Sunday, 26 April 2015

Asfia: ‘Independence referendum’ seditious

STATE Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar ruled on Friday that the term ‘independence referendum’ was seditious and ordered David Wong (DAP-Pelawan) to withdraw it.

“I do not want any further discussion on this. Even under the old Sedition Act, any seditious tendency would be considered seditious. I do not want members here to be called as witnesses when you are being charged,” said Asfia when responding to Wong, who earlier asked whether it was seditious to call for an ‘independence reference’ in the state.

Debating the Yang Di-Pertua Negeri’s address, Wong also touched on the fact that the prime minister had not made a stand on Hudud law.

His remark invited Assistant Minister for Youth Development (Urban Areas) Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (BN-Asajaya) to comment: “I want to ask him who is the one who introduced Hudud law in Kelantan – is it BN or your partner PAS?”

Wong immediately replied: “No, no partner. You got it wrong.”

He argued that PAS would not have implemented Hudud law in Kelantan without the help of Umno, adding: “Umno is using this to separate Pakatan Rakyat (PR). And DAP Sarawak is no longer part of PR Sarawak.”

Karim pointed out the chief minister’s stand on the implementation of Hudud law had been clear – that the Islamic law would not come to pass in Sarawak.

On Wong’s explanation, he said: “At federal level, you are still a partner with PAS.”

Their tit-for-tat prompted Asfia to remark: “Although DAP Sarawak breaks away from PR Sarawak, the main DAP Malaysia is still with PAS.”

Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Kota Sentosa) then sought a clarification, saying all Sarawakians “are unanimous on the stand that Hudud should not be implemented in Sarawak.”

He added: “Yes, our national side is with PR, but BN is equally guilty because Umno and PAS are both guilty of implementing Hudud. But we can be united to kick Umno and PAS out of Sarawak.”

As soon as he was done, an unidentified assemblyman burst out: “There is no Umno in Sarawak.”

Turning to another matter, Wong alleged that the state’s request for 20 per cent oil and gas royalty was ‘turned down’.

Asfia laughed and ruled: “Under Standing Order 32(12), you should not mislead the Dewan deliberately. You used the word turned down, but it was not turned down.”

Wong protested: “It is not misleading. It was not successful, which means it failed. Is there any difference than turned down? Anyway, the question now is what is next? We want to stand behind the chief minister, and we want the 20 per cent royalty.”

He even suggested BN backbenchers “should be sent for re-education to know their duties as their job is to question and not to laud what the government had done”.

He concluded his debate speech by lamenting there was not even one flyover in Sibu and that Sibu Hospital needed a multi-storey carpark. He also wondered when the Lanang toll fees would be waived.

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