Friday, June 24, 2011

DUN (Day Three): Asfia says no special privilege for sole independent

No special privilege for sole independent
Posted on June 24, 2011, Friday

DUN SPEAKER Dato Sri Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar stated that the only independent member of the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) George Lagong (Pelagus) must abide by rules of the assembly and will be given the same treatment as any other member.

George had repeatedly request for more time to present his speech because he was the only independent member of the house.

"I know you are an independent member but being independent does not free you from any rules," Asfia said.
In his speech when debating the Head of State speech during the opening of the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting, George raised issues on rivers as the main means of transportation for the people in Pelagus.

"The waterways still constitute an important communication mode especially in areas where roads cannot reach and therefore express boats, cargo vessels and light river craft are vital in sustaining the economic life of Pelagus."

Pointing out that river travel was dangerous in certain parts and accidents resulting in many lives lost had occurred in the past, George called on the Sarawak River Board to step up its enforcement and monitoring of passenger boats plying the rivers

"On the same note, I also would like to highlight that the Kapit express boat terminal which is a busy traffic hub should be upgraded to cater for the growing numbers of passengers," he said.

Pointing out that the Kapit express terminal was the only point of embarkation for most people in Kapit to travel to Sibu, he urged the relevant authorities to do a detailed study on how to improve and extend the facility.

George also expressed his concern over rural-urban migration which had affected the demographic pattern of Pelagus, pointing the scarcity of business and employment opportunities in the area as the root cause of many young and educated Ibans leaving their longhouse to seek opportunities in the cities.

"Many have settled down in towns and only return to their longhouses to visit their parents and elderly relatives on occasions such as Gawai and Christmas andthose who remain in the longhouses are mainly the older folk," he said.

"The trend will continue unless job and business opportunities are available for the younger generations to stay back. I hope the government and relevant authorities can come up with long-term strategies to address this issue," he added.

He added that he was willing to cooperate with Kapit MP Alexander Nanta Linggi to address the problem and other issues affecting the people in the area.

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