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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Badruddin refuses to retract remark

(NST, 26/10/2007): Datuk Badruddin Amiruldin, who on Monday said Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh was wheelchair-bound because "God has punished you" has refused to retract the remark.

Badruddin's (BN-Jerai) defence was Karpal had said worse things about backbenchers.

"To all disabled people, if they are hurt by my statement, I am sorry. It was not my intention to insult them. I did not mention the disabled, I only referred to Karpal who is in a wheelchair," he said when debating Budget 2008.

He blamed the DAP's Batu Gajah MP, Fong Po Kuan, for the furore, adding "she has twisted my words and said I was referring to the disabled".

Later he told the New Straits Times: "Karpal wants us to respect him; he should respect others in the first place."

Karpal yesterday asked Speaker Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib to direct Badruddin to retract the remark and apologise. He waved a copy of the New Straits Times which had published three letters from representatives of disabled organisations criticising Badruddin's choice of words against him and its connotation to those who were disabled.

However, Ramli declined to order Badruddin to apologise or retract the statement and said the matter should have been raised on Monday.

Nonetheless, Ramli regretted the incident and urged MPs to refrain from such language against each other.

Chong Eng (DAP-Bukit Mertajam) stood up and said she was disappointed with Badruddin and asked: "Do you respect the disabled?"

Badruddin retorted that he was equally disappointed with the DAP and a shouting match ensued. Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang said later that Badruddin would be referred to the committee of privileges.


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