Asfia: Standing Order and Select Committee to Decide whether ‘pantun’ Allowed during Q&A Session
Tarikh : 12 Nov 2020  Sumber Berita: The Borneo Post

KUCHING (Nov 12): State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar has referred to the Standing Order and Select Committee to decide whether members of the august House are allowed to cite ‘pantun’ during the question-and-answer (Q&A) session of the proceedings.

He made such ruling before the DUN sitting began today, following the dissatisfaction brought up by Irene Chang (DAP-Bukit Assek) and David Wong (DAP-Pelawan) yesterday.

Asfia pointed out that under Standing Order 19(5), any questions stated on the Order of the Day that were not covered during the Q&A session would see them replied by the minister concerned in written form.

He added that under Standing Order 20(2)(c), a question shall not contain any argument, opinion, ironical or offensive expression.

“The question should be short, precise and tense. These are pertinent matters, so under Standing Order 69(2)(a), I shall refer this matter to the for their consideration,” he said.

Despite Asfia’s opening remarks, Assistant Minister of Infrastructure and Ports Development Datuk Julaihi Narawi still started his ministerial reply to Wong with a ‘pantun’.

“Pantun is part of our culture, and pantun is a very fine part of our culture,” said Julaihi, but Asfia interjected and ruled: “We leave it to the Selection Committee to discuss, you (Julaihi) just reply.”


Instead of reading out his reply, Julaihi insisted: “I just want to send a message to Pelawan.”

In the background, Wong was heard saying: “You (Julaihi) can do (it in) your speech.”

Earlier, Asfia said the two opposition members opined that the House was too generous with members who cited their ‘pantun’, and that some supplementary questions from members were lengthy.

He said the duo also pointed out that the Q&A session did not reach its stipulated time of one hour.

“A number of honorary members resort to pantun to add colour and flavour to the proceedings while others see it as a waste to the Q&A time,” he added.