Speaker dismisses call for emergency session of DUN

Sarawak Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar. — dayakdaily.com

KUCHING: Sarawak Legislative Assembly Speaker, Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar, dismissed DAP’s call for an emergency sitting to deliberate on the High Court’s decision to reinstate former Pujut assemblyman.

The Speaker said any attempt to take the matter out of the court into the DUN is sub-judice since he had filed an appeal against the June 17 Kuching High Court decision declaring the ministerial motion and the resolution of the assembly made on May 12 to disqualify Dr Ting Tiong Choon as a member of legislature to be unconstitutional, unlawful, null and void
Afia, named as the first defendant by Dr Ting in his originating summons to overturn his disqualification, filed his notice of appeal on June 19.

“Because it is in the Court of Appeal, you cannot take it out and pass it to the DUN (state assembly).

“This will not happen. This letter will never see the light of day,” he told reporters when asked on state DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen’s letter to Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg last Wednesday requesting the chief minister make a representation for an emergency session at Abang Johari’s Raya open house today.

Afia said anyone who seriously believed that a chief minister who commands 72 seats in the assembly would act to the dictates of the minority or for the Speaker to call for the meeting “needs his head to be examined”.

Chong’s letter, which Asfia described as “vicious and vitriolic” and “the proposals … absurd and idiotic, ” said the High Court’s decision is a crisis for the state assembly.

He said a law-making body has been found to have itself acted unlawfully which had also “brought disrepute and shame to the institution of DUN Sarawak”.

Chong also said an emergency sitting was needed as the assembly has no authority to appeal the court decision without a resolution passed authorising it to appeal.

Chong in the letter had also stated that since Asfia had named the state assembly as one of the defendants in his appeal, he should recuse himself in the emergency sitting.

Asfia also asked the opposition would would want to deliberate on the position of the assembly and the court decision “when the High Court had said that the DUN was an incompetent forum”.

“You mutilated and discredited the DUN, plus the Speaker. Why need to bring it to an incompetent forum?

“There is no logic to it.”

He also dismissed the claim that the state assembly was in a crisis.

“The dewan in crisis? How can the dewan be in crisis?

“72 solid BN Ybs (elected assemblymen) are there. For anyone to say that, it is like a man who shouts ‘fire, fire’ while committing arson.”

Asfia said “we (Minister for International Trade and E-Commerce, Wong Soon Koh who moved the ministerial motion, the second defendant, the state assembly the third and the Election Commission the fourth) might have have lost a battle in the High Court, we have not lost the war”.

“With the grounds of appeal, we want to change the tide of the war.

“Win or lose, we promise the intensity, ferocity of the legal battle in the Court of Appeal and the apex court will make the fight in the High Court a Sunday picnic.” – dayakdaily.com