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Chong claims Opposition yet to receive Bills to be tabled in DUN

12 month ago, 13-May-2022

A view of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Complex. – Photo by Roystein Emmor

KUCHING (May 13): Padungan assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen has claimed that as of noon today, neither he nor Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong had received copies of Bills to be tabled in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) next week.

The second meeting of the first session of the 19th DUN will be held on May 17-26.

“The Bills for this coming DUN sitting will be tabled on Wednesday (May 18),” said the Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman.

He pointed out that the weekend begins tomorrow and Monday is a replacement public holiday for Wesak Day, which falls on Sunday this year.

Chong recalled that two weeks ago Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah had indicated there would be some interesting Bills tabled next week.

As such he questioned whether the Sarawak government had the Bills ready at that point.

“Yet the Bills were not disclosed to the Opposition,” Chong lamented.

He chided the Sarawak government for not being more forthcoming in giving ample time for Opposition assemblypersons to study the Bills, get feedback from the ground, and conduct research.

“Why wait till last minute then reveal the content of the Bills? he questioned.

“With the super majority of GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) in DUN, why fear giving more time for the Opposition Aduns (assemblypersons) to study the Bills?”

Separately, Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How said his last conversation with the DUN secretary on the Bills was yesterday (Thursday).

“I was told that the DUN has yet to receive any. From your paper (The Borneo Post) today, now we know that there will be one (Bill),” said the Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) lawmaker.

According to See, it appeared members of the august House would only be given the Bills 24 hours prior to the sitting, unlike previously.

“So maybe we will know on Sunday (May 15),” he said.

See said in the past elected representatives were given Bills around three days or so before they were tabled.

When asked about the change, he responded, “I don’t know. Maybe there are fewer Opposition members in the DUN now?”

DUN secretary Pele Tinggom, when contacted, said DUN Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar is expected to hold a press conference on the matter on Sunday (May 15).

Pele said the Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas) would inform the media when the press conference would take place.

Yesterday, Modernisation of Agriculture and Regional Development Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom revealed a Bill related to the amendment of the Sarawak Land Code would be tabled in the DUN next week.

Dr Rundi said the Bill aimed to strengthen Sarawak’s rights.