Nga chides Khairy for calling him ‘Taliban’ in Dewan Rakyat

Deputy Speaker Nga Kor Ming speaks to reporters in Parliament in Kuala Lumpur March 25, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Deputy Speaker Nga Kor Ming speaks to reporters in Parliament in Kuala Lumpur March 25, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 — Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Nga Kor Ming today rebuked Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin for calling him “Taliban”, a remark that the Umno lawmaker later retracted.

Khairy had mentioned “Taliban” when asked by the deputy speaker to clarify his question to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng during Question Time today in Parliament.

Khairy had posed a question towards Lim, asking if the additional RM19 billion supplementary budget allocation requested by Lim’s ministry meant an increase in allocation for bachelors in the Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) scheme.

“Maybe with the Rantau by-election around the corner, the BSH for bachelors will be raised to RM450 like practiced under the Barisan Nasional government,” said Khairy, before Nga asked him to clarify his question.

“In conjunction with Rantau by-election, experiencing comprehension problems, Taliban?” replied Khairy.

“Retract Rembau, retract Taliban,” an obviously irritated Nga replied, to which Khairy retracted his statement.

Nga then accepted the retraction and chided Khairy, calling his attitude non-exemplary and accused him of disrupting the order in the House.

“Here we have it, what we should not learn from where as we try to have this Honorary House proceed smoothly, and there is obvious provocation.

“I feel regret, and this is the type of attitude we should not learn from,” said Nga.

The deputy speaker then gave the floor back to Lim, who denied that such an announcement concerned an increase in BSH allocations.

“We will have to consider and evaluate the needs and government’s financial before we will make an announcement to increase the allocation or not,” said Lim in reply.

Nga had tweeted on March 22 a cartoon of a Malay-Muslim man calling a Chinese man various names like “anti-Malay”, “chauvinist”, and “communist”, to which Nga was pictured saying “Taliban” to the angry-looking Malay man.

Khairy had replied Nga’s tweet, saying he spent a few weeks in Afghanistan as a journalist in 1999 to cover the Taliban.

He said he witnessed hands of convicted thieves dangling from traffic lights, girls running around because they were not allowed to go to school, and women wearing a burqa. Vice squads were armed with AK47s.

“So as much as I am also not a huge fan of my party’s alignment with PAS, your comparison of an Umno-PAS government to a Taliban state is disingenuous, erroneous and insulting. And it’s based on that assessment that you’re really not fit to be a deputy speaker,” Khairy had tweeted.

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