Chong withdraws offensive remark against Soon Koh

Chong (lower left) in a dispute in the House with Asfia (top) and Wong (lower right) over his 'conspiracy theory' statement that he was made to withdrew and expunged from the Hansard.

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, May 3: Chong Chieng Jen (PH-Kota Sentosa) agreed to withdraw his statement that was deemed insulting and imputing bad motive against Second Finance Minister Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh and Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) and have them expunged from the Hansard after putting a good fight in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting today.

The statement of Chong’s debate reads: “I know la, he is on your side. He is working together with PBB but as far as SUPP, PRS, PDP is concerned, I don’t know. Are they going for your neck? Be careful. But he is working with PBB anyway. OK, alright, so I don’t think you will be taking any actions against him.”

Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar informed that this statement violates Standing Order 32(6) on imputing improper motive and making allegations on another member and Standing Order 34(4) on offensive and insulting language against a member of the Dewan.

He, thus, advised Chong to withdraw the statement and that it be expunged from the Hansard. A dispute over the matter then ensued in the august House.

On violation of 34(4), Asfia pointed out: “‘Going for your neck’ means ‘going to kill’.

Chong defended: “Mr Speaker, that is figurative of speech, come on. Of course, we know that we are not literally killing.”

Asfia stressed: “It is not literally to kill but an intent to finish you off.”

Chong argued: “Politically, what is so wrong about that … politically to finish you off. Mr Speaker, what is so offensive about that?”

Asfia said: “These allegations are directed personally at the honourable member for Bawang Assan (Wong).”

Chong interjected: “But Bawang Assan is not making any complaints.”

Asfia added: “This is brought up by Mambong (Datuk Dr Jerip Susil).”

Chong said: “But Bawang Assan is not making any complaint, maybe Mambong is just busybody.”

Bawang Assan assemblyman Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh then interjected and told Chong that if he was not prepared to withdraw the statement, he would move a motion against him.

Chong said: “If Bawang Assan would confirm that he is not going to finish off … going for the neck of SUPP, PRS, PDP, I accept that and I will withdraw that part.”

He continued: “But his action is he is grabbing their elected reps which give the perception to the public that you are going for them and there is also a statement saying that they (PSB) will be contesting in areas where all these SUPP, PRS and PDP. Is that not going after them?

“When you are in the same cabinet and supposedly on the same side of the coalition but you are saying that you’ll contest in areas where your partners are contesting, is that not going after them?”

He stressed: “That is just a comment. I don’t think it is an insulting language, derogatory, not acceptable. If a comment on the political intention of a party is insulting.. that cannot..”

Asfia questioned: “When you say it is working for PBB … going for your neck … there is a conspiracy isn’t it.”

Chong said: “Yes. Ok, that part, maybe PBB is not working with them, but his action is going for PRS, SUPP. Isn’t that true? Are you going for the areas? Are you going to contest in the areas of SUPP, PRS and PDP?”

He added: “SUPP, I am trying to do you a favour. If Bawang Assan states in this House that he is going to contest in the areas PRS, PDP and SUPP, then I withdraw that. It is a misconception on that part.”

Asfia urged Chong to view the statement in its entirety in which the word ‘he is working with them’ indicated there was a conspiracy and the violence of language used by Chong on ‘going for your neck’.

“And then you finish your sentence by saying to the Deputy Speaker you are not going to take action against him, meaning to confirm the conspiracy,” he added.

Chong later gave in and agreed to withdraw the statement. — DayakDaily