KUCHING, Nov 11: Layar assemblyman Gerald Rentap Jabu has proposed to insert a new clause to the Sarawak Constitution.
“I would like to humbly propose to insert a new clause to the Sarawak Constitution, to state that due to the impact of Covid-19, the term of the current Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) be extended until six years from the date of its first sitting, unless sooner dissolved; or on the date on which the Federal Parliament is next dissolved, whichever comes first.
“With such proposal, I firmly believe Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg will have all the options to safeguard the lives and livelihood of the peoples of Sarawak against the menace of Covid-19,” he said during his debate on the Supply (2021) Bill 2020 at the State Legislative Assembly sitting today.
However, before such an amendment to the Sarawak Constitution can be made, Rentap said the Federal Constitution has to be amended first.
Rentap explained that to facilitate the delineation of constituencies for Sarawak’s first direct elections, the amendment to the Federal Constitution in 1968, in force from Sept 9, extended the term of the Council Negeri existing in 1968 beyond period of five years to be dissolved together with the Federal Parliament in 1969.
“Subsequently the amendment to the Sarawak Constitution in 1968, inserted a new clause (3A) to Article 21 of the Sarawak Constitution in force from Sept 28, extended the term of the Dewan Undangan Negeri existing in 1968 beyond the period of five years to be dissolved together with the Federal Parliament in 1969,” he pointed.
Meanwhile, Rentap also called on the state government to expedite the completion of the Centre of Technical Excellence Sarawak (CENTEXS) campus in Betong.
As Betong is situated in a rural area, such a campus can more people into technicians in various fields relevant to its development activities.
He also hoped that more telecommunication towers will be set up with supply of telecommunication systems to the pillars that have been erected.
Internet connectivity, he said, is very much needed here, given the need to encourage rural children to participate in online learning.
“It is also my hope that the government will build affordable housing and develop the Kampong Extension Scheme for Kampung Melayu in Betong.
“As for schools, we need to maintain dilapidated dormitories and help to supply the needed appliances,” he added.
Although the new Betong market has opened, Rentap disclosed that many hawkers were forced to sell on the parking lot.
“I appeal to the state government to build an extension for this market because it shows the desire of our rural people in doing business while there is a potential in Betong,” he added.
Layar assemblyman Gerald Rentap Jabu