NSW Liberal MP and former state Minister for multiculturalism Mark Coure has recently apologised for making offensive comments towards newly elected MP for Cabramatta Tri Vo. The remark – implying that Labor’s Cabramatta MP Tri Vo was a service worker – was made during question time in the NSW parliament on Wednesday when Vo was poised to ask a minister a question.
It was the Minister for women, Jodie Harrison, who pointed out the offensiveness of the remark and how it was racist and asked that the remark be withdrawn.
She told NSW Parliament (via the Guardian – https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/may/24/former-nsw-minister-apologises-for-allegedly-racist-comment-in-parliament):
“There is no place for racism in this place,”
Coure apologised for his comments and said (via the Guardian):
“It was a poor attempt at humour and was not intended to cause any offence”.
“I withdraw the comment once again and apologise to [Vo],”
“As a former member for multiculturalism, I celebrate our diversity in our society is our greatest asset.”
In a statement issued by Vo via the Labor Party said that the remarks were made in poor taste:
“But that’s not going to deter me from doing my job and representing my community of Cabramatta,” he said.
“That’s what I intend to do – continue to be a strong voice and advocate.”
What a terrible remark made by Coure, who represents an electorate which has a high population of Asian Australian voters. Let’s hope next time he makes a remark, he reflects upon his white privilege before making offensive and racist remarks in Parliament.
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