DUN reps earning their pay as still carrying out duties during Emergency, says Idris

Dato Idris Buang

By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, Aug 1: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) information chief Dato Idris Buang criticises Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president Voon Lee Shan for stating that elected representatives should not be paid throughout the Emergency period in Sarawak which ends on February 2022.

Idris explained that Sarawak elected representatives have to serve extended periods of time during the extended Emergency while the suspension of the 12th State Election (PRN12) does not mean that the term and tenure to hold office and act in various positions have ended.

“This ‘suspension of election’ does not mean that the terms and tenure to hold office and functionally act in these various positions like chairmen or members of the executive committees or boards have ended.

“No, they still validly and legally hold such offices and carry on their respective duties and responsibility as may be allowed within the ambit of the ordinances and rules under the emergency setting.

“For the same reasons given above, State assemblymen of Sarawak legally and earnestly receive their salaries or remunerations,” the Muara Tuang assemblyman said in a statement today.

Idris was responding to a statement by Voon yesterday arguing that Sarawak elected representatives should not be paid during the extended Emergency period.

Voon claimed that the proclamation of the extended emergency in Sarawak by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah to suspend PRN12 due to Covid-19 made no mention about the term of the state assemblymen being extended until February 2022.

To this, Idris said the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) representatives are serving “extra time” as the period of the Emergency was extended.

He added office bearers of political parties be it from the government or the opposition are also serving on extra time because all elections for their respective posts have been put on hold due to the extended Emergency.

Idris opined the computation of time for the purpose of dissolution of Sarawak DUN by default after a five-year period should not take into account the periods of Emergency proclaimed by His Majesty.

“The total number of days in these periods should be regarded in law as ‘excluded days’ within the meaning of Section 13 of the Interpretation Ordinance of Sarawak,” he added. — DayakDaily