Why was SUPP silent during debate on Article 16? questions DAP

Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong

By John Isaac

DAP today hit out at SUPP for not speaking up during the debate on the 2nd version of the Amendment Bill tabled on Nov 12 in the Sarawak State Assembly.

The debate was to amend Article 16 of the Sarawak State Constitution (the said Amendment Bill).

“They instead supported the passing of the Amendment Bill with loopholes to allow non-Sarawakians to stand as candidates and be elected in the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly,” said Pending assemblywoman, Violet Yong.

The seven SUPP representatives in the Sarawak assembly are Datuk Dr. Sim Kui Hian (Batu Kawa), Datuk Sebastian Ting (Piasau), Lo Khere Chiang (Batu Kitang), Datuk Lee Khim Shin (Senadin), Datuk Seri Huang Tiong Sii (Repok), Datuk Ding Kuong Hiing (Meradong) and Datuk Francis Harden (Simanggang).

“Out of the seven, none of them dared stand up to debate such an important bill which contained amendments to Article 16 in the Sarawak State Constitution.

“This leads to the selling out of the last bastion of Sarawak’s right by allowing non-Sarawakians to stand in elections and be elected into the House.

“None of the seven objected to the injustice done to Sarawak by virtue of this new Article 16,” she stressed.

Violet said it is highly uncalled for SUPP to mislead the public by making allegations which the law does not prescribe.

This newly amended Article 16 tabled by Sarawak GPS does not have the word “Sarawakian” in it and any Sarawak-born person’s children are eligible to be elected as representative of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly.

“Yet, SUPP held a press conference outside the DUN and repeatedly misinformed the public that only Sarawakians are eligible to be elected into the state assembly.  SUPP is not telling the truth about Article 16 as prescribed in the Sarawak State Constitution but trying to twist the issue to support the amendment to gain cheap publicity,” she said.

She said the public deserved an answer as to why none of the SUPP elected representatives participated in the debate in the assembly on the said Amendment Bill.

“Are they worried that their names will be recorded down in history as the persons who sold out the last bastion of Sarawak’s rights and welcomed Non-Sarawakians to be elected to represent Sarawak?” she asked.