Pointing to UM protester's behaviour, Umno MP says DAP protecting 'rude' graduate

Yiswaree Palansamy
Arau MP Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim accused DAP of ‘seemingly exuding the impression’ that rude antics are permissible anywhere. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 — An Umno MP today accused the DAP of protecting Universiti Malaya (UM) graduate Wong Yan Ke whom he labelled rude for protesting against UM vice-chancellor Datuk Abdul Rahim Hashim at a convocation.

Arau MP Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim courted the ire of DAP lawmakers after accusing the party of “seemingly exuding the impression” that rude antics are permissible anywhere.

“Lastly, we see that the DAP seems like it is giving an idea, that rude characters can be allowed.

“So after this, I will bring a rotten egg and I will throw it to any parties whom I don't like. One should not be angered because being rude in universities is allowed. So definitely it is allowed here too!

“In fact, this kid was also given television airtime. Could be featured on television because of the communications (and multimedia) minister. So DAP seems like it is giving protection to rude antics,” Shahidan told the Dewan Rakyat when debating the 2020 Budget.

His remark angered government MPs. DAP's Jelutong MP RSN Rayer demanded he revoke his statement, which Shahidan ignored.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Yusof then turned off Shahidan's microphone, and agreed that the latter’s statement was uncalled for.

“DAP is not the rude one. It's the kid. The culture. (My remark) is not towards DAP. They (DAP) are giving protection to that culture,” Shahidan repeated.

Mohamad Ariff ordered lawmakers to stop bickering and told Shahidan his allocated time to debate the 2020 Budget was up.

Last week, Wong carried a placard to the stage during UM's convocation ceremony while receiving his bachelor's degree. He urged Abdul Rahim Hashim to resign.

Another student Edan Kon, 23 was barred from participating in his convocation the next day after auxiliary police found a folded placard in his possession.

Both Wong and Kon were against alleged racist elements in Abdul Rahim’s speech during the Malay Dignity Congress in which the latter purportedly claimed last year’s change in government had eliminated Malay political dominance.

Abdul Rahim also reportedly asserted that Malay privileges were being questioned and warned others not to challenge the social contract in his speech.

As a result, Wong was called in on Wednesday to have his statement recorded record by the police after UM lodged a report against him, while Kon was accused by the university of his intentions to disrupt proceedings.

Among the reasons cited for barring Kon from his graduation ceremony included a Facebook posting in which he “incited” other students to join in the protest to seek Abdul Rahim’s resignation during graduation proceedings.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said last Wednesday that while students have the right to protest, a convocation ceremony was not the right place for such action.

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