Open debate is everyone’s right, says Bandar Kuching MP

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KUCHING: Secretary of DAP Sarawak Chong Chieng Jen holds the opinion that every Sarawakian has the right to engage in an open debate pertaining to policies of the state with the leaders.

He reasoned that since every policy made by the state government would have an impact on the people, debates should not be limited to a certain group as suggested by the Chief Political Secretary to the Chief Minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah last Sunday.

Abdul Karim had said Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) state liaison chief Baru Bian should get himself elected as the people’s representative first before he could issue a challenge to Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud who is democratically elected by the people.

Chong, who is also the Bandar Kuching MP and Kota Sentosa assemblyman, said that if the criterion of elected people’s representative was what Abdul Karim insisted, he (Chong) was willing to debate with Taib.

He added that Abdul Karim was welcomed to be the moderator of the debate. Baru had recently challenged Taib to an open debate on Native Customary Rights (NCR) land issue.

Last Sunday, Taib said he would accept the challenge if Baru could come out with strong evidence to support his allegations that the state government had seized NCR land.