An enraging joke
Tarani Palani | March 16, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR: Tasteless and inane jokes are quite common in the Malaysian Parliament, but Kinabatangan MP Bung Mokhtar Radin might have gone too far in his attempt at comedy yesterday.
Tony Pua (DAP-Petaling Jaya Utara) was definitely not amused by Bung’s reference to him as a “Singapore agent”.
Pua told reporters today that he did not enjoy having his loyalty questioned.
Bung Mokhtar’s unfunny statement was a rejoinder to Arau MP Ismail Kassim’s complaint that foreigners were referring to rambutans as the Singapore lychee.
He interrupted Ismail, telling the latter to talk to Pua, the “Singapore agent”. And he laughed at his own joke.
Several opposition MPs were up in arms over the remark. Fong Po Kuan said it was a serious allegation and demanded a retraction.
Deputy Speaker Ronald Kiandee said the comment was made in jest and managed to restore calm to the house.
Pua, who was not in the house when the incident took place, tried to raise the matter this morning, but was greeted with laughter from the government backbenchers.
Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia said he could not overrule the decision made by his deputy.
Pua told reporters later that he was not amused, that to be accused of a serious crime was no laughing matter.
“If I am a real Singapore agent, then I am subjected to the death penalty,” he said.
He said Bung Mokhtar should have been subjected to some punishment. “When Anwar linked Umno to Apco, he was suspended,” he said.