by Sebanaku Sarawak
KUCHING: Today the State Legislative Assembly speaker Dato Sri Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar says the Padungan assemblyman Dominique Ng Kim Ho has no right under the law to enter the precincts of DUN.
And Asfia says he has no authority to grant access into the precincts.
But Dominique Ng said he has the right as a member of a public - not as an assemblyman.
So, who is talking the truth? Or both are right?
And interestingly the Parliament Deputy Speaker Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar says Asfia has the authority to confer access into the precincts of the Dewan.
Now, it is getting more puzzling ...
STATEMENT MADE BY THE SPEAKER DATO SRI MOHD ASFIA AWANG NASSAR
1. Reference is made to various media reports about the attempts by the Honourable Member for Padungan Dominique Ng Kim Ho, to enter the precincts of the Dewan Undangan Negeri on Thursday 20th May, 2010
2. The Honourable Member of Padungan was suspended by the Dewan on Tuesday 19th May, 2010 upon the Dewan adopting the Report of the Committee of Privileges which found that the charge of breach of privileges against him was proven. His suspension took effect immediately on 19th May, 2010.
3. Section 14(2) of the Dewan Undangan Negeri (Privileges & Power) Ordinance, 2007, reads:-
"Section 14(2) - A member who has been suspended from the Dewan shall withdraw forthwith from its precincts and shall not enter or remain therein while such suspension remains in force; and any officers of the Dewan may remove or order the removal of any member found within the precincts of the Dewan in contravention of this section."
4. Section 2 of the Ordinance defines "precincts of the Dewan" as follows:-
"the chamber and offices of the Dewan Undangan Negeri and the galleries and places provided for the use or accommodation of strangers, members of the public, and representatives of the press, and includes, while the Dewan is sitting, and subject to any exceptions made by direction of the Speaker, every part of a building in which the chamber of the Dewan is situated, which is provided or issued for the purposes of the Dewan; and any forecourt, yard, garden, enclosure or open space adjoining or appertaining to such building and used or provided for the purposes of the Dewan."
5. All Honourable Members, including the Honourable Member for Padungan, must obey the provisions of the Ordinance. He should stay away from the precincts of the Dewan whilst under suspension, especially when the Dewan is sitting.
6. The Chair has received a letter from the Honourable Member for Padungan dated 21st May 2010. He made 2 requests in his letter:-
(a) he be allowed access to the public gallery, and
(b) he be given copies of the Hansard.
7. On (a), Section 14(2) of the Ordinance is very clear. The Honourable Member for Padungan must not enter or remain in the precincts which include the public gallery. Hence, I am not conferred with any statutory authority to grant his request to be at the public gallery. To grant his request will mean ignoring the clear provisions of the law. This is totally unacceptable.
8. On (b), I have directed the Secretary of the Dewan to supply and send him copies of the Hansard everyday when the Dewan sits.
9. Any action taken by the police, or auxillary police or the officers of this Dewan, have been taken in compliance with Section 14(2) and 36 of the Ordinance and to enforce compliance therewith.
The speaker admitted that the did receive a letter from Ng dated on May, 2010 requesting for an access to the public gallery and copies of the Hansard.