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Wednesday March 30, 2011

MP rapped for chauvinistic remarks against women drivers

PETALING JAYA: Women's groups have slammed the sexist remarks by Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin against women drivers, calling him a disgrace.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said Bung's statement against women drivers was completely uncalled for and offensive.

“We are gathering statistics on road accidents from the police to get a clearer picture about the allegation,” she said in a statement yesterday.

Bung Mokhtar, who is Kinabatangan MP, had claimed that most women drivers were slow and paid little attention while on the road.

“When you honk at them, they get agitated with some even showing hand gestures to other drivers,” he said in Parliament on Monday.

All Women's Action Society (AWAM) acting president Ho Yock Lin called for Bung Mokhtar to resign immediately.

“He is an utter disgrace as a parliamentarian and an embarrassment to his party,” she said.

Women's Aid Organisation executive director Ivy Josiah said “Bung has driven home the point that he is truly a sexist MP who does not deserve our vote.”

She added that the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) had rightly listed Bung as one of the many sexist MPs in 2008.

Expressing shock over the remark, Wanita MCA vice-chairman Senator Heng Seai Kie called on Bung Mokhtar to undergo a mandatory course on gender equality.

“His pathetic utterances betray his warped mentality which has no place in Malaysia,” she said.

PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah described Bung's sexist remark as being devoid of factual statistics.

The statement also sparked a heated debate on Facebook with some male users agreeing with Bung while women lashed out against him.

On Twitter, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng called Bung a threat to gender equality and said: “Maybe Bung will suggest next that women drivers be banned since they are such a menace.”

The report was also carried by international news agency AFP.

This is not the first time Bung had made a controversial statement.

In response to a female opposition MP during a debate about Parliament's leaking roofs in 2007, Bung said: “Where is the leak? (She) leaks every month, too.” He later apologised.

A poll posted on The Star Online asking readers if they agreed with Bung's remark that women are lousy drivers revealed that at 7.30pm yesterday, almost 4,000 people had voted with respondents equally split.