Can elephants understand Tamil? Baling MP Abdul Azeez Rahim believes so, while Jelutong lawmaker RSN Rayer begs to differ.

A heated exchange on this got Rayer briefly booted out of the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

It all began Azeez, while debating the Wildlife Conservation (Amendment) Bill 2021, spoke about an injured male elephant in his constituency which began destroying crops after entering a human settlement in Baling, Kedah.

According to Azeez, he found out that the pachyderm understood three languages - Burmese, Thai, and Tamil, and that he managed to pacify the animal by speaking to it in Tamil, after which it was captured and relocated to Terengganu.

At this juncture, Rayer interjected, saying Azeez's remarks were "insulting" the Tamil language, and that it was "rude, illogical and disrecpectful" to the language.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun, however, asked Azeez to proceed with his speech, and when Rayer refused to heed instructions to stop interjecting, the DAP lawmaker was ordered to leave the House for 10 minutes.

Malaysians are used to lawmakers from both sides of the political divide constantly sniping at each other for various reasons, but this is probably the first time an animal and the Tamil language have become the fodder for argument.

What do you think? Was what Azeez said offensive, or did Rayer take offence when none should have been taken?

Source: NST
Photo source: Berita Harian, Astro Awani