matter.

Teo then attempted to interject, but her mic was swiftly turned off by Azhar just before she was able to complete her sentence.

"I’m already being very fair. If you are dissatisfied, file for a review. Thank you," said Azhar.

Teo was not satisfied with Azhar’s reply and she accused Azhar of protecting certain MPs in the House, and continued speaking.

Azhar, who was visibly upset, then slammed the gavel once and warned Teo on her behaviour.

"Do you want to go out? Sit down," said Azhar, while maintaining that his ruling on the matter stands.

"I’m not here to only answer your questions," Azhar said, before deputy finance minister Yamani Hafez Musa delivered his speech on the Customs (Amendment) Bill 2022 in Parliament shortly after.

On July 26, Rashid said the expletive allegedly used by Tajuddin on July 20 was not mentioned in the Parliament’s Hansard, but added the Pasir Salak MP had been ejected and suspended for two days from July 20.

On Aug 1, Azhar said he needed to check the Hansard thoroughly before making a ruling on the matter.

Several Opposition MPs had claimed Tajuddin used expletives during the fiery exchange. They also demanded him to apologise and to retract his remarks.

Tajuddin later defended himself against the allegations, saying that it was "political assassination" and defamation.

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