KUCHING, Nov 9 — DAP assemblyman for Padungan Wong King Wei has advised the state assembly speaker to look into the reform of the state assembly to make it an institution reflecting democracy.
Earlier before Wong delivering his speech in debating the state budget at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly sitting here today, the assembly proceedings had to be stop for about 10 minutes due to a malfunction of the PA system.
Wong in his debate speech at the state legislative assembly sitting here today said questions should be answered promptly, pointing out that there were various questions that were only given answers on the eve of the next sitting, while some were still outstanding.
“Members should be allowed to rise and speak freely without first obtaining consent from the chair. We are elected members, honourable because of our duty in a trying expectation and are voices of the people and why should we be subjected to the mood and consent of the Speaker before we can start to speak.
“I agree that the chair has the duty to ensure the order of the house, but the chair should only have the power to stop any member to speak when the decorum is not observed by a particular member.
“The Speaker does not have the power to dictate when a member is allowed to speak. I will not cite example of Westminster or the book of eskimay, let us just look at the Parliament of our country.
“Even in BN time, all MPs were allowed to start speaking without any hindrances by switching on the microphone freely,” he said in his debate speech at the state legislative assembly sitting, here today.
Meanwhile at a press conference, Wong said he had suggested at today’s sitting that a joint committee between the federal and state education ministry should be formed to resolve the problem of dilapidated schools in Sarawak.
He said there was no point to continue debating on the issue, especially on the number of dilapidated schools in Sarawak, but instead both the federal and state education ministry should sit down and discuss on resolving the long outstanding issue in Sarawak.
The Sarawak chief minister in his budget speech had said that the 2019 Federal Budget did not indicate any allocation for dilapidated schools in Sarawak, which Wong said was not true, adding that after verification from federal deputy education minister, the 2019 budget had allocated RM100 million for dilapidated schools in Sarawak.
Wong in his speech also said he had verified with the federal ministry of education that the number of dilapidated schools in Sarawak was 206, including those critical and not critical.
However, the chief minister mentioned that there were 1,020 dilapidated schools, and out of which 412 were critical ones. — Bernama