Part of Pending rep’s speech expunged for allegedly casting aspersion

Mohd Asfia (seen at top) directing the DUN Secretary to expunge certain parts of Yong's (also pictured) speech as seen in this photo of the in-house DUN broadcast.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Nov 6: Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar ordered parts of the speech by Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong which are alleged to have cast aspersion on the character of the Chief Minister and State Legal Counsel as well as their family members to be expunged from the record.

He directed the Secretary to expunge parts of Yong’s speech under Standing Order 20 (2)(n) and Standing Order 32(6) to be read together with Standing Order 86.

“I hereby direct the Secretary to expunge that part of the speech that casts aspersion on the character of the Chief Minister (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) through the State Legal Counsel (Dato Sri JC Fong) and her daughter who was also mentioned, (as) they are not here to defend themselves,” he told the august House at the beginning of the afternoon session of the DUN sitting today.

“Any allegation, any intent to cast aspersion and improper motive in the character of the Chief Minister should be done by substantive motion and not through this speech,” he added.

Yong, in defence, said she did not agree with the Speaker as she was not imputing any improper motive as the information contained facts which can be obtained from the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) and from shareholders.

“So how can that be imputing improper motives? If you want me to substantiate and provide you with all the information I can do so.

“So how can you make a ruling that the whole text be expunged just because I touched on the Chief Minister and his sons and the state legal counsel (JC Fong)?” she asked.

Yong added it was unfair to expunge her text as the relevant parties can come out and defend themselves if there was nothing wrong.

“Mr Speaker, I urge that my speech not to be expunged but get the Chief Minister to defend himself in this august House so that everybody can have a clearer picture of what’s going on. So how can you expunged? It is not fair to me and to the people who elected and voted me in here,” she stressed.

Mohd Asfia accepted her clarification but stressed that he was not expunging her entire speech but only the parts that cast aspersion and improper motive on the character and person of the Chief Minister.

“Now, there are projects you (Yong) mentioned are hearsay. I am not saying (expunging) your speech in entirety. Also the state legal counsel and his daughter are not here to defend themselves.

“So under Standing Order 20 (2)(n), and Standing Order 32 (6) to be read together with Standing Order 86, I hereby direct the Secretary to expunge those parts of the speech that offend the standing orders I mentioned just now.

“The discussion is up to the Secretary but my direction is where there is a mention casting aspersion on the character of YAB Chief Minister and his sons, where there is a mention of State Legal Advisor and the daughter, that part of the speech (will be expunged),” he reiterated.

Yong was alleged to have referred to certain people in high office and their family members as sitting on the board of government-linked companies. — DayakDaily