RSN Rayer

Sanisvara Nethaji Rayer s/o Rajaji Rayer (born 11 June 1971) is a Malaysian politician and lawyer. He is also a member of Democratic Action Party (DAP), a component party in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) opposition coalition. He has served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Jelutong since May 2018. He served as Member of the Penang State Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Seri Delima from March 2008 to May 2018.

Sanisvara Nethaji Rayer s/o Rajaji Rayer
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Jelutong
Assumed office
9 May 2018
Preceded byJeff Ooi Chuan Aun (DAPPH)
Member of the Penang State Legislative Assembly
for Seri Delima
In office
8 March 2008  9 May 2018
Preceded byKoay Kar Huah (MCABN)
Succeeded bySyerleena Abdul Rashid (DAPPH)
Personal details
Sanisvara Nethaji Rayer s/o Rajaji Rayer

(1971-06-11) 11 June 1971
Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia
Political partyDemocratic Action Party (DAP)
Other political
Pakatan Harapan (PH)
Pakatan Rakyat (PR)
Alma materUniversity of London
OccupationPolitician, lawyer


Rayer's political career began in 1988 after a short stint working for Karpal Singh for his general election campaign. Subsequently, he joined Democratic Action Party (DAP) and went on to contest and be elected twice as the state assemblyman for Seri Delima in 2008 and 2013 general elections.[1] In the 2018 general election, Rayer contested the Jelutong parliamentary seat and was elected as a member of parliament.

Criticism of Najib Razak

On 10 May 2019, Rayer urged former prime minister Najib Razak to show some remorse for what happened while he was prime minister instead of going around calling himself “Bossku”.[2]

On 17 November 2021, Rayer claimed that there was a video on social media allegedly showing Najib signing his autograph on a motorcycle while campaigning in the state polls. He offered to provide the video to Khairy, urging that action be taken against Najib for repeatedly flouting standard operating procedures (SOP).[3]

During the Debate on Budget 2022 at the Committee Stage, Rayer had asked Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz why Najib has yet to be blacklisted by the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) and allowed to travel to Singapore despite the outstanding tax arrears owed to the government.[4] Rayer was ejected from the Dewan Rakyat for ignoring instructions from deputy speaker Rashid Hasnon.[5]

On 2 March 2022, Rayer has been ejected from the Dewan Rakyat after he repeatedly interjected Najib during the latter’s debate of the royal address.[6]

Rayer was admitted to the Malaysian bar in 1995 after completing his pupillage in the chambers of Karpal Singh & Co.[7] Currently, he has his own law firm, R. Nethaji Rayer & Co. in Georgetown, Penang.


"UMNO celaka" remarks

Rayer drew flak from UMNO-BN supporters for his controversial "UMNO celaka" (damned UMNO) remarks referring to three assemblymen who alleged that DAP instigated the May 1969 riot in a state assembly sitting in Penang State Legislative Assembly. Following his remark, a protest was staged by Penang Perkasa Youth and several Penang UMNO members in front of the state assembly hall.[8] They stormed into the state assembly hall by crashing through the gates of the building. They have also demanded apology from R.S.N. Rayer. However, Rayer refused to apologise.[9]

Rayer was arrested in a sedition dragnet for his "UMNO celaka" remark under the Sedition Act and was charged on 27 August 2014.[10] However, the Sessions Court acquitted and discharged R.S.N. Rayer. The court held that the words that Rayer had used in reference to UMNO did not amount to sedition as alleged.[11]

TV3 Broadcast License

On 11 May 2018, just days after being elected a Member of Parliament of Jelutong on 9 May 2018, Rayer again drew widespread criticism, this time from ordinary Malaysian citizens, for posting a comment on Facebook, that TV3, a Malaysian TV network, should have its broadcast license revoked. This comment was in blatant contradiction to Pakatan Harapan's election manifesto which specifically promises to guarantee media freedom, and was swiftly renounced by Pakatan Harapan.[12]

'Kepala Bapak' remarks

On 5 August 2018, DAP's RSN Rayer, sparked controversy in the Dewan Rakyat when he used the insult ‘kepala bapak’ during the sitting. He used the phrase when his attempt to raise an additional question was interrupted by Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin. Hamzah had criticised Rayer for trying to ask Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Dr Ong Kian Ming whether the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) issue had triggered outflow of foreign investments from Malaysia.[13]

Rayer had previously used the insult during another Parliamentary sitting. On that meeting, he was raising an additional request to the Deputy Home Affairs Minister Azis Jamman, over the poor conditions spreading within police barracks in Penang. He then criticized on how the previous Barisan Nasional government failed to assist in upgrading those damaged or poorly built police barracks, pointing out that their reason of not doing so as a result of not having the enough financial resources is pointless as former Prime Minister Najib Razak's wife, Rosmah Mansor, was able to freely import jewelries into the country without even paying GST.

He then uttered the word right before assuming his seat and this caused a stir between him two Barisan Nasional MPs, Mahdzir Khalid and Noh Omar, who were ordering him to withdraw the word. This was eventually settled when Deputy Speaker, Nga Kor Ming ordered Rayer to retract.

Election results

Penang State Legislative Assembly[14][15][16][17][18][19][20]
Year Constituency Candidate Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
2008 N32 Seri Delima Sanisvara Nethaji Rayer (DAP) 8,402 57.20% Loh Nam Hooi (MCA) 6,274 42.80% 14,915 2,128 72.70%
2013 Sanisvara Nethaji Rayer (DAP) 14,478 73.60% Low Joo Hiap (MCA) 5,201 26.40% 19,944 9,277 83.70%
Parliament of Malaysia
Year Constituency Candidate Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
2018 P050 Jelutong, Penang Sanisvara Nethaji Rayer (DAP) 50,700 79.63% Baljit Singh Jigiri Singh (GERAKAN) 12,529 19.67% 64,584 38,171 83.90%
Tan Sim Bee (MUP) 437 0.69%
2022 Sanisvara Nethaji Rayer (DAP) 50,369 71.24% Baljit Singh Jigiri Singh (GERAKAN) 11,765 16.64% 70,707 38,604 75,23%
Loganathan Thoraisamy (IPF) 7,387 10.45%
Yaccab Noor (Independent) 580 0.68%
Lim Huat Poh (WARISAN) 442 0.63%
Koh Swe Yong (PRM) 264 0.37%

See also


  1. "2013 General election results". The Star. The Star Publications. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  2. "Show some remorse, RSN Rayer tells Najib".
  3. "Melaka Polls: Health officials to keep an eye on Najib after alleged SOP violations emerge in video". The Star.
  4. Tong, Geraldine (24 November 2021). "MP: Why tax dodger Najib not blacklisted from travelling abroad?". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
  5. "Rayer kicked out for 20 minutes for refusing to stay silent".
  6. Chie, Kow Gah (2 March 2022). "Parliament: MP interjects Najib's debate, gets ejected". Malaysiakini.
  7. "Karpal's death has left a void in my life says protege". 27 May 2014. The Malaysian Insider. 17 April 2014. Archived from the original on 27 May 2014.
  8. "Commotion outside Penang state assembly building". The Rakyat Post. 22 May 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  9. "No apology for UMNO remark says a defiant lawyer". MSN News. 21 May 2014. Archived from the original on 27 May 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  10. "Rayer charged with sedition". New Straits Times. 27 August 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  11. "Court acquits R.S.N Rayer of sedition court". 28 July 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2016 via Astro Awani.
  12. "Jelutong MP slammed after calling for revocation of TV3's licence - Nation". The Star Online. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  13. Hidir Reduan (6 August 2018). "'Kepala bapak' Part 2: Rayer courts trouble yet again". New Straits Times. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  14. "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri" (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 26 May 2010. Percentage figures based on total turnout.
  15. "Malaysia General Election". undiinfo Malaysian Election Data. Malaysiakini. Retrieved 4 February 2017. Results only available from the 2004 election.
  16. "KEPUTUSAN PILIHAN RAYA UMUM 13". Sistem Pengurusan Maklumat Pilihan Raya Umum (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 24 March 2017.Results only available for the 2013 election.
  17. "my undi : Kawasan & Calon-Calon PRU13 : Keputusan PRU13 (Archived copy)". Archived from the original on 31 March 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  18. "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum ke-13". Utusan Malaysia. Archived from the original on 21 March 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  19. "SEMAKAN KEPUTUSAN PILIHAN RAYA UMUM KE - 14" (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 17 May 2018. Percentage figures based on total turnout.
  20. "Results Overview". The Star Online GE14. The Star. Retrieved 24 May 2018. Percentage figures based on total turnout.
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