Twenty-three opposition and independent parliamentarians have signed a joint witness statement asserting that deputy plantation industries and commodities minister Willie Mongin had flashed his middle finger twice in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday.
The joint witness statement was submitted to the Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun on Dec 2 in support of a motion filed on the same day by Pakatan Harapan Kota Melaka MP Khoo Poay Tiong.
Khoo had filed the motion to censure Willie and refer the Bersatu deputy minister to the parliamentary Rights and Privileges Committee over his obscene gesture in the House.
The lawmakers who signed the joint witness statement were mainly from Pakatan Harapan. They were, among others, Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh (Ledang), Kasthuriraani Patto (Batu Kawan), RSN Rayer (Jelutong), Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus (Hulu Langat), Thomas Su (Kampar), Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (Setiawangsa), Yeo Bee Yin (Bakri) and Wong Chen (Subang), Ong Kian Ming (Bangi) and Chan Foong Hin (Kota Kinabalu).
Amiruddin Hamzah was the sole MP from Pejuang - a splinter party of Bersatu formed by Dr Mahathir Mohamad - to sign the witness statement. The only independent lawmaker who signed the witness statement was Simpang Renggam MP Maszlee Malik.
In their statement, the 23 MPs also said Willie's behaviour was obscene, rude and had insulted the august House. They also accused him of lying to the House by denying that he had flashed his finger.
"We are willing to testify further before the speaker. We hereby call on the speaker to take firm action against him to uphold the sanctity of the Dewan Rakyat," they said.
The alleged middle-finger salute from Willie was supposed to have taken place when MPs were voting on development expenditure for the Plantation and Commodities Ministry's budget at the committee stage.
Willie, who conducted the winding-up speech on behalf of minister Khairuddin Aman Razali, was allegedly irked by chants of pengkhianat (traitor) coming from the opposition bench.
On Dec 2, Azhar said he had reviewed the video recording several times in slow motion but could not determine if the middle finger allegations were true. Azhar said he even quizzed Willie himself, who denied making the gesture.
In February 2020, Willie was among 10 MPs who switched sides from PKR in a political manoeuvre known as the "Sheraton Move" which caused the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan administration.
Willie is a first-time MP.