Four assemblymen skip DUN sitting today, claim its meaningless

By Emma Victoria 

THE one-day Sarawak legislative assembly (DUN) sitting today is a meaningless exercise as it will not allow any debate.

Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) President Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh said therefore, his party assemblymen will not attend the sitting.

He said the sitting will not give members of the DUN any opportunity to debate and raise relevant issues, in particular, the questions relating to the huge deficit in the 2019 and 2020 budgets as a result of the shortfall in oil and gas sales taxes payable by Petronas.

“If the state assemblymen are not permitted to debate other issues during this sitting, then the sitting becomes a meaningless exercise.

It will only be a formality to pass the supplementary budgets without any debate,” the Bawang Assan assemblyman said in a statement.

“The sitting must instead sit for at least three days to debate on the 2019 and 2020 state budgets, which are deemed to be “presumptuous and unrealistic”.

The budget had grossly overestimated the income from the sales tax on petroleum products,” he added.

PSB has four state assemblymen, namely, Wong, who is the former state finance minister, Engkilili assemblyman Dr Johnichal Rayong, Datuk Ranum Mina (Opar) and Datuk Tiong Thai King (Dudong).

On Sunday, DUN Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar said there will be no debate on the Supplementary Supply Bills that will be tabled during the sitting, in line with its Standing Order and the State Constitution.

Citing Article 33(4) of the constitution and Standing Order 68(1), Asfia said a bill can be tabled for additional funding from the Consolidated Fund and can be decided without amendment or debate.

The motion on the second reading of the Bill shall be decided without amendment or debate; he told a press conference after chairing the pre-DUN meeting.

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