KUCHING: Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian said his motion that was dismissed by State Legislative Assembly (DUN) speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar yesterday had nothing to do with devolution of power.
“My motion was very clear, nothing to do with devolution of power. My motion was on reinstating the status of Sarawak to the status before 1976 because our opinion is that is not subject to the talk on devolution of power. It is the status that we want to reinstate.
“So no amount of talking could get that back to the status before 1976. It has to go through, first a motion in the Dewan to make it very clear that the amendment (to the Federal Constitution in 1976) was invalid because there was no consent given by the state government and DUN in 1976.
“And I believe Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem was in agreement with that statement. That was why they wanted to pass a motion earlier on but withdrew it half way,” Baru, who is also state PKR chairman, said in a press conference yesterday.
He was commenting on Asfia’s rejection of his motion, together with the motions by Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How and Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen on the grounds that the subject matters and issues raised were ‘in pari materia’ with the statement made by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing under Standing Order 11(1)(i) read together with Standing Order 22 on Sarawak’s autonomy and devolution of powers.
“I see that the statement by the minister has nothing to do with my motion. The speaker said all our motions were ‘in pari materia’ with the Deputy Chief Minister’s statement, but I wish to state that my motion was totally different.”
Baru said the statement made by Masing was pertaining to the protection and preserving of the rights of Sarawak.
“That was the main thing. he covered the motion that we passed last year where we mandated the state government to carry out talks with the federal government and now they now called it talking on the devolution of powers.”
Baru said in fact, his question was whether the state government was still of the view that the Federal Constitution amendment in 1976 was invalid or they were accepting it as a valid amendment.
“I meant to ask the minister earlier on, what is the position of the state government on the amendment to Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution that was amended in 1976.
“If they are still saying that it is invalid, then I think it was really a miss of opportunity.
I think it is very unfortunate that they did not proceed with the motion and did not allow my motion to go through in the Dewan.”
Similarly, See also said his motion had nothing to do with devolution of power.
“Mine was on Petronas, we were talking about giving of production sharing agreement signed by Petronas to give out all the gas and oil fields in the territorial area of Sarawak.
Those (gas and oil fields) are ours so there is nothing to do with devolution of power because we don’t need devolution of power.
“We are talking about something that we have. Therefore, so we didn’t agree with speaker in the way he’s dealing (with the motions).”
See said while it was correct for Asfia to disallow debate on Masing’s statement under Standing Order 22, members of the august House should be allowed to ask questions and the minister had to answer questions in the chamber.
Besides that, he said it was very clear in Standing Order 22 that the minister could not raise something controversial, but Masing had raised things that were controversial all over in his statement.
On Masing’s remarks on opposition and government, See said the former had a wrong understanding of parliamentary practice, because under the Westminster’s Parliamentary democracy, the opposition was also part of the system of governance.
“I thought of making the correction, but the speaker did not allow it. But that is stated in the parliamentary practice that we have and he has as well, but he’s reading the parts that he could refer to.”
~ Borneo Post