Ranau MP suspended from House for saying ‘ngam’

KUALA LUMPUR: Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia has suspended Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Ranau member of parliament Datuk Siringan bin Gubat from the House for half a day for speaking without permission of the Speaker.

The Speaker ordered Gubat out of the House towards the end of the question and answer session at 11.30am after the Ranau MP’s words, “Tan Sri Speaker ngam (correct),” was deemed to have interrupted the House.

The Speaker was at the time lecturing MPs to behave and not to use un-parliamentary words in an effort to have a smooth debate when Gubat interrupted.

The advice by the Speaker came about after a heated exchange between Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa (Parit Buntar–Pas) and a few BN Backbenchers over the bodoh (stupid) remark that was alleged to have been directed at Mujahid during his supplementary question.

Although Gubat’s words were merely concurring with the Speaker’s advice, it was construed as speaking without permission of the Speaker and not respecting House rules. The Ranau MP apologised to the Speaker when he was ordered to leave the House but the Speaker stood firm with his decision.

Met outside the House, Gubat said he accepted the Speaker’s decision as he failed to seek the Speaker’s permission before speaking, adding that he had no ill feeling towards the Speaker and would return to the House at 2.30pm as allowed.

“I have apologised but he (Speaker) did not accept my apology. But it’s ok, I’m alright,” he said.

He also said the word ngam meant correct in the local Sabah dialect, stressing that the word was not un-parliamentary and is often used in the Sabah state legislative assembly as well.

“I don’t feel upset. In the House, things like this usually happens,” said Gubat, who is also a former state assemblyman in Sabah.

Gubat is the first MP to be suspended since the opening of the second session of the 12th Parliament sitting.

The Speaker declined to comment on the suspension when met by media representatives in his office.

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