KUALA LUMPUR: An annoyed Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin (pic) has made a passionate plea to women's groups not to target him as a sexist following his comments about women being slow drivers. The Kinabatangan MP said his remarks on Monday in the Dewan Rakyat had been manipulated, causing him to be singled out by women's groups so much so that he felt “sexually harassed”.
“I was talking about careless drivers and dangerous road conditions,” he said, explaining that he did not accuse women of being 100% responsible for road accidents and that he was merely talking about those who had just passed their driving tests. He said he had the utmost respect for women and considered them God's gifts who must be respected and treasured. “But this has been manipulated by several parties as though I disrespect women.
Today, I have become the focus of women's groups. I wish to ask the Speaker for help as I consider this sexual harassment against me,” he told the Dewan yesterday, amid laughter from the floor. Bung Mokhtar accused the Opposition of manipulating the matter and projecting him as a sexist even though his statement was “far from it”.
“I never said that women were the cause of it (road accidents). It is the Opposition who twisted it.” He did not blame the media for sparking the uproar against him, saying “it is usual for newspapers to sensationalise the news”. His clarification drew support from Datuk Ismail Kassim (BN-Arau), who said the issue did not arise as he was witness to it when Bung Mokhtar spoke about it on Monday. “What he said was that he has seen with his own eyes how some women who had just obtained their licence would drive in the wrong lane. What has this got to do with discrimination?” he asked.
Bung Mokhtar also called on the Public Works Department to monitor road conditions as they were contributing factors to accidents. However, criticism against Bung Mokhtar has continued unabated. Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Shahrizat Jalil tweeted yesterday: “Should I or should I not take him for a ride to prove to him that women are good drivers?”