Minister criticises Padungan rep’s ‘alang-alang’ approach in Sarawak Assembly, advises him to stay put for answers

Julaihi (seated, centre) addressing a press conference after the passing of the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2023 in the Media Room of DUN Complex on Nov 21, 2023.

KUCHING, Nov 21: Minister of Utility and Telecommunication Datuk Julaihi Narawi has urged Padungan assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen to exhibit greater responsibility and refrain from handling matters in an “alang-alang” (half-baked) manner, following his abrupt disappearance from the Sarawak Assembly subsequent to raising issues, criticisms and suggestions during debating on legislative Bills.

“I think it is imperative for him to be responsible enough and wait for our answers. Leaving before receiving our answers is, in my opinion, a lack of responsibility. If you dare to say it (raise issues) in the august House, it is only fitting to be present for the subsequent responses, especially if the issues raised are genuine.

“Otherwise, it may appear as if one is merely bringing up matters based on assumptions or personal experiences. Don’t bring things up ‘alang-alang’ in the august House,” he told a press conference, noting Chong’s absence during the winding-up and passing of two legislative Bills today.

The two Bills passed by the Sarawak Assembly today are the Sarawak Distribution of Gas (Amendment) Bill 2023 and the Electricity (Amendment) Bill 2023.

Addressing Chong’s concerns about the perceived unfairness of penalising landlords for defaults by tenants, Julaihi emphasised that landlords bear responsibility for their tenants’ defaults.

“I believe that landlords entered into agreements with the tenants before a lawyer, whereby the landlord must have taken deposits. So they must protect its interest. Don’t tell me after taking deposit, the landlord cannot settle whatever dues (outstanding bills) to SESCO. It is the responsibility of the landlord,” he said.

Julaihi assured that Sarawak ministers, including himself, are committed to addressing concerns, issues, or suggestions in the august House responsibly and professionally.

However, he emphasised his commitment to operating within established rules and laws and expressed his reluctance to be swayed by Chong’s approach.

“It is our duty, and we will handle these matters appropriately. However, I will not engage in playing to his (Chong’s) tune. My actions are guided by the rules and laws in place,” he concluded. — DayakDaily