Johor Speaker tells reps to watch what they say so there’s no religious, racial conflict

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

ISKANDAR PUTERI, Dec 8 — Johor assemblymen were today reminded to be mindful of their speech and conduct in the state legislature so as to not trigger any racial or religious conflict.

Johor State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Mohd Puad Zarkashi said all 56 elected representatives should practise sound judgment and not cross boundaries, especially on sensitive subjects.

“This will include maintaining our boundaries when speaking and to avoid touching on racial and religious sentiments,” he said.

Mohd Puad also congratulated the winners of yesterday’s elections for the Tioman state seat in Pahang and Padang Serai parliamentary seat in Kedah.

“Following that, I ask all assemblymen to make political adjustments immediately after the GE15 results are over.

“We need to move ahead and to avoid any conflicts based on race and religion," he said at the start of this morning’s assembly sitting.

Mohd Puad, who is also the Rengit assemblyman, did not elaborate.

But he is believed to be referring to the polarising results of the 15th general election that led to the unprecedented formation of a federal coalition government due to a hung Parliament.

The Tioman and Padang Serai elections were held yesterday having been deferred from polling day on November 19 due to the deaths of two candidates.

In yesterday’s poll, Perikatan Nasional (PN) Datuk Azman Nasrudin wrested Padang Serai from Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) Mohamad Sofee Razak with a 16,260-vote majority.

However in Tioman, PN lost to Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Datuk Seri Johari Hussain who retained his seat for the fourth term by securing 8,080 votes in a five-cornered contest.

The federal coalition Cabinet formed last week under Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister comprises PH, BN, and the Borneo bloc Gabungan Parti Sarawak and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah.

Johor held its state election in March which saw BN securing 40 out of 56 seats in what has been described as a landslide victory.

PH only managed 12 state assembly seats, followed by PN with three, while the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance has one.