Thursday April 27, 2006
Remark on divorcees provokes outrage
At the Dewan Rakyat
Reports by LEONG SHEN-LI, ZULKIFLI ABDUL RAHMAN AND ELIZABETH LOOI
A PAS MP got into hot water for saying that women divorcees were gatal (randy), angering women MPs including one from the Opposition.
Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil was winding up the debate on the Ninth Malaysia Plan, touching on the number of divorce cases and steps taken to overcome marital problems.
At one point, Abdul Fatah Harun (PAS – Rantau Panjang) stood up and asked if some women who divorced their husbands were more intent on getting separated.
“I’ve seen these single mothers when I attend gatherings or parties. They didn’t look like they were sad about getting divorced. Instead, they seemed to be gatal,” he added.
Shahrizat told him that it was an insult against women and demanded a retraction.
The Dewan then erupted into shouts of biadap (rude) and tarik balik (take that back) from Barisan MPs against Abdul Fatah.
Several women MPs, including Agriculture and Agro-Based Industries parliamentary secretary Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim stood up to chastise him.
Chong Eng (DAP – Bukit Mertajam) also got into the fray, demanding that the PAS MP not cast aspersions on divorced women.
Shahrizat questioned how Abdul Fatah came to his conclusion and asked him to organise a women development programme in his constituency.
“I have gone around the world and given praise of Malaysian men but Rantau Panjang has not learnt how to respect women,” she added.
The commotion died down when Deputy Speaker Datuk Lim Si Cheng told Abdul Fatah to retract the word and urged Shahrizat to move on with her speech.