KUALA LUMPUR: May 27, 2008 By LEE YUK PENG
N. Gobalakrishnan (PKR - Padang Serai) created “havoc” in the Dewan Rakyat Tuesday when he walked up to the Speaker to explain a Tamil word to the latter by whispering to him during a shouting match which took place during Question Time.
He made the impromptu move when Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia told the House that he could not understand the meaning of a Tamil word and would have to ask someone outside before making a ruling.
Gobalakrisnan and M. Kulasegaran (DAP - Ipoh Barat) had asked Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Idris Haron to retract a Tamil word he said, where the two claimed it was unparliamentary.
This prompted Gobalakrishan to leave his seat and walked to Pandikar Amin amidst shouts of: “Ooi, what are you trying to do? Biadap. Biadap” while Opposition Leader Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail was waving at Gobalakrishnan in an attempt to stop him.
PKR chief whip Azmin Ali (PKR - Gombak) turned around and pointed at Gobalakrishan when he was walking back to his seat.
Datuk Bung Moktar Radin (BN - Kinabatangan) then stood up to cite the Standing Orders to refer Gobalakrishnan to committee of privileges for being rude and not in accordance with the Standing Order, saying that such a thing had never happened in the house before.
Bung’s suggestion had the support from all Barisan Nasional MPs, including some ministers and deputy ministers present in the Dewan, who stood up to show their support.
Azmin then stood up to ask Gobalakrishnan to apologise to the house and ensure it that such an incident would not happen again.
“I apologise for my act for not realising it (was not something I was supposed to do). Thank you,” he said.
Pandikar Amin also reminded the house, including ministers who were replying their questions, not to use unparliamentary words.
At the lobby, Gobalakrishnan maintained that he heard Idris saying a foul word but Idris said he meant "sit down" in Tamil, which he learned from an Indian friend.
Both words were close in their pronounciation.
Dr Wan Azizah said Gobalakrishnan could have written a note to send to the Speaker instead of approaching the Speaker himself.
“This is my third term here and I have never seen this before,” said Dr Wan Azizah, adding that Gobalakrishnan probably had wanted to explain the foul word to the Speaker in private but it was against parliamentary etiquette.