Hanipa shut down by Opposition after making sexist remark against Azalina during repeal of Anti-Fake News Bill

Azril Annuar
Mohamed Hanipa was slammed for saying said that he could not determine Azalina’s gender. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 9 — Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohamed Hanipa Maidin was effectively shut down in the middle of his closing remarks during the debate to repeal the Anti-Fake News Act today, after he made sexist remarks against Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

After allowing Azalina to interject in the middle of his speech, Hanipa said that he could not determine Azalina’s gender.

“Sometimes (Pengerang) looks like a man, sometimes (Pengerang) looks like a woman, even I can’t tell,” said Mohamed Hanipa which led to a nearly one-hour long furore in the Dewan Rakyat.

His words were in response to Azalina’s statement at the start of her interjection when she stated that she needed to wear her glasses in order to see Mohamed Hanipa clearly.

“I need to put on my glasses because I can’t see the deputy minister clearly. Sometimes he looks big and sometimes he looks small,” quipped Azalina.

MCA president and Ayer Hitam MP (BN) Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong pointed out that it was a mistake to amend and remove “sexist remarks” from the Parliamentary Standing Orders.

“Why did we amend the Standing Orders and removed sexist remarks from it? It was clear that the deputy minister earlier made sexist remarks. I demand that he retracts his statement,” said Wee.

Deputy Speaker Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon instructed the deputy minister to retract his statement amidst more calls of the same from the Barisan Nasional (BN) and PAS opposition.

“I apologise to Pengerang and I retract my statement,” said Mohamed Hanipa.

However, he could not finish answering the queries and statements made by the Opposition during the debate to repeal the Bill as he was continuously interrupted and blasted by the PAS-BN coalition.

The Opposition called Mohamed Hanipa many names including menteri cap ayam, “stupid”, “low-class minister” among others.

They also accused him of provoking others instead of replying to questions in a manner befitting of a proper minister.

“The way this deputy minister answers is provocative. He gives sly remarks. If this is the case, then don’t answer at all. Speaker, we might as well just vote (for the repeal),” said Pendang MP (PAS) Awang Solahudin.

The PAS lawmaker also accused Mohamed Hanipa of defaming PAS MPs.

Despite his best efforts, Rashid Hasnon failed to control the Lower House and Mohamed Hanipa could barely get a word in as every time he stood to continue his closing remarks, he was continuously interrupted by the Opposition.

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