KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 — Two Opposition lawmakers came close to a fist fight in the Parliament lobby after a shouting match this afternoon just before Dewan Rakyat took a recess for lunch.
The two Umno men looked close to trading blows but were quickly separated by parliamentary security personnel and onlookers before that happened.
Kuala Krai MP Datuk Seri Ismail Mohamed Said was the first to raise his voice at Pasir Salak MP Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, asking the latter why he “spread a photo”.
Pontian MP Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan was heard whispering to the two of them, asking them to calm down and saying that they were under media watch.
However, Ismail continued to shout: “Bodoh! Bangang! MP Barisan lama bodoh!” (Stupid! Idiot! Old Barisan MPs are stupid)
Tajuddin, known for having a fiery temper, turned around and shouted back: “You lah bodoh! Apa? Apa?” (You’re the stupid one! What? What?)
At the time, the Parliament lobby was packed with people as reporters were trying to speak with MCA president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong.
The press was later told that Wee had quickly alerted Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa of the shouting match.
Things heated up further with Ismail and Tajuddin trading more barbs and challenging each other to a fist fight.
“Nantilah I lawan kau. You are so stupid,” said Ismail as he walked towards Tajuddin.
Tajuddin ignored his Umno colleague and headed towards the Parliament office tower, but was pursued by Ismail.
Snippets of their argument included the words “sharing photos”, “daughter”, “obtaining support” with further calls of “stupid”.
Parliament security separated the two of them from getting into an actual physical alteration.
Ismail then retreated to the lobby where Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa and Arau MP Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim were seen trying to calm him down.
The former deputy speaker was heard telling his colleagues that Tajuddin started the fight.
They were believed to have gotten into the fight because Tajuddin had allegedly posted a picture of Ismail’s daughter in hospital on a social media platform and had accused Ismail of trying to obtain the “support of another leader”.
“It was a picture of my friends visiting my sick daughter. But he turned it into an issue and said I was trying to form an alliance to support another leader,” Ismail later told reporters after he had cooled down, but did not elaborate.
Tajuddin declined comment, saying only that it was a misunderstanding between friends.
“It’s just misunderstanding between friends. That’s all,” said Tajuddin.
He maintained that there was no more quarrel when asked if the matter was resolved.
“Friends, resolved lah. What else? Why are you all so interested?” replied Tajuddin.
“What picture was Kuala Krai talking about?” the reporters pressed.
He refused further comment after saying it was a “household matter”.