Sarawak Speaker to announce state assembly seating change for three reps now with PDP

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUCHING, April 14 — Tan Sri Asfia Awang Nasar today said he will soon announce a new seating arrangement for three assemblymen from the dissolved Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) who are now members of Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), a component of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).

The Sarawak Speaker said any change in seating arrangement will be made after he has consulted Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg, who is the leader of the state assembly.

“Although I have the discretionary power under Standing Order 2 of the Sarawak state assembly to decide on the seating arrangement, I will still need to consult the leader of the house out of courtesy,” Asfia told reporters after hosting a Hari Raya Aidilfitri gathering at the state assembly here.

He said he will make the announcement before the state assembly sitting for eight days, starting from May 6, and it will be opened by Sarawak Governor Tun Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar. On February 17, PSB passed a resolution to dissolve itself at its extra delegates general meeting in Sibu and its three assemblymen Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh (Bawang Assan), Baru Bian (Ba’Kelalan) and Johnical Rayong (Engkilili) then joined PDP.

Asfia said the admission of the three into PDP will not trigger by-elections as they did not breach the anti-party hopping law since they are without any party after PSB was dissolved.

Earlier in his speech, Asfia said his office received a letter on April 12 from PDP president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing informing him that PSB has been dissolved and that Wong, Baru and Rayong are now members of PDP.

“Tiong asked me to make arrangements to change their seats from the opposition bench to the government side,” he said. Asfia said he believes in the change in heart of PSB leaders because they saw the meaninglessness and futility of playing the role of an opposition.

“How do you oppose when we have political stability, racial harmony and enjoying economic prosperity?” Asfia asked. He said PSB dissolved itself voluntarily, without any compulsion from GPS.