Opposition MP ejected during debate on ‘stalking’

A HEATED argument over the use of English resulted in the suspension of an Opposition MP.

The incident was sparked when Opposition chief whip Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan (PN-Kota Baru) rose to question the use of English with regard to the term “stalking”.

“I wish to state that there are glaring difference with regard to the four Bills which were tabled.

“The proposed amendments to first two Bills – the Sexual Offences Against Children (Amendment) Bill and the Evidence of Child Witness (Amendment) Bill – are clear in Bahasa Malaysia, including their English translations.

“But the proposed amendments to the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) are only in English,” he said.

Takiyuddin cited the English word used for the offence of stalking was not translated.

“What is stalking in Bahasa Malaysia? Does it mean mengintai (peeping), menghendap (ambushing) or skodeng (voyeurism)?” he asked.

Takiyuddin said the use of language in Parliament is a matter of public interest because the proceedings are viewed live by Malaysians across the country.

He said the use of Bahasa Malaysia should be defended by the government and asked Deputy Speaker Datuk Ramli Mohd Nor for a ruling on the matter.

To this, Ramkarpal Singh, who is Deputy Minister in charge of law and institutional reforms, said English was used for the two Bills because the language is accepted as authoritative text.

“He (Takiyuddin) knows that the Penal Code and the CPC’s authoritative texts are in English. He’s a lawyer,” said Ramkarpal when questioning Takiyuddin’s motive for raising the issue.

Ramkarpal also said previous amendments to the Bills, tabled by his predecessor Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin (PN-Masjid Tanah) were also in English.

In August last year, the previous administration tabled two Bills to amend the Penal Code and the CPC to fill the lacuna in the anti-sexual harassment law to make stalking an offence.

However, the Bills were not passed as Parliament was dissolved in October.

Earlier, Ramli warned MPs not to interrupt Ramkarpal when he was addressing the House.

His warning came after Datuk Che Mohamad Zulkifly Jusoh (PN-Besut) kept on interrupting the deputy minister.

“I feel that the Speaker and others don’t understand (me),” said Che Mohamad amidst calls from backbencher for him to sit down.

Ramli then ejected Che Mohamad and suspended him for three days after failing to heed a third warning to sit down.

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Takiyuddin Hassan , English , Dewan Rakyat


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