THE Sarawak assembly yesterday adjourned early due to lack of quorum. Sarawak Deputy Speaker Datuk Gerawat Gala adjourned the meeting around 7.05 pm as there were less than 27 assemblymen in the legislature.
Under the Assembly’s Standing Orders, a minimum of one-third of its 82 members must be present for the meeting to convene.
Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau was about 10 minutes into his 2021 budget debate speech before Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Kota Sentosa) interrupted, saying there was no quorum in the august House.
Gerawat initially wanted to suspend the meeting for five minutes hoping that the quorum would be fulfilled. However shortly after, he decided for the meeting to be adjourned, Borneo Post reported.
Chong said it was a shame that the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) having 70 assemblymen could not constitute a quorum and the meeting has to be adjourned half way through Telang Usan’s (Dennis) speech.
“This shows how irresponsible these people are for not attending meetings, what more to say when the sitting is supposed to be eight days has been shortened to five days,” he told the reporters.
Meanwhile, Dennis said it was the first time in his 10 years as an assemblyman that a meeting was adjourned due to lack of quorum.
Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong took to Facebook about the early adjournment, blaming it on the absence of Ministers and Assistant Ministers in the House.
She posted two photos of the relatively empty seats from the government bench at around.
She also shared a social media post by Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian buying takeaway tomato sauce kuay teow from a hawker centre. Dr Sim’s post was put up at 6.34pm yesterday.
Yong asked if Dr Sim, the Batu Kawah assemblyman, left the assembly early to take away food, contributing to the lack of quorum in the assembly.
Netizens were quick to chime in, with comments ranging from “he’s hungry”, “he ran away because he’s fearful of your questions” to “he went to buy the food for his wife”.
Many also praised Dr Sim for supporting hawkers during the Covid-19 pandemic.