‘Insults’ on the monarch heat up House, call for special law

(Bernama) – The act of ridiculing and showing total disrespect for the institution of monarchy displayed by certain quarters turned up the heat in the Dewan Rakyat sitting today, prompting an MP to call for a special law to punish those guilty of the offence. 

The call was made by Datuk Bung Moktar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan) who wanted stern action and punishment, including imprisonment, to be imposed on those found guilty of insulting the monarchy institution. 

“I call for a Treason Act to be formulated so that action can be taken against those who commit acts of treason against the King… let them be severely punished, including by imprisonment,” he said when interjecting the debate by Datuk Shamsul Anuar Nasarah (BN-Lenggong). 
Shamsul Anuar was debating the motion of thanks on the Royal Address by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah when opening the first meeting of the first term of the 13th Parliament yesterday. 
Bung Mokhtar said such a law had been practised in Thailand where the people, as well as foreigners, who insulted the monarchy institution would be put in jail. 
Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (BN-Pengerang) also interjected the debate, stressing that all quarters should respect the King and stern action should be taken against those who showed otherwise. 
Agreeing with Bung Mokhtar’s view, Shamsul Anuar called on the government to consider the proposal to formulate a new law, or amend the existing ones, to deter all quarters from undermining the institution of monarchy. 
He also called for a formulation of a law to prevent abuse of social media to be considered. 
“The institution of monarchy must be respected regardless of one’s race, religion or political belief. 
“Right now, certain quarters are keen to criticise the institution in the name of democracy and freedom of speech and this is truly unacceptable,” he said. 
Meanwhile, Shamsul Anuar’s remarks slamming certain MPs for showing total disrespect to the King yesterday, caused a little commotion and war of words between the government backbenchers and opposition MPs. 
Tian Chua (PKR-Batu) and Haniffa Maidin (PAS-Sepang) were among the opposition MPs who got up to reject Shamsul Anuar’s remark, which they deemed as malicious. 
The war of words also saw bad words being used by certain MPs, prompting Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee to sternly warn them not to repeat the offence.