STATE Legislative Assembly (DUN) speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar dismissed a motion seeking to restore the status of Sarawak from one of the 13 states to one of the three regions.
The motion was tabled by Wong King Wei (DAP-Padungan) under Standing Order 15, expecting the august House to resolve that the state government directed one of its federal ministers to table an Amendment Bill to the Federal Constitution in Parliament for the restoration of the status of Sarawak as before 1976.
“The motion seeks to have this House to have a federal minister to carry out some duties in the federal Parliament. That is to table a bill to amend the Federal Constitution. Amending the Federal Constitution is a matter wholly under the purview of the federal Parliament.
“Hence, the motion cannot be allowed under Standing Order 23(6) which reads, ‘No motion relating to a matter contained in the Federal List shall be in order’.
“Besides, the matter is not urgent, as the devolution of power technical committee will be deliberating on a proposal from Sabah to amend the Federal Constitution. And as the honorable deputy chief minister and honorable member for Baleh said on Nov 21, we should read the report of the technical committee.
“For a motion to succeed under Standing Order 15, it must be definite, urgent and of public importance. While this motion is definite and of public importance as stated by the honorable deputy chief minister and honorable member for Baleh, there is no urgency.
“This motion must satisfy all the three ingredients namely; it is definite, it is urgent and it is of public importance. Without the ingredient of urgency, the motion fails under Standing Order 15. Motion is dismissed,” Asfia said in his ruling after Wong moved the motion yesterday.
After reading his motion, Wong said he believed that both sides of the House wanted to restore the status of Sarawak and to make this happen, ‘it is as simple as just to adopt the bill, which we have drafted’.
He said the next course of action would be for a state BN federal minister to table the bill and pass it in Parliament.
“That’s it. Rome can be built in one day. Just adopt it, pass it and the status of Sarawak can be restored.”
During a press conference, Wong said the Amendment Bill had a higher chance of being passed in Parliament if it were tabled by a federal minister instead of a private member.
He said a Bill tabled by a federal minister superceded all private member’s bills.
Despite the dismissal, Wong said he still hoped for a miracle that a state BN federal minister would table the bill in Parliament.
“I believe some cabinet ministers in Sarawak still have conscience. I will make a copy of the bill for the cabinet members. But if no one tables it, DAP will do it.”
He also wondered why Asfia ruled the motion as ‘not urgent’ while 40 years had gone by since the Federal Constitution was amended in 1976.
“We are already 40 years late. How long do we have to wait?”
Source : The Borneo Post Online