Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong claims she was “triggered” by a suggestion from Pauline Hanson that Greens representative Mehreen Faruqi should “p*** off back to Pakistan”.
Wong slammed the One Nation leader for the comment, telling the Senate it had caused her to relive painful memories from her own childhood.
“I think they’re appalling, and they’re comments that have been levelled at me countless times since I arrived in this country, and I remember getting them as a kid in the schoolyard,” Wong said.
“It’s triggering each time you hear it. I’m the Senate leader, I still get triggered, and I wonder how it is for kids in the schoolyard who get the same thing.”
The saga began when Senator Faruqi said she could not mourn the Queen’s death.
Faruqi tweeted: “Condolences to those who knew the Queen. I cannot mourn the leader of a racist empire built on stolen lives, land and wealth of colonised peoples.”
She has also come under fire over recent comments where she said racist comments must be ‘identified and called out every time” with users on social media quick to point out controversial comments made by her son, journalist Osman Faruqi.
Racism must be identified and called out every time, and people who spew such hate must face serious consequences.
Pot. Kettle. Black. https://t.co/QYqbAWUVO6 pic.twitter.com/4cPiN0K0UD
— Avi Yemini (@OzraeliAvi) September 27, 2022
Pauline Hanson replied that Faruqi should “P*** off back to Pakistan”.
Faruqi then complained in the Senate that she should be able to talk about the Queen without being “racially vilified”.
Hanson sparked a furore when, rather than agreeing to apologise for her tweet, doubled down and offered to drive Faruqi “to the airport”.
This prompted Greens senator Jordon Steele-John to shout “you scumbag” across the chamber.
The whole exchange was too much for Malaysian-born Labor Senate Leader Wong who said it was “triggering”.
“How long do you have to be here, and how much do you have to love this country before you’re accepted? How long?” she said.
While not specifically censuring Hanson, the Senate passed a motion calling on all senators “to engage in debates and commentary respectfully, and to refrain from inflammatory and divisive comments, both inside and outside the chamber at all times”.