MP retracts, apologize for ‘dark’ comment made towards Kasthuriraani Patto

Kasthuriraani Patto’s tweet on ‘dark’ comment (left) and Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim apologizing in parliament (right). Images: Kasthuriraani Patto /Twitter, Parlimen Malaysia /YouTube
Kasthuriraani Patto’s tweet on ‘dark’ comment (left) and Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim apologizing in parliament (right). Images: Kasthuriraani Patto /Twitter, Parlimen Malaysia /YouTube

Baling MP Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim has apologized and retracted a purportedly offensive statement he had made while addressing an opposition member in Parliament yesterday. 

In yesterday’s live parliamentary sitting, the politician representing the ruling UMNO party could be heard saying “Too dark, cannot see” when addressing the Democratic Action Party’s Kasthuriraani Patto, who represents Batu Kawan. He also told her to apply some powder.  

When told to apologize, Abdul Azeez refused, saying that he was not referring to her skin color but the area where Kasthuriraani was seated in the parliament house. He stood by this reason in today’s apology. 

“I meant that to say that the location that she (Kasthuriraani) was seated at was dark,” Abdul Azeez said in Parliament earlier today. “I had no intention of calling anyone dark because I am dark-skinned myself. I retract my statement and apologize.”

His apology came after Kasthuriraani took to Twitter to express her disappointment to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin over the comment made by his fellow party member during Malaysia’s first proper parliamentary sitting of the year. 

“Mr PM @MuhyiddinYassin. Today your MP from Baling uttered a sexist & racist remark to me about my skin colour,” her tweet read. It has since been shared over 10,000 times.

“Your MP blatantly insulted me & every woman of colour with his disgusting remark. He said, “Gelap, tak nampak” (Too dark, cannot see). “Pakailah bedak” (Wear some powder). What is your stand in this?”

Yesterday, Jelutong rep Sanisvara Nethaji Rayer told Abdul Azeez to apologize and retract his statement but the Baling MP refused. 

“I didn’t say that she (Kasthuriraani) is dark. I am also dark-skinned, just wear some powder, problem solved,” Abdul Azeez argued. 

Yesterday’s incident was captured in the following recording, from the 29-second mark:

Other stories to check out:

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Youths speak up on student welfare, education in Malaysia’s first virtual parliament

Malaysia has not held a proper parliamentary sitting in months. Youths show how to do it virtually

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