Mohamad Asfia: No DUN sitting until emergency ends

Mohamad Asfia (left) ) speaking during the press conference while Gerawat (right) looks on. Screenshot taken from Sarawak Public Communications Unit's (Ukas) livestream today (August 4, 2021).

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By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, Aug 4: The Emergency (Essential Powers) (Sarawak) Ordinance 2021 stipulates that there shall be no Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting during the period of the emergency which runs from Aug 2, 2021 until Feb 2, 2022.

DUN Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar said DUN sittings were prohibited under Section 4 of the Emergency Ordinance 2021 promulgated by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah recently to curb the spread of Covid-19.

“Section 4 of the current Emergency Ordinance 2021 forbids any sitting of the DUN.

“There is an air of inevitability in Parliament whilst there is on atmosphere of invincibility in the DUN.

“The issues and subject matters are poles apart giving rise to different dynamics and dimensions. The disrupted abrupt sittings in Dewan Rakyat underscored the gravity of Covid-19.

“This lends credence to Section 4 of the current Emergency Ordinance 2021 in disallowing sittings of the Sarawak DUN,” he said during a special press conference at Sarawak DUN here today.

On another note, Mohamad Asfia said there will be no “hybrid sittings” implemented in Sarawak DUN.

He explained that all speeches and votes of the elected representatives must be made in the DUN chambers.

“Any violation of these rules and procedure will result in the votes to be null and void and speeches will not be accorded parliamentary immunity that may result in civil litigations.

“This inevitably leads in the curtailment freedom of speech and civil litigations involving laws of libel and slander.

“The provisions in the Standing Orders and DUN (Privileges and Powers) Ordinance 2021 for specifically protect members delivering speeches in the chambers and not outside the precincts of DUN,” he added.

Sarawak DUN deputy speaker Dato Gerawat Gala was also present at the press conference. — DayakDaily