Friday, May 21, 2010

PKR rep questions ban from Sarawak assembly grounds

By Clara Chooi
May 21, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 — A disgruntled PKR assemblyman, who was suspended from the Sarawak state assembly, has demanded for an explanation as to why the order included barring him entirely from the assembly’s premises.

Padungan assemblyman Dominique Ng, in a letter to state assembly Speaker Datuk Seri Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar this morning, also questioned why he was denied the right to his copy of the Hansard.

“I have been informed by the assembly secretary that it is your (Speaker’s) ruling that my 12-month suspension includes a total ban from even entering the precinct of the state assembly hall.

“I would like to know in writing what are the grounds and basis of such a ruling.

“The secretary also told me that my right to have my copy of the Hansard was also suspended along with my other privileges. I wish to know what is the full extent of my suspension,” he said in his letter.

Ng was suspended along with the DAP’s Chong Chieng Jen for allegedly making offensive remarks during the assembly’s sitting in May last year.

Their year-long suspension means that they will no longer be able to attend any assembly sitting until after the next state elections, which are to be held by July next year.

“I hereby humbly request that I be allowed to access the public gallery of the assembly to watch the proceedings and also be given a copy of my Hansard.

“Despite my suspension, which I still do challenge, I still need to carry out my other duties as a state assemblyman for my constituency and that includes knowing in full what has been debated, decided and recorded in the Hansard,” he said.

Ng also slammed the Speaker for instructing the police to block him from entering the assembly’s premises yesterday.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to express my utmost dismay at the way I was manhandled, purportedly under your instruction, at a roadblock set up by your auxiliary police some 600m to 800m away from the main gate of the assembly complex.

“I believe that the roadblock was in an area outside of your jurisdiction and was illegal,” he said.

Ng had made two separate attempts — one via road and another, by using a boat across the Sarawak River — to enter the state assembly hall yesterday to observe its proceedings from the public gallery and to retrieve a copy of the Hansard.

He was blocked on both occasions.

Ng lodged a police report against the Speaker after the first attempt.

The second attempt saw Ng making it to the gates of the assembly where he was met by the assembly secretary who told him that the Speaker had made the order.

“The secretary told me that the Speaker would stand by his decision to ban me and he quoted section 14(2) of the State Assembly’s (Powers and Privileges) Order which, according to him, includes a ban from the precinct.

“This is surely ultra vires the constitution. So much for our great 150-year-old Sarawak legislative assembly,” he told The Malaysian Insider in an SMS yesterday.


The Malaysian Insider

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