KUALA LUMPUR: A heated argument over the use of English saw a Perikatan Nasional MP from Terengganu being ejected and suspended from the Dewan Rakyat by Deputy Speaker Datuk Ramli Mohd Nor.
Ramli said Che Mohamad Zulkifly Jusoh (PN-Besut) will be barred from Parliament for three days.
“Sergeant-at-Arms, please carry out your duties,” said Ramli who ordered Che Mohamad to be escorted out of Parliament.
“The decision was made after three warnings,” added Ramli.
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Che Mohamad then stood up to ask when his suspension from Parliament began.
“Beginning today (March 29) till next Monday,” added Ramli.
The issue began when a point of order was raised by Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan (PN-Kota Baru), saying that the blue copy of the bills distributed in Parliament was not consistent in its use of English and Bahasa Malaysia (BM).
Takiyuddin said the Sexual Offences Against Children (Amendment) Bill and the Child Witness Act used BM and there were English translations.
But, Takiyuddin said the Penal Code (Amendment) Act 2022 and the Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) 2022, in the blue bill form distributed in Parliament, was in English.
“What is ‘stalking’? There isn’t any translation.
“Intai (peeping), menghendap (ambushing) or skodeng (voyeurism), which one is it?” questioned Takiyuddin.
Takiyuddin said the use of language in Parliament is a matter of public interest, as Dewan Rakyat sittings, which are being televised live, are being followed by Malaysians across the country.
Takiyuddin then referred to Standing Order 8, which stated that the official language in sittings should be BM, but the Speaker presiding over the session could allow the use of English.
Ramli then said that if Bahasa Malaysia was to be used entirely during Parliament sittings, it would require an amendment to the Constitution which needs two-thirds support or 148 MPs.
Che Mohamad then stood up and reiterated Takiyuddin’s concerns, but Ramli repeated his argument that a constitution amendment was needed.
“I hope Besut will understand what I’m trying to say,” said Ramli.
However, Che Mohamad was dissatisfied and said he was trying to discuss the issue in the House.
“I felt the Speaker and others don’t understand (me),” said Che Mohamad before he was cut off by dissatisfied backbencher MPs who told him to sit down.
“Besut just insulted the Speaker. Rude,” said Mohd Sany Hamzan (PH-Hulu Langat).
Ramli and Takiyuddin went back-and-forth over the matter, before Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (law and institutional reform) Ramkarpal Singh spoke on the matter.
Ramkarpal said the same practice was also done by Takiyuddin as the former de facto law minister and Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin, who was the former deputy minister.
“He (Takiyuddin) knows that the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code’s authoritative texts are in English.
“He knows this, he’s a lawyer,” said Ramkarpal before other backbencher MPs stood up.
“You are being frivolous,” Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (PH-Kuala Selangor) told Takiyuddin.
Several MPs stood up and among them was Che Mohamad, of which Ramli meted down two warnings to him.
Che Mohamad relented and sat down, but stood up again shortly after, in which he was ejected from the House.