KUCHING, Nov 7 — Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah today accused DAP’s Kota Sentosa State Assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen of creating anger among the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) state lawmakers by calling the state Budget as “hot air”.
“He has achieved that so he got stopped half-way in his debate,” he said when commenting on Chong being stopped by the Speaker Datuk Amar Asfia Awang Nasar from continuing with his speech on the state Budget 2020, earlier today.
The Speaker had described Chong’s reference to the state Budget as hot air as outrageous and it also angered and upset the GPS state lawmakers.
Karim said Chong also sought self-glorification by saying that it is the first time where a state assemblyman is asked to stop debating.
“No, it is not. I don’t think it is not,” he said.
He said the Speaker has a wide power to stop any state assemblyman from continuing with is debate.
“He can throw you out from the State Assembly if you are doing something which is not right or unbecoming of you.
“If you are not following the order you can be thrown out,” he said.
Asked if Chong has committed an offence by calling the state Budget 2020 as hot air, he said it is “not actually a very serious offence”, but the Speaker has a wide power, just like a court judge, to stop someone from saying which is not proper.
“Personally, I feel it is not proper for him to say something like that,” he said.
Karim said Chong knows that GPS lawmakers will be going after him for his promises made in the 2017 state assembly sitting so he came up with a strategy to create anger among the GPS lawmakers by calling the state Budget as hot air.
“I have the video of him saying that in 2017,” he said, referring Chong’s promises that if PH won in the GE14, it would give 20 per cent oil royalty and 50 per cent of all taxes collected in Sarawak would go to the state’s coffer and “no need (for Barisan Nasional state government) to beg and no need (for them) to cross.”
Karim said Chong did not give any condition when he made the promises.