'Stop calling one another kafir, Zionist' - Speaker

23 Oct 2023 03:48pm
Johari Abdul - Photo by Bernama
Johari Abdul - Photo by Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR - Dewan Rakyat speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul has reminded all members of Parliament to refrain from labelling one another using the words "kafir (infidel)”, "Zionist” and "Yahudi (Jew)” in the lower house.

He said uttering such remarks against one another could stir up sensitivities, hurt others' feelings, and undermine harmony in the country.

"Various arguments and positions were expressed during the four-day debate on Budget 2024 last week, leading to sensitive issues that were hurtful.

"Therefore, I urge all honourable members of the House to stop using the words kafir, zionis, and yahudi on each other that touched on sensitivities that could affect our harmony,” he said in his address before commencing the Question and Answer session at today’s sitting.

He added that Standing Order 36(10)(C) states that it is wrong to use words that promote feelings of ill-will or hostility between different races in Malaysia.

In response to a question from Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah (PN-Indera Mahkota) regarding the use of such words, Johari said it only applied to the act of labeling someone and not when making a statement condemning the attack carried out by the parties concerned.

Johari said MPs should act honourably and prioritise the interests of the country and the people, in addition to not using the House as a political arena for groups or individuals.

"I will not tolerate and will take action if such issues are raised again," he said.

Johari also said that any personal issues raised and reported outside the Dewan Rakyat must be resolved outside the lower House.

He said Standing Order 23(1)(i) states that a question shall not be asked as to whether statements in the press are accurate.

Standing 36(9), meanwhile, states that no reference shall be made in any debate to the conduct or character of any MP or public servant, other than conduct in the capacity of MP or public servant, as the case may be. - BERNAMA

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