Speaker: MPs uttering racist, sexist remarks in House face RM1k fine

MPs uttering remarks that are racist, sexist, or insulting in the upcoming Dewan Rakyat session are liable to an RM1,000 fine and may even be suspended, warned speaker Johari Abdul.

Johari said there will also be a Parliamentary Special Select Committee (PSSC) to oversee the conduct of lawmakers.

In an interview with Berita Harian published today, Johari said provisions to fine errant MPs RM1,000 already exist under the Houses of Parliament (Privileges and Powers) Act.

“However, it has never been used. In fact, we plan to increase the fine.

“Besides that, MPs can also be referred to the Rights and Privileges Committee and suspended for a maximum of six months, which was rarely done by previous speakers,” he said.

Shouting matches are a common occurrence in the Dewan Rakyat and insulting remarks often crop up.

On occasion, MPs are also caught uttering racist or sexist remarks.

The common practice has been for the speaker to ask MPs to apologise or retract their remarks, although even this fails to take place at times.

The speaker said that those who utter offending remarks reflect poorly on themselves, besides disrupting Parliamentary proceedings.

He vowed to put an end to such squabbles.

Parliament will be convening on Feb 13 and will be in session from Mondays to Fridays until March 30.

An exception is on Feb 24, when Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim will table a new Budget 2023.