Sarawak DAP warns of legal action over Speaker’s move

KUCHING (Bernama) – Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) yesterday warned of legal action if the State Legislative Assembly Committee of Privileges suspends Padungan assemblyman Wong King Wei from the House over his statement against Speaker Datuk Amar Mohammad Asfia Awang Nassar.

Its chairman, Chong Chieng Jen, said it was not for the speaker to refer any member of the assembly to the Committee of Privileges because he is supposed to be impartial and, furthermore, he is the chairman of the committee as well.

He also said that the action of Mohammad Asfia referring Wong to the Committee of Privileges was uncalled for as Wong had only made a suggestion for the reformation of the assembly to enhance its role.

Mohammad Asfia had referred Wong to the committee on November 12 last year after the latter asked him to step down, saying he was a major “stumbling block” to the reformation of the assembly.

Chong, who is Federal Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister, spoke to reporters after launching the ASEAN NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) Labelling & Inter-Agency Integrated Monitoring Operation 2019.

He said Mohammad Asfia had made a “terrible decision” in the past in the case of Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon.

Dr Ting was disqualified as a member of the assembly over his Australian citizenship but the Court of Appeal upheld a High Court decision that the disqualification was unlawful.

“It’s quite a shame that the highest law-making body in Sarawak is found by the courts to have acted against the law, and it may happen again,” said Chong, who is the MP for Stampin and assemblyman for Kota Sentosa.

Chong himself also joined Wong in calling on Mohamad Asfia to resign as the speaker, saying he had overstayed in his position.