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By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, Nov 15: State Legal Counsel Datuk Seri JC Fong has described Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong as having “chicken legged sydrome” for her no-show at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) complex at 3pm today.
Fong had challenged the Democratic Action Party (DAP) lawmaker to waive her immunity and repeat her allegations outside the DUN chamber, instead of hiding behind parliamentary privileges.
During the DUN sitting on Nov 6, Yong, when debating the state 2020 budget, Yong had claimed Fong’s daughter to be involved in controversial business dealings.
However, DUN Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar expunged Yong’s speech from the Hansard, citing that both Fong and his daughter were not present in the DUN chambers to defend themselves.
“I lament that what happened (today) is a sad day for our parliamentary democracy when an assemblywoman, under the protection of parliamentary immunity, can make false and defamatory allegations against other persons and yet denied them the right to seek justice by waiving her immunity.
“If that is the political culture prompted by DAP in our ‘New Malaysia’, then God help us and save this country,” Fong told reporters at the DUN complex here.
As Yong did not show up, Fong said he would seek the advice of his legal counsel on the next step of action.
“It is very regrettable that she (Yong) chose not to come, to face you all and also to face me, although I assured her she would not be ambushed or harassed.
“She was bold in making the false and defamatory allegations against me inside the DUN Chambers because she knew that whatever is uttered by her (inside the chamber) is protected by parliamentary privileges, and I cannot sue her for defamation,” he said.
Fong expected Yong to be bold to turn up and waive her immunity to repeat in full, the allegations she made against him.
“So that I would not be denied justice by taking her to court, I’ll let an independent arbiter decide whether she was wrong in saying what she said in the Dewan and that I should have legal remedies,” he said.
Fong asserted that as Yong did not show up and not allow him to take the matter to court, he will consult his team of lawyers to explore other legal options. This included calling DUN members to submit a petition under Standing Order 16 to take appropriate action against Yong for breach of privilege.
He said Yong should be aware of today’s invite, as the letter had went viral in the social media. Several news outlets even reported on the challenge, he added.
Meanwhile, State Reform Party president Lina Soo said expressed disappointment that Yong did not show up.
Soo claimed she was willing to accompany Yong to lodge reports with the relevant authorities if needed be.
“If YB Yong only talked about it in the DUN and to the media, but did not follow up on her expose, then she is failing her duties as a citizen and as an elected representative. If that were so, is it just to echo her own words, ‘lot of thunder without rain’,” she said. — DayakDaily