Friday, June 24, 2011

DUN (Day Three): Proposed changes to improve effectiveness in controlling questions and ensure better answers

PROPOSING CURBS: Asfia gestures when responding to reporters’ questions.

Proposed changes to improve effectiveness in controlling questions and ensure better answers
Posted on June 24, 2011, Friday

KUCHING: State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker Dato Sri Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar will propose to amend the present DUN Standing Order to synchronise it with the National Parliament Standing Order.

The present DUN Standing Order does not prevent members from asking questions which contained more than 40 words and they were also allowed to ask more than two sets of different questions.

“I will convene a meeting with the House Committee to amend our present Standing Order so that it will be uniform with that of the National Parliament (Standing Order),” Asfia told the media after the adjournment of the DUN sitting here yesterday.

He said once amended, the new Standing Order would be used for the November DUN sitting.

The House Committee comprises Asfia himself as the chairman, Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, PRS president Tan Sri Dr James Masing, SPDP president Tan Sri William Mawan and SUPP deputy secretary-general Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh.

Asfia said the proposal to amend the present Standing Order was to ensure its effectiveness in controlling questions from the members so that the replies from the respective ministers would be of high quality.

“We cannot allow some questions to reach more than 130 words. What kind of question is that?

“So with the amendment of the Standing Order, we will limit the question to within 40 words.

Current Standing Order has been used for too long — Asfia

“And secondly, we will not allow two sets of different questions to be asked at the same time otherwise it would be difficult for any minister to answer them,” he explained.

Asfia further explained that the proposed amendment to the DUN Standing Order had already been used in Westminster (English Parliament), Indian Parliament and the National Parliament.

He also explained that the current Standing Order had been used for too long without revision. Earlier in the day, Asfia had rejected two motions tabled by Bukit Assek assemblyman Wong Ho Leng for breaching the Standing Order.

“I rejected Wong Ho Leng’s motions because I as the Speaker have the final authority on the admissibility of the questions.

“There were 355 questions which were asked and rejected because the questions have infringed the Standing Order,” he added.

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