KUALA LUMPUR: A brief commotion broke out in the Dewan Rakyat when Datuk Mohd Suhaimi Abdullah (PN-Langkawi) questioned the exclusion of the island as one of the stops in this year's Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL).
While the question was raised during Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing’s turn to wrap up the 12th Malaysia Plan mid-term review on Tuesday (Sept 19), it was Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh who stood up to respond.
Yeoh said Mohd Suhaimi was absent when she addressed the matter during her winding-up speech of the mid-term review on Monday (Sept 18).
“I gave an extensive answer on this matter (yesterday),” she said, before Deputy Speaker Alice Lau instructed her to be seated.
Mohd Suhaimi then said he wanted to know why the Youth and Sports Ministry decided to leave Langkawi and Perlis out of the tour, adding that he had listened to Yeoh’s explanation.
Lau then told Mohd Suhaimi to direct the question to Tiong as the floor belonged to his ministry.
This also prompted a reaction from Mohd Sany Hamzan (PH-Hulu Langat), who asked Mohd Suhaimi to stop wasting time.
Datuk Dr Mohd Radzi Jidin (PN-Putrajaya) then interjected and urged Lau to “discipline” Mohd Sany for his repeated behaviour.
“All (MPs) here must be... disciplined. Why do you have to stand up and speak without permission? Same goes to Hulu Langat,” Lau responded before proceeding with the order of business.
Tiong then told Mohd Suhaimi that even non-Muslim tourists found it difficult to wear shorts or buy alcohol on the tourist island due to restrictions imposed by security personnel.
“If possible, we want the (Kedah) Mentri Besar to explain this... so that it will be easier for our tourists,” he said.
Mohd Suhaimi then said this was not the way to raise the issue about wearing shorts, and wanted to know the connection with LTdL.
“Is the Youth and Sports Ministry punishing Langkawi because of the issue of wearing shorts. Is that what this is?” he asked.
Tiong said all parties have to work together to promote tourist destinations.
Yeoh had said on Monday that this was not the first time in LTdL's 26-year history that Langkawi island had been excluded as a stage of the road cycling race.
She said Langkawi was retained as part of the iconic name for the cycling tour, which has Pro Series status, in the International Cycling Union (UCI) calendar.
She also said 11 of 26 editions did not include Langkawi island.
This year's LTdL will be held from Sept 23-30.