Thursday, June 23, 2011

Motions on money politics and ‘corrupt’ CM rejected

Corrupt Barisan Nasional - KUCHING: The Sarawak Legislative Assembly Speaker Asfia Awang Nasar yesterday rejected bids by opposition DAP to debate money politics in the recent state elections and allegations of corruption against Chief Minister Taib Mahmud.
Citing various ground to support his decision, Asfia rejected Opposition Leader Wong Ho Leng’s move to table the two motions.
In tabling his first motion, Wong who is Bukit Assek assemblyman said that vote buying had been rampant in Tamin constituency in the April 16 election as alleged by Malaysian election observers.

According to Malaysian Election Observers (MEO), payments were made in cash and by way of cheques which were issued by the CM’s  office.
“The above allegation is serious as it implies gross criminality against the state and casts severe aspersions on the integrity of Sarawak chief minister’s office and the government of the state.
“Elected representatives who are wakil rakyat must be elected honourably and at the voters’ free will without being tarnished by the involvement of money,” he said.
“It is moved that this house condemns bribery, corruption, corrupted practice and money politics in Sarawak’s election.
“Two, (we seek for) this house (to) establish a committee to investigate the usage of money to buy votes in 2011 Sarawak’s election, and three, similar strategy of vote-buying must stop in order to ensure the purity of the electorate and the sanctity of the election process,” he said.
MACC investigating Taib
In rejecting the motion, Asfia cited various grounds including Standing Order 23 (6) which states that ‘no motion relating to a matter contained in a federal list shall be in order.’
His second reason for rejecting Wong’s motion was based on Standing Order 24 (2) where the motion was not signed by a member who wanted to move the motion but by another member.
“On these two grounds the motion was rejected as it is out of order.
“I have given my ruling. If you are not happy with the ruling you can apply for a substantive motion.
“Under standing order 86, there is no appeal, except upon a substantive motion. That is my ruling,” he said.
The speaker directed Wong to proceed with his second motion.
Reading his motion, Wong said that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had confirmed that it is currently investigating the chief minister of Sarawak over an allegation of timber corruption.
“There is a similar investigation carried out in Switzerland and it has been reported in the news media that the chief minister had assets in countries other than in Switzerland which the chief minister had to justify.
“In order to maintain the image of the state, the dignity and integrity of the chief minister’s office and in order to avoid the perception that this state has been helmed by a leader who is under a corruption probe, the chief minister should go on extended leave until he has been cleared of the grave alleged corruption allegation.
“This house hereby resolves that the chief minister should go on extended leave until he has been cleared of grave corruption allegation both at home and internationally, and (b) that the state takes serious stand against corruption and (c) a committee comprising equal number of members from the BN and Pakatan Rakyat be established to enquire into firstly the chief minister’s grave corruption and second, the government ministers’ properties and investments overseas.
“And lastly to investigate  government ministers who are profiteering from corruption and money laundering and to return the funds to the state.
“This is my motion,” Wong said.
Issue rejected
In his ruling, the Speaker found that this motion was also out of order, pointing out that the chief minister’s personal explanation earlier in the day debunked the allegation contained in the motion beyond any shadow of doubt.
“At the same time it upholds firmly to the principle that the man is innocent until proven guilty, and two, the chief minister’s resignation was made the central issue in the recent state election.
“The issue was rejected by the electorate thereby they returned the BN to power with a two-thirds majority.
“By asking the chief minister to take extended leave is therefore an utter contradiction to the overwhelming mandate of the two-thirds majority which mandated him to lead this house at the first meeting after the election.
“Three, under standing order 23 (6) no motion relating to a matter contained in the federal legislative list is an order.
“And fourthly, the motion was not signed by the member who tabled the motion,” he said.
Wong tried to argue, but was told by the Speaker to sit down.






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