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By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, May 8: Second Finance Minister Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh (PSB-Bawang Assan) opines that the state opposition purposely flouts the rules to invite ‘red cards’ to become martyrs.
He said he believed members of the opposition knew exactly what offences they were likely to commit and the punishment or penalty for their offences under the Standing Order and the Privileges and Powers Ordinance 2007.
“If the ‘red cards’ are not issued, they get away, and they achieve what they set out to do i.e to discredit the government, bringing government into public ridicule.
“If we issue the ‘red cards’, they surely could be suspended or referred to the Committee of Privileges. Then they would become martyrs. The government would then be blamed for oppressing the opposition. It looks like either way, they win,” said Soon Koh when delivery his winding-up speech in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) today.
He said this when challenged by David Wong (DAP-Pelawan) to answer why the delay of 12 years to table the State Road Maintenance Trust Fund.
Soon Koh said in the past few years, he had been playing a dutiful role to discipline some of the opposition members, particularly the Kota Sentosa representative.
“He was suspended from the Dewan a few times. In the process, I was branded ‘a motion king’, an oppressor and was called many names, including a stooge to the chief minister, a puppet of the government and a traitor to the voters who want their voices to be heard,” said Soon Koh.
In response to Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Kota Sentosa)’s queries on the Government Contribution Towards Approved Agencies Trust Fund, Soon Koh said the Sarawak government and the State Financial Authority had instituted legal action for defamation against the member for Kota Sentosa.
“Since justification has been pleaded by him as a defence to the government suit, he should not have raised the same issue and should wait for the trial of the case to substantiate his defence.
“In the meantime, Ahli Yang Berhormat for Kota Sentosa should respect that the matter is sub judice.
“He should wait for his day in court, which will ultimately decide if he can substantiate his allegation,” said Soon Koh.
He added that if some opposition members were adamant on flouting rules again and again, perhaps more severe punishment ought to be instituted.
“Maybe we should consider more severe penalty; not only suspend them from the House but also do away with their allowances.
“A heavier penalty would act as a deterrent to the recalcitrant behaviour of some of the opposition members. Only then can we uphold proper conduct and good parliamentary practices, ” reckoned Soon Koh.
Meanwhile, as Chong was absent in the DUN, David tried to interject when Soon Koh was lambasting some opposition members.
As David failed to speak up in the House, he later came to the media centre to give a press conference, stressing that his queries were regarding the 12 years of delay in tabling the State Road Trust Fund.
“We tried to interfere to ask for clarification, and he (Soon Koh) refused. I have to raise the point of order. When you raise the point of order for clarification, he should sit down, wait for the chair (the DUN speaker) to decide whether my point of order was valid,” said David.
David said instead of answering his question, Soon Koh made accusations against opposition members in the House, especially Chong.
He further pointed out that the court case between Chong and the Sarawak government was another case, which has nothing to do with the case with regards to the State Road Maintenance Trust Fund. — DayakDaily