Opposition Sarawak party PSB says its state lawmakers will not attend State Assembly tomorrow

PSB president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh (centre) speaks to reporters in Kuching March 14, 2020. — Picture by Sulok Tawie
PSB president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh (centre) speaks to reporters in Kuching March 14, 2020. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, May 10 — Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) president Datuk Sri Wong Soon Koh today said he and three of the party’s state lawmakers will not be attending tomorrow’s sitting of the State Assembly since there will be no debate.

He noted that there are two supplementary Bills to be tabled as stated under Standing Order 67(4) and (8) of the State Assembly, but will not be debated by state assemblymen.

“This means that this sitting will not give members of the State Assembly any opportunity to debate and raise relevant issues, in particular, the questions relating to the huge deficit in the 2019 and 2020 budgets as a result of the shortfall in oil and gas sales tax payable by Petronas,” he said in a statement this evening.

Wong, who resigned last year as state second minister of finance — a post he had held for 15 years, said he has suggested the State Assembly sit for at least three days to properly debate the issue.

“If the state assemblymen are not permitted to debate other issues during this sitting, then the sitting becomes a meaningless exercise.

“It will only be a formality to pass the supplementary budgets without any debate.

“Under the circumstances, the state assemblymen from PSB will not attend this sitting of the State Assembly,” he added.

Apart from Wong, 78, the other PSB state lawmakers are Datuk Ranum Mina (Opar), Johnical Rayong (Engkilili) and Datuk Tiong Thai King (Dudong).

Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Amar Asfia Awang Nassar told reporters earlier today that tomorrow’ sitting is to comply with Article 21 of the State Constitution.

He said as the last sitting was on November 13 last year, the State Constitution compels the State Assembly to hold its meeting on May 11, two days before the expiry of the six-month period.

He said only the Supplementary Supply (2019) Bill, 2020 and Supplementary Supply (2020) Bill, 2020 will be tabled at the sitting, without any debate.

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