Why hold Budget 2022 outside assembly? Opposition rep asks Sarawak govt

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The Bawang Assan assemblyman said that the ruling coalition and the Sarawak Speaker’s office should reconvene the assembly for a day or two for the tabling of Budget 2022 even if the state were still under an Emergency Order. — Picture by Sulok Tawie
The Bawang Assan assemblyman said that the ruling coalition and the Sarawak Speaker’s office should reconvene the assembly for a day or two for the tabling of Budget 2022 even if the state were still under an Emergency Order. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, Oct 8 — Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh today asked the state government why it chose to hold a special meeting for next year’s state Budget at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching instead of in the state legislative assembly.

The Bawang Assan assemblyman said that the ruling coalition and the Sarawak Speaker’s office should reconvene the assembly for a day or two for the tabling of Budget 2022 even if the state were still under an Emergency Order.

“If not, it is not doing justice to such an important document as the state Budget 2022,” he said in a statement.

He noted that all assemblymen had been invited to attend the special Budget 2022 meeting at the convention centre on October 12, but said those from his party will not be going as long as it is outside the lawmaking house.

“For what purpose? Why is the special meeting not held in the state assembly building?” he asked.

Wong, a former state finance minister, said that tabling and approving the Budget outside of the legislative assembly may not be accepted as official and could have legal repercussions.

“A special meeting at a convention hall cannot be treated too seriously. It is just an attempt by Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government to relate some good budget news to the people at large hoping to gain some political mileage.

“Since it is just a briefing session, the Budget 2022 cannot be taken as real or official,” he added.

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