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KUCHING, July 23: Kapit Member of Parliament Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi said when he debates the royal address, he would seek clarification from Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the latter’s statement on the 20 per cent oil royalty.
Nanta said parliamentary procedure prevented him from seeking clarification on the issue when he raised the question if Sarawak would benefit from the 20 per cent oil royalty.
He said when he asked the question, it was already the fourth supplementary question on the same issue.
“There is procedure to be followed, and there is Parliamentary Standing Order to abide by. It is not like a conversation, where one can question, and the other one just answer,” Nanta told DayakDaily today.
He said this in response to criticisms that he did not seek clarification from Dr Mahathir when the latter said Pakatan Harapan would honour its election manifesto by giving 20 per cent oil royalty based on profit, not revenue.
“According to Parliamentary standing order, only two, or at the most three supplementary questions, can be raised after an answer is given by a minister.
“When I asked if Sarawak would benefit from the royalty, mine was the fourth supplementary question. Because of that, the Speaker refused to allow me to speak.
“After I insisted, he gave the permission. So, I asked my question and after that, I did not pursue anymore because I knew the Speaker already gave the leeway for me,” explained Nanta.
Nanta, however, said he would seek clarification when he debates the royal address.
“Then again, please understand that we cannot just stand and debate on the royal address. We will have to wait for our turn. It is scheduled by the Parliamentary secretariat,” said Nanta.
After Dr Mahathir made the statement in Parliament on July 19 that the 20 per cent oil royalty would to be based on profit, there was uproar among Sarawakians. Many questioned what Dr Mahathir was trying to say.
There were also those questioning Sarawakian MPs for not seeking clarification. Some wondered why Nanta did not pursue the matter and ask Dr Mahathir what he meant by “20 per cent royalty based on profit”. — DayakDaily