DAP rep interrupted in Sarawak assembly

Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen (centre) speaks to reporters after his speech was cut short by Speaker Datuk Amar Asfia Awang Nasar earlier. — Picture by Sulok Tawie
Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen (centre) speaks to reporters after his speech was cut short by Speaker Datuk Amar Asfia Awang Nasar earlier. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, Nov 7 — Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen’s speech in the Sarawak State Assembly was cut short by Speaker Datuk Amar Asfia Awang Nasar after Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) lawmakers protested.

The Speaker said Chong’s description of the state’s budget 2020 as “hot air” upset the GPS lawmakers.

“Because you have made outrageous statement that provoked them to react. This Standing Order 62(11) gives me the power to disallow you from the continuation with the debate,” he told Chong.

Chong objected.

“They are the ones who are rowdy and shouting and you are going to penalise me?” he asked the Speaker.

Chong, who is also Sarawak DAP chairman, was 16 minutes in when the Speaker asked him to stop.

Speaking to reporters later, Chong said: “You have seen what has happened in the Dewan Undangan Negeri today. It is the epitome of GPS politics of bully. That is the way the Speaker was handling the situation where the GPS YBs were shouting at me.

“Instead of controlling the GPS YBs, the Speaker stopped my speech half-way. This is totally unacceptable and clearly a breach of Standing Order.

“I am sad that the Speaker has reduced himself to the tool of politics of bully. As the Speaker he should be impartial, holds the floor while the others should keep quiet, instead of shouting,” he said.

He denied making outrageous statements on the state budget as alleged by the Speaker, saying that it is up to the people to judge whether or not his description of the state budget as “hot air” is justified.

Asked if his critical comments on the state budget were in retaliation for the “not so nice” comments by the GPS lawmakers on the Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government Budget 2020, he said he would let the federal government to deal with it.

“Here, we confine (ourselves) to the state budget. The people will be the judge,” he said.

“Why should I take revenge? That is the matter for the federal government to deal with it,” he said.

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