KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 21 – The Member of Parliament for Bandar Kuching, Dr. Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen has written to Parliament Speaker Datuk Johari Abdul to table a motion to refer the Member of Parliament of Kapar YB Dr Halimah Ali to the Parliamentary Committee of Privileges under Standing Order 36(12) for making a statement deemed to be in contempt of the House on Feb 14.
He cited the statement made by Halimah during her debate of the King’s speech – “the Menu Rahmah movement, I do not want the B40 group to be exposed to diseases like cancer, autoimmune diseases, or autism” – and said that the statement was untrue and irresponsible.
“It is not only not based on facts and science, but also can cause misunderstanding and stigma against the autistic and disabled community in Malaysia. Her statement gives a wrong impression to the public, further causing immense stigma and belief that autism is caused by poor care and determined by your level of income.
“Autism, also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects an individual’s social interaction, communication, and behaviour. ASD is a complex and lifelong condition, and while the exact causes of ASD are not yet fully understood, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that poor diet or bad food causes autism.”
Yii said that as a MP in authority and a member of the medical fraternity, Halimah must be mindful and responsible with her words and not allow it to feed into unproven conspiracies or pseudo-science arguments that are not evidence-based or proven by science.
He said Halimah had been given many opportunities to apologize and withdraw her statement, but has continued to deny making such a statement and had requested the Parliament to refer to Hansard to prove that she never made such a statement.
“However, according to Hansard on 14 February 2023, including a video recording of Parliament clearly shows that such a statement was clearly spoken in the House. Evidence of such was also furnished to the Speaker for further action,” Yii said, adding that the Kapar MP must retract her statement and apologise.