Film producer David Teo has denied being rude towards Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak during an event in Putrajaya last night.
The Metrowealth Pictures chief executive officer claimed that he was addressing the moderator of the programme, actor Rosyam Nor.
"It was not my intention to be rude to the prime minister. I just told Rosyam some of the participants were not given equal chance (to talk)....
"How can I be rude to the prime minister?" he was quoted as asking by The Star Online.
Teo also said he has forgiven comedian Sulaiman Yassin, who slapped the producer in front of the prime minister.
The producer said he had informed Najib, who made the two shake hands after the incident, that he had forgiven Sulaiman, who is better known as Mat Over, with an open heart.
"I informed the prime minister that I did not see it coming. I also told the prime minister that I forgive him (Sulaiman), when I shook the prime minister's hand," he added.
Comedian wanted to teach Teo some 'manners'
However, Sulaiman said he does not regret assaulting Teo because he wanted to teach the latter some manners.
"I don't think it was extreme to teach him some adab (manners), especially when in front of a leader, who is also the host of the event," he told Harian Metro.
He claimed that Teo's attitude was disrespectful towards the prime minister and Rosyam.
Meanwhile, director Mohamad Mohamad Khalid, better known as Mamat Khalid, said Teo is known for being a loud mouth.
"That is how he talks with anyone in the industry, very vocal.
“So, when he is in a forum with the prime minister, I think he does not know how to control his loud intonation.
“Maybe he thought he was talking to the production ‘boy’,” he told Astro Awani.
The incident unfolded when Teo walked to the stage as the event was ongoing and questioned Rosyam for allegedly not giving equal chance for everyone at the forum to voice their views.
After chiding Teo for "disrespecting" the prime minister, Rosyam gave Teo room to voice his thoughts, and the producer began reciting a poem.
It was at this juncture that Sulaiman walked up to Teo and slapped him, but the slap landed on Teo's left arm.
In return, Teo tried to kick his attacker. A brief struggle ensued, before security personnel intervened and escorted the duo out.
Videos of the incident have since gone viral.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Television Producers Association (PTVM) president Jurey Latiff Rosli in a statement apologised over the altercation.
He denied that Teo was being rude or that Sulaiman had wanted to cause harm.
However, Jurey said the incident was a missed opportunity to hold a dialogue and had in a way tarnish the reputation of artistes.
He hoped that the prime minister can forgive the duo can continue to help with the development of the artistic industry.