Wednesday, June 26

Padungan rep removed from DUN sitting for a day, referred to Committee of Privileges


Wong, flanked by Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong (left) and Pelawan assemblyman David Wong, speaks at the conference.

KUCHING: Wong King Wei (DAP-Padungan) is having a day-off from his law-making duty following an overwhelming 56 votes in favour of referring him to the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Committee of Privileges.

Only seven members of the House voted against a motion moved by Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar to refer Wong to the Committee of Privileges over the proposals he raised last Friday.

Wong could have stayed inside the chamber after being referred to the committee. This did not happen because he, with the microphone switched off, still spoke at the top of his lungs, an act which prompted Asfia to instruct security personnel of the House to escort Wong out of the chamber.

At first, Asfia told Wong to remain silent and defend himself before the committee.

But Wong refused to heed such advice and continue to speak aloud, attempting to defend himself despite the Speaker’s decision to refer him to the committee.

Wong’s stubbornness must have riled up Asfia, who was heard giving an order: “Go out! Escort him out!”

Wong was not convinced at all as he could still be heard over the public address (P.A.) system: “No, this is not right.”

At a news conference later, Wong explained that he was not trying to make Asfia withdraw the decision to refer him to the committee.

The DAP law-maker said he deserved a chance to defend himself in the chamber even after he was referred to the committee.

Last Friday, Wong proposed that the House initiate reform in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the State Legislative Assembly (DUN).

Among the proposals, he said every state law-maker should be given a fair chance to speak up in the House but this was restricted given the current microphone system controlled by the House.

According to him, the old DUN Complex still allowed assembly persons to have access to the microphone, that they can switch it on and off at any one time.

Wong added that such freedom was taken away from the law-makers when they moved to the current DUN Complex.

“This is undemocratic and infringing the democratic spirit. We are bringing in the voices of the people and should speak freely without the consent of the Chair (Speaker),” he asserted.

Touching on the implications of having been referred to the committee, he feared that the committee could have decided to bar him from attending the sitting for the next six months or a year.

“The decision (to refer Wong to the committee) is mostly unfair,” added Wong.