Punishing Pending rep “an oppression on the opposition” — Chong

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By Geryl Ogilvy

KUCHING, Nov 14: The maximum RM2,000 fine imposed on Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong for contempt in the august House has brought disrepute to the State Legislative Assembly (DUN).

Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen described what had transpired in the DUN sitting, following a motion moved by Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh to punish Yong, as “another example of the majority bullying the minority”.

“It is an oppression on the opposition,” the state Pakatan Harapan chairman told a press conference on the sidelines of the DUN sitting here today.

“This arises from a Facebook post by Violet (Yong), who merely reproduced the budget with regards to the emolument of the Speaker amounting RM5.947 million. The post was picked up by the Speaker (Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar).”

Yong had uploaded a post on Tuesday (Nov 13), which stated ‘Charged Exp (expenditure) T.02 Sarawak DUN (state legislative assembly) Speaker emoluments for the year 2019 is RM5,947,000.00’.

Chong (left) and Yong addressing a press conference at the DUN media centre.

Chong said Wong explained that the emolument was not of the Speaker alone but included fixed allowances of state elected representatives. According to Wong’s explanatory notes, there were some facts that Yong did not reproduce.

“The document only lists the Speaker’s salary and fixed allowances without mentioning items for elected representatives,” Chong pointed out.

In this regards, Chong argued that there was nothing wrong for Yong to post in her Facebook that the emolument, as approved in the budget for the Sarawak DUN Speaker, amounted to RM5.947 million.

What Yong did was a reproduction, verbatim, word-for-word, of the budget document, he continued.

“Soon Koh told us not to read the budget document at face value. So where do we read? If we don’t get the information from this budget document, then what use is this document?

“This is ridiculous. If Yong is to be faulted for posting information, then the wrong has been committed by the drafter of the budget document. Soon Koh, being the Second Finance Minister, as well as Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, being the Finance Minister, should be equally responsible for the mistake,” Chong said.

He believed that anyone reading the document would come to the conclusion that the fixed allowances were for the Speaker only.

“If the Speaker values the sanctity and good repute of the august House, he should have acted more democratically. The Speaker has failed to comply with the law of natural justice,” Chong opined.

Sixty-two lawmakers voted in favour of the motion, while eight opposed. — DayakDaily