Wednesday, May 7, 2014

BARU BIAN'S PRIVATE MEMBER'S BILL TO AMEND THE SARAWAK LAND CODE: SPEAKER'S RULING


Tuan Speaker: Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat. I hereby give my ruling. Ground One. By granting leave for the motion to proceed and its approval thereof will incur an astronomical sum of money to be paid in terms of compensation to the existing claims pending hearing in court. Standing Order 23 (5) “ A motion which directly or indirectly involves any such grant, charge, expenditure, release, remission or compensation, as mentioned in Paragraph (4)(A) to (D) shall be treated as seeking grant, expenditure, release, remission or compensation unless the said Minister signifies in writing that it does not go beyond what is incidental only and not as of a substantial nature having regard to the purposes of the motion”. Erskine May Parliamentary practice 24th edition page 537 “ A private member may not move or leave to bring in a Bill which the main object is to create a charge by way of taxation or expenditure.

Ground Two. Standing Order (20) (2) (g) “ Every question shall not be so drafted as to be likely to prejudice a case under or pending trial before a Court of Law, an arbitrator or Commission of Inquiry or be asked on any matter which is sub judice” bearing in mind that there are numerous cases pending in court in relation to the private members Bill therefore, impliedly seeking a fast solution to the on going legal cases that are still pending and enhance a further claims therefore it is a sub judice. Erskine May Page 396, “the house resolve that no matter awaiting un jurisdiction in a court of law including a coroner‟s court for a fatal accident injury should be brought before it by a motion or otherwise”.

Ground Three, the motion provides the definition of Pulau Galau and Pemakai Menua based on interpretation of the court in the case of Madihi Salleh versus Superintendent of Land & Survey Miri and another but the contention of the State Government is that in that case the plaintiff Madihi Salleh was a Malay and that therefore, not being an Iban, the NCR definition of Pulau Galau and Pemakai Menua does not apply. The decision of the court in the case of Nur ak Gawan versus Superitendent of Land & Survey Bintulu and another, the interpretation of Pulau Galau and Pemakai Menua did not reach the affect court namely the Federal Court. Whatever interpretation and definition the court may give on Pulau Galau and Pemakai Menua, the Court does not have the power to legislate this definition. It is a well established principle of law that the power to legislate lies in Parliament. It is Parliament that legislate the law. This Bill is premature because the State Government is committed to come up with legislation that will give definition to Pulau Galau and Pemakai Menua. This is within purview and power of Parliament. The State Government has declared its intention to table a propose legislation on the relevant amendment of the Land Court. This propose legislation has a better chance to see the light of day because it will be table by the Government of the day that command more than two third majority to approve the Bill.

Ground 4. Standing Order 82 “No member shall appear before the Dewan, or any Committee thereof, in any capacity for which he is to receive a fee or reward, or as an advocate for any party”.
Section 31(1) Dewan Undangan Negeri Privileges Empowers Ordinance “ No member shall in the Dewan or any Committee without leave of the Speaker or Chairman of the Committee raised articulate or solicit support from other members for any matter or proposal or scheme on behalf of any client or person for which he act in a professional capacity or reward in monetary or in any other form”. Erskine May Page 80, Declaration of interest in debate. “ In a debate, a member is required to declare any relevant particularly interest of benefit of whatever nature, whether direct or indirect that he may have or may be expecting to have.

Just, thus the rule relating to declaration of interest is broader in scope than the rules relating to legislation in requiring declaration of both relevant past interest and relevant interest which the member maybe expecting to have in the future. It is the responsibility of the member having regard to the rule of the house to judge whether a financial interest is sufficiently relevant to require a declaration. The basic test of relevance is similar to that for registration that a financial interest should be declared if it might reasonably be thought by others to influence the members‟ speech.

Page 81, Declaration of other proceedings of the house. Declaration of relevant interest is required on order paper when taking any written notice including (i) questions (ii) early day motion and amendment to them or any name in support of such motion and amendment (iii) a notice of motion for leave to introduce a 10 minute rule and so forth. A motion for presentation of Bill with those grounds now, I would like the question to be put to vote for the House to decide whether to give leave for the motion to proceed.

Standing Order 45 (3) “ Leave being granted on a question put and carried, the Bill should be deemed to have been read the first time and ordered to be printed and a copy of the Bill shall be delivered to the Secretary”. The Question before the Dewan is that the motion on application for leave to introduce a private members Bill in the Order Paper in the name of the Ahli Yang Berhormat for Ba‟ Kelalan be approved.

Question put to vote
Tuan Speaker: Members who want the leave be granted and the motion to proceed for are 14. Members against the leave should not be given are 52. Motion is therefore, dismissed.

~ Hansard (Unedited)

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