KUCHING, Jan 4: The Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (DUN) is in urgent need of reforms to promote greater transparency, accountability and check and balance for the good of the people, says Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii.
He said while the choice and vote of the people of Sarawak was responsible for Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) winning a large majority in the 12th Sarawak Election, the people cannot allow the GPS government to have absolute or unfettered control over important matters of the State.
He said this was especially true when it comes to finances and State resources without a robust check and balance system, especially in DUN.
“The concerns of the public regarding the lack of check and balance and the high concentration of powers under the Chief Minister should not be merely dismissed, but instead necessary reforms must be placed in DUN to mitigate any risk of abuse and more importantly, instill greater public confidence in the administration itself.
“That is why even before the election, I have constantly stressed that DUN is in urgent need of reform to ensure that all voices are properly represented and that there is greater accountability,” he said in a statement today.
Dr Yii said the GPS government must compel all State government-linked companies (GLCs) including Development Bank of Sarawak (DBOS) and Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (PETROS) which have at their disposal billions ringgit, to report directly to DUN to ensure there is accountability and proper check and balance.
“On top of that, the Sarawak Public Accounts Committee (PAC) must be chaired by an opposition representative so that the person can scrutinise any financial irregularities including State GLCs without fear or favour,” he added.
Dr Yii also suggested that more Select Committees be established in DUN which should be given enough resources and manpower to shadow the ministries in Sarawak and operate as entities to check and balance the respective ministries.
He also called on the government to extend the number of DUN sittings in a year as currently, the Sarawak DUN is only convened twice a year with each sitting lasting approximately 10 days.
“This is insufficient to cover the breadth of issues concerning Sarawakians and for all ministers to answer all queries by each elected representative.
“There should also be a special Chief Minister Questioning Time where the Chief Minister himself has to come into the Assembly to answer directly from the floor questions and comments by each ADUN representative from both political divides,” he said.
He also said there should be equal allocation to all constituencies regardless if an elected representative is from the government or Opposition, so Sarawakians are not left behind and not punished for their democratic choice of vote.
Currently, the Opposition do not receive a single allocation from the government. — DayakDaily