Rep faces fine over alleged sexist remarks

(The Star) – An assemblyman may end up having RM5,000 docked from his allowance for allegedly making sexist remarks at the state assembly.

Gan Pei Nei (PKR-Rawang) filed the motion against Datuk Mohd Isa Abu Kasim (BN-Batang Kali) for making the alleged remarks during the state assembly last Thursday.

Mohd Isa was said to have told state executive councillor Elizabeth Wong “to remember to take care of your own forest” during the debate.

The following day, Mohd Isa denied that the remarks were sexist in nature, saying he only commented on Wong’s work in maintaining the state’s forest reserves.

“I did not make any such statement. The Hansard can prove that I did not say it when it is released,” he said.

At a press conference at the state assembly lobby yesterday, Gan said a fine was not enough to teach Mohd Isa a lesson and recommended he go for counselling sessions as well.

“A fine will serve to highlight the seriousness of his remarks. Not just a fine, Mohd Isa needs to go for counselling too,” she said.

Rodziah Ismail (PKR-Batu Tiga) said it must be made compulsory for Mohd Isa to attend a “crash course” on gender sensitivities.

Wong accused Mohd Isa of interjecting during the debate just to humiliate her.

“At the workplace, it would constitute sexual harassment. But in the Dewan, what he said is protected by privilege,” she said.

On Monday, MPs proposed a change to Parliament rules, where Standing Order 36 now reads: “It shall be out of order for Members of the House to use offensive language or make a sexist remark.”

However, Selangor state assembly Speaker Datuk Teng Chang Khim said there was no need to emulate Parliament as members of the House could ask for the offending statement to be retracted or file a motion on the matter.