Mesyuarat DUN Sarawak 27 Julai 2006
Date: Jul 30th, 2006 5:02:12 am - Subscribe
Mood: captivated


PEMASYHURAN DARIPADA TUAN SPEAKER

Tuan Speaker: Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat, I wish to make the following announcements.

First, pursuant to Standing Order 69(2)(b), the Standing Orders and Selection Committee has nominated the Chairman and Members of the following Sessional Select Committee:

The Public Accounts Committee, the Members are:

Y.B. Encik Peter Nansian anak Nguse;
Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim bin Rahman Hamzah;
Y.B. Encik Gabriel Adit anak Demong;
Y.B. Encik Chiew Chiu Sing;
Y.B. Tuan Haji Julaihi bin Haji Narawi;
Y.B. Dr. Jerip anak Susil;
Y.B. Dr. Haji Wahbi bin Haji Junaidi as Chairman of the Committee.

The House Committee, the Members are:

Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam;
Y.B. Dato Sri Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Abang Haji Openg;
Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong;
Y.B. Datuk Haji Daud bin Abdul Rahman;
Y.B. Datuk Peter Nyarok anak Entrie;
Y.B. Encik John Sikie Tayai;
Pursuant to Standing Order 71, I as Speaker shall be the Chairman of the House Committee.

The Public Petitions Committee, the Members are:

Y.B. Datuk Gramong Juna;
Y.B. Encik Larry Sng Wei Shien;
Y.B. Encik Sylvester Entri Muran;
Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim bin Rahman Hamzah;
Y.B. Encik Frederick Bayoi anak Manggie;
Y.B. Encik Tan Joo Phoi;
Pursuant to Standing Order 72, I being the Speaker shall be the Chairman of the Public Petitions Committee.

The Committee of Privileges, the members are:

Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang;
Y.B. Dato Sri Dr. James Jemut anak Masing;
Y.B. Datuk William Mawan anak Ikom;
Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan;
Y.B. Encik Lee Kim Shin;
Y.B. Encik Roland Sagah Wee Inn;
Pursuant to Standing Order 73, I being the Speaker shall be the Chairman of the Committee of Privileges.

Secondly, pursuant to Standing Order 71, I being the Chairman of the House Committee, in the exercise of power under the said Standing Order, appoint the following Members as members of the Dewan Undangan Negeri Events Committee:

Y.B. Datin Hajah Fatimah Abdullah;
Y.B. Encik Larry Sng Wei Shien;
Y.B. Encik Lihan Jok;
Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim bin Rahman Hamzah;
Y.B. Tuan Haji Hamden bin Haji Ahmad;
Y.B. Encik Peter Nansian anak Nguse;
Y.B. Tuan Haji Julaihi bin Haji Narawi;
Y.B. Encik Ranum anak Mina;
Y.B. Dr. Abdul Rahman bin Junaidi;
Y.B. Dr. Haji Wahbi bin Haji Junaidi;
Y.B. Dr. Stephen Rundi anak Utom;
Y.B. Dr. Jerip anak Susil;
Y.B. Encik Awang Bemee bin Awang Ali Basah;
Y.B. Encik Abu Seman bin Jahwie;
Y.B. Tuan Haji Mohamad Naroden bin Haji Majais shall be the Chairman of the Committee. This Committee shall assist the House Committee in the planning, organizing, managing and monitoring any event or matter relating to an incidental to the comfort and inconvenience of the services, amenities and facilities to the Members of the Dewan.

Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat, with reference to my communication on the 25th day of July 2006 to this august House about the breach of Section 7 of the Dewan Undangan Negeri Privileges, Immunities and Powers Ordinance, 1963, by the Honourable Member for Padungan, following a complaint by the Honourable Member for Layar, the Chair had received the written explanation from the Honourable Member for Padungan.

In his written explanation of 26th July, 2006, the Honourable Member for Padungan said that he did “invite” the Honourable Member for Layar to accept service of court document or process from his staff in the Dewan or within its precinct. This means that there was clear intention on the part of the Honourable Member for Padungan to serve on the Honourable Member for Layar court documents relating to an election petition matter. The chair concludes that on the basis of what is stated in the letter from the Honourable Member for Padungan, there has been a breach of Section 7 of the said Ordinance.

The Honourable Member for Padungan said in his letter if what he did on 24th July, 2006 was wrong, he would apologize to the House and to the Honourable Member for Layar. To uphold the provisions of the said Ordinance and the immunities and privileges conferred therein the chair feels that an apology must be unqualified to be accepted by this Dewan. Before the chair calls upon the Honourable Member for Padungan, if he would be prepared to give an unqualified apology following my earlier findings that he breached Section 7 of the said Ordinance, as the Member concerned wants to apologize also to the Honourable Member for Layar, I now ask the Honourable Member for Layar whether he wishes to say anything first. The Dewan secretariat had already given the Honourable Member for Layar a copy of the letter dated 26th July, 2006 from the Honourable Member for Padungan.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Terima kasih, Tuan Speaker.

Tuan Speaker, I wish to thank the staff of this Dewan for giving me in advance a copy of letter sent to you, Tuan Speaker, by the Honourable Member for Padungan. There are two matters mentioned in the letter that I need to clarify.

(a) I did not evade service of the Election Petition. I just wanted the service thereof to be done in accordance with the relevant rules governing service of such petition and not to infringe the privilege granted by Section 7 of Dewan Undangan Negeri Privileges, Immunities and Powers Ordinance.

(b) What is stated in the Honourable Member for Padungan’s letter about the incident is not correct. My own letter on 25th July, sets out correctly what happened and I would like, I want with the permission Tuan Speaker, to put the record straight by telling this Dewan what actually happened on the afternoon of the 24th July, 2006, the very same day of the official opening of Dewan sitting.

As I entered the corridor of the Dewan, just near the general desk at the Dewan lobby on the afternoon of 24th July, 2006 and about just before 2:30, on my way to perform my official duty as duly elected Ahli Yang Berhormat for Layar and also to perform my duty in my capacity as Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak and Minister for Infrastructure and Communication and Minister for Rural Development, I was confronted by two gentlemen standing a few feet, standing close to one another, a few feet, I did not measure length exactly, and Ahli Yang Berhormat for Padungan was at the back and this gentleman whom I did not recognize but he was wearing a tie and said that, as I entered and he approached me, his words said we, he said we not I, “we want to give you election petition for you to receive.” That was their word “we” and I said I told this is my word “you know, any good lawyer will know the procedure for serving election petition.” That was my word.

So, and not wanting to be late for the Dewan session, I entered this very Dewan, Tuan Speaker and at that time, everybody was ready including the Right Honourable Member for Balingian who is our beloved Chief Minister and Ahli Yang Berhormat for Piasau was already ready in his seat who is the Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Modernisation of Agriculture and Minister for Industrial Development. So as I took my seat, the very seat here, and I sat down and Ahli Yang Berhormat for Padungan entered that door and go straight to this very chamber here.

And he said, “Simple that you just receive, don’t be afraid, I said, “what is that to be afraid”, so he chased me to this Dewan asking me to receive the petition. So through that, Tuan Speaker, I initiated the letter which I sent to your goodself and delivered over to Ahli Yang Berhormat for Padungan, that is on the 25th the next day. So, his version in the explanation is not correct. I stand by my word, Tuan Speaker, I have been elected for so many times into this Dewan and I have always observed the decorum. I never tell lie here. If that is the testimony, as for my record, against the testimony, against what we have heard yesterday, Ahli Yang Berhormat for Padungan said he wants to withdraw from the federation when being asked if he wants to withdraw from the federation of applied, of electrical appliances in order to get Petronas to give us money. Well, when you compare the type of credibility with me, I don’t know, I don’t want to argue because this is not a street, this is a respectable Dewan, Tuan Speaker. So, with that I want unqualified apology not if, Tuan Speaker, because his letter said if inviting the Honourable Yang Berhormat outside the Dewan Undangan Negeri Chambers, he did not invite outside, well, he came here if this is outside in his term of the words, well, get the Honourable Members to interpret him, well, if, I read if inviting the Honourable Yang Berhormat outside the Dewan Chambers to accept a properly issued petition is wrong, then I wish to humbly extend my sincerely apologies and I, therefore, do not, and I hereby do so both to the Chambers and to the Honourable Yang Berhormat for Layar, there was certainly no intention on either me or my staff’s part to infringe any laws pertaining to the Dewan, but the word used by them including Ahli Yang Berhormat for Padungan when he was in the corridor, the word said by the person in front, he said, we, we is a plural not I. So, when after that he come over here, he is part of the word we, implied.

So, that is the position, Tuan Speaker, I leave it to our good discretion, your good discretion, Tuan Speaker because I feel this Dewan, the sanctity of this Dewan need to be properly protected by everybody. This is my explanation, Tuan Speaker and, however since the Honourable Member for Padungan, if he wants to apologize, I am willing to accept since he is new to the Dewan provided he give the word is unqualified and unequivocal as well as sincere apology. There is nothing wrong with it if we are gentlemen. Lastly, I believe the Honourable Member for Padungan had also wanted to effect service of court document on the Honourable Member for Krian who had complained to me about it. Hence, the Honourable Member for Padungan should also apologize to the Honourable Member for Krian and I am not speaking for Honourable Member for Krian except I have got to draw the attention to this respectable Dewan that this is the situation and I believe Ahli Yang Berhormat for Krian is here, let him say his speechlah. Thank you very much.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Krian.

Menteri Muda Pertanian (Organisasi Petani dan Koperasi) Y.B. Datuk Peter Nyarok anak Entrie: I confirm what the Honourable Member for Layar had said to the Dewan.

Tuan Speaker: The Honourable Member for Padungan is not here this morning. Let me hear his response whether he is prepared to offer an unqualified, unequivocal, sincere apology. Right.

PERTANYAAN-PERTANYAAN BAGI JAWAPAN LISAN

PEMBINAAN JALAN PERSISIRAN

(106) Y.B. Tuan Haji Julaihi bin Haji Narawi bertanya kepada Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan: Berapakah jumlah kos yang telah, sedang dan akan digunakan untuk pembinaan jalan persisiran dan jalan raya luar bagi:

(a) Seluruh Negeri Sarawak; dan
(b) Kawasan Sebuyau.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Julaihi bin Haji Narawi: Tuan Speaker, sebelum saya bertanya, saya ingin membuat sedikit pembetulan. Soalan saya sepatutnya berbunyi begini: Berapakah jumlah kos yang telah, sedang dan akan digunakan untuk pembinaan jalan persisiran dan jalan raya luar bandar, perkataan bandar tertinggal di situ. Soalan 106.

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Di): Terima kasih, Tuan Speaker, saya ingin memaklumkan Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Sebuyau bahawa:

(a) Under category jalan persisiran pantai, projek pembinaan jalan persisiran pantai telah dilaksanakan dalam tempoh Rancangan Malaysia Ketujuh dan Rancangan Malaysia Kelapan dan akan diteruskan perlaksanaan dalam tempoh Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan. Projek ini telah dibiayai dengan peruntukan Kerajaan Persekutuan dan Kerajaan Negeri. Jumlah kos perlaksanaan jalan persisiran pantai di seluruh Negeri Sarawak dalam tempoh Rancangan Malaysia Ketujuh dan Rancangan Malaysia Kelapan ialah sejumlah RM1,403,649,064 di mana pembiayaannya daripada Kerajaan Persekutuan sejumlah RM1,082,104,173 dan daripada Kerajaan Negeri sejumlah RM321,544,891. Sebahagian projek telah dilaksanakan di kawasan Sebuyau dan kos perlaksanaan sejumlah RM66,960,706. Kerajaan merancang untuk meneruskan projek ini kerana ia sebagai pemangkin kepada aktiviti kehidupan masyarakat di luar bandar yang tertumpu di kawasan persisiran pantai. Peruntukan sejumlah RM584,000.00 telah dilulus oleh Kerajaan Persekutuan manakala peruntukan sejumlah RM142,700,000 telah dikemukakan untuk kelulusan Kerajaan Negeri. Kajian masih dibuat mengenalpasti laluan feri untuk melintasi Batang Lupar dan penyiapan jalan yang menghubungi jambatan Sungai Sebuyau dan jalan ke Sebangan.

(b) Jalan luar bandar. Projek pembinaan jalan luar bandar telah dilaksanakan sejak Rancangan Malaysia Kelapan dan kerajaan bercadang untuk meneruskan projek ini dalam Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan. Projek ini telah dibiayai oleh Kementerian Luar Bandar dan Wilayah Malaysia melalui agensi perlaksanaan iaitu Jabatan Kerja Raya Sarawak dan Jabatan Pengairan dan Saliran Sarawak (DID). Jabatan Kerja Raya telah melaksanakan projek ini di Negeri Sarawak dan kos projek sejumlah RM115,185,000.00 bagi 20 buah jalan. Sebanyak 13 buah jalan tersebut telah siap, tiga buah jalan masih di peringkat perlaksanaan manakala empat buah jalan telah dicadangkan semula dalam Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan untuk pertimbangan Kerajaan Persekutuan. Setakat ini tiada pembinaan jalan luar bandar dilaksanakan oleh Jabatan Kerja Raya di daerah Sebuyau. Bermakna boleh jadi dah siap semua. Jabatan Pengairan dan Saliran Sarawak juga telah melaksanakan empat buah jalan luar bandar yang berjumlah RM22.01 juta dalam Rancangan Malaysia Kelapan. Sebanyak 13 buah jalan luar bandar telah diluluskan untuk perlaksanaan dalam Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan dengan peruntukan sejumlah RM202.34 juta. Sebanyak enam buah jalan luar bandar berada di peringkat reka bentuk dan penyediaan tender manakala tujuh buah projek jalan luar bandar masih di peringkat perancangan. Jabatan Pengairan dan Saliran telah melaksanakan satu projek iaitu Jalan Tongkah/Melayu/Kampung Tongkah Dayak, Arus Melayu di Sebangan dengan kos berjumlah RM6.8 juta dan telah siap pada 21 November 2005.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Julaihi bin Haji Narawi: (supplementary question) Memandangkan kemudahan feri di Sungai Buluh yang menyeberangi ke Kampung Seruyu di kawasan Sebuyau adalah sebahagian daripada jalan persisiran, saya ingin tahu boleh tak kemudahan feri tersebut dipercepatkan operasinya?

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Di): Terima kasih, at the moment the ferry is still under test of commissioning and should, there will be no big improvement necessary to make it fit for public service, we hope that the ferry can be put into service by the end of the year.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Kakus.

Y.B. Encik John Sikie Tayai: Tuan Speaker, berapa peratuskah jalan persisiran pantai yang belum siap?

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Tuan Speaker, kalau bertanya berapa peratus mungkin agak sukar bagi kita untuk memberi angka oleh kerana apa yang kita buat sekarang untuk memastikan linkage sepanjang jalan persisiran pantai itu dapat siap dalam Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan yang mana the critical linkages is between Kuala Tatau stretch to Kuala Balingian, a distance of about, slightly less than 39 km for which I am very thankful to the Federal Government that this critical stretch has been included in the Ninth Malaysia Plan for which I believe when this is linked you can say that the whole stretch from Northern Sarawak right over to Sematan through the coastal area will be usable. So, we can say that is the progress that will be achieved when the Kuala Tatau/Kuala Balingian stretch is completed. Some areas still use ferries, some areas depend on how much the fund allocated by the Federal Government, some areas will have bridges also, but anyway whether it is bridge or ferry for as long as that new stretch of road, the coastal linkages can be achieved it will be, it will be very useful for the opening of new areas along the coastal to provide uninterrupted communication and also to open up land development and to give transport facilities, and road linkages, transport linkages over to various kampung, longhouses, shops and various centers including rural growth centers. Thank you.

SHORTAGE OF SUGAR

(107) Y.B. Encik Tan Joo Phoi to ask the Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Industrial Development: What actions are taken to prevent the shortage of sugar in some part of Sarawak?

Menteri Muda Hal Ehwal Islam dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Haji Daud Abdul Rahman): Tuan Speaker, saya akan menjawab soalan daripada Yang Berhormat bagi Batu Kawa sekaligus dengan soalan Yang Berhormat bagi Tarat (132).

Tuan Speaker: Seratus….?

Menteri Muda Hal Ehwal Islam dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Haji Daud Abdul Rahman): 132.

Tuan Speaker: 132.

Menteri Muda Hal Ehwal Islam dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Haji Daud Abdul Rahman): Dan Yang Berhormat bagi Tasik Biru (13cool.gif sebab soalan-soalan mereka ini lebih kurang sama.

Tuan Speaker: 132 dan seratus….?

Menteri Muda Hal Ehwal Islam dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Haji Daud Abdul Rahman): 138

Tuan Speaker: 138, Okay

Menteri Muda Hal Ehwal Islam dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Haji Daud Abdul Rahman): One three eight.

Tuan Speaker: Okay.

Menteri Muda Hal Ehwal Islam dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Haji Daud Abdul Rahman): Untuk makluman Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Batu Kawah, Tarat dan Tasik Biru, punca masalah utama kekurangan gula adalah seperti berikut:

(1) Dari analisa awal yang dibuat, menunjukkan bahawa salah satu punca kekurangan adalah disebabkan pembelian berlebihan oleh industri dari pemborong-pemborong di kawasan-kawasan tertentu. Industri yang membuat produk-produk untuk dieksport sepatutnya membeli dengan kadar eksport tetapi membeli dari pasaran dengan harga domestik untuk mengaut keuntungan. Permintaan tinggi disebabkan oleh harga gula di negara ini lebih rendah berbanding dengan negara-negara luar dan ini menggalakkan aktiviti perniagaan gula yang menyalahi undang-undang.

(2) Selain daripada itu, publisiti yang meluas oleh media massa mengenai kekurangan gula di pasaran telah menyebabkan berlaku pembelian panik (panic buying) oleh pengguna hingga bekalan tambahan yang diedarkan telah kehabisan dalam tempoh yang singkat.

(3) Peniaga yang tidak bertanggungjawab mengambil kesempatan untuk menyorok gula bagi tujuan untuk memperoleh keuntungan apabila harga gula naik atau semasa kekurangan gula. Mereka boleh menjual dengan harga pasaran gelap. Penyorokan gula oleh peniaga yang tidak bertanggungjawab ini turut menyumbang penyusutan bekalan gula di pasaran domestik.

(4) Pembocoran berlaku di kawasan-kawasan sempadan terutama di sempadan Thailand dan Indonesia di mana gula telah diseludupkan keluar. Langkah-langkah untuk memastikan bekalan gula yang mencukupi, konsisten dan berterusan, adalah seperti berikut:

(i) Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri dan Hal Ehwal Pengguna telah mengadakan perbincangan dengan pengeluar-pengeluar gula dan Persatuan-Persatuan Perniagaan di peringkat Yang Berhormat Menteri dan pegawai bagi mendapatkan kerjasama untuk menangani isu kekurangan gula. Kementerian juga mengadakan majlis taklimat kepada pihak-pihak berkuasa negeri dan agensi-agensi kerajaan bagi menjelaskan masalah bekalan dan mendapat bantuan pihak berkenaan mengenai langkah-langkah yang diambil untuk menanganinya.

(ii) Kementerian telah mengeluarkan agar arahan segera supaya bekalan gula disalurkan kepada pemborong-pemborong di tempat-tempat yang menghadapi kekurangan. Pengeluar-pengeluar juga diminta memberi kerjasama membekalkan gula dalam tempoh yang ditetapkan dan mengambil langkah supaya bekalan tidak terputus.

(iii) Bagi memastikan bekalan gula kepada sektor domestik tidak terjejas, pihak industri yang menggunakan gula sebagai bahan asas dalam pengeluaran produk mereka dikehendaki mendapatkan bekalan terus dari pengilang atau melalui pemborong-pemborong yang dilantik.

(iv) Kementerian akan mengkaji struktur pengagihan gula di peringkat pemborong dan peruncit dengan menghadkan bilangan pemborong dan juga kuantiti had simpanan mereka.

(v) Sebagai langkah kawalselia yang lebih efektif, Kementerian bercadang mengeluarkan semula lesen perniagaan barang kawalan berjadual kepada peniaga-peniaga runcit gula. Peniaga-peniaga runcit gula telah dilesenkan sehingga ia diberhentikan pada tahun 1991.

(vi) Tindakan penguatkuasaaan bagi menangani isu kekurangan gula adalah seperti berikut:

(a) Bagi memastikan tidak berlaku penyelewengan dalam pengedaran gula pegawai-pegawai Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri dan Hal Ehwal Pengguna telah mengawasi pergerakan pengedaran bekalan gula dari kilang kepada pemborong dan seterusnya kepada peruncit. Kementerian telah melantik beberapa pemborong yang bertindak sebagai ejen khas untuk menjual gula. Di kawasan-kawasan yang tidak mempunyai pemborong, peruncit dilantik untuk bertindak sebagai ejen khas.

(b) Pemeriksaan menyeluruh gula dijalankan pada setiap peringkat perniagaan pengedar, pemborong, peruncit dan pengguna industri untuk memastikan tidak berlaku perbuatan menyorok gula untuk aktiviti-aktiviti lain yang menyalahi Akta Kawalan Bekalan, 1991.

(c) Tindakan terhadap aktiviti penyeludupan dilakukan secara bersepadu di mana Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri dan Hal Ehwal Pengguna bekerjasama dengan agensi-agensi penguatkuasaan yang lain terutamanya di kawasan sempadan. Bagi tujuan ini, anggota Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri dan Hal Ehwal Pengguna ditempatkan di beberapa check-point di seluruh sempadan Malaysia/Thailand dan sempadan Malaysia/Indonesia untuk mendapat kerjasama daripada Kastam Diraja Malaysia.

(d) Penguatkuasaan oleh Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri dan Hal Ehwal Pengguna mengenai isu kekurangan bekalan gula telah berjaya mengesan sebanyak 81 kes di bawah Akta Kawalan Bekalan, 1991 di seluruh negara yang melibatkan peruncit dan juga orang perseorangan.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Batu Kawah.

Y.B. Encik Tan Joo Phoi: (Soalan tambahan) Tuan Speaker, according to my observation, it is due to the high price of sugar in Kalimantan Barat. The traders from the other side of the border are coming to Sarawak to purchase sugar in large quantities. This result in the shortage of sugar. So is there any means taken by the government to eliminate this malpractice? Thank you.

Tuan Speaker: You have to rephrase it.

Menteri Muda Hal Ehwal Islam dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Haji Daud Abdul Rahman): Memang pihak Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri dan Hal Ehwal Pengguna ada membuat kawalan-kawalan yang tertentu kepada pihak-pihak peruncit misalnya, baru-baru ini berlaku permintaan berlebihan di Bau. Oleh kerana permintaan berlebihan ini adalah lebih daripada apa keperluan biasa di Bau, maka pihak Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri telah menghadkan penjualan gula di Bau supaya untuk keperluan-keperluan untuk mereka di Bau sahaja. Jadi pihak Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri dan Hal Ehwal Pengguna memang memantau dari masa ke semasa. Jika didapati there is a sudden surge of increase in the amount of sugar bought by each particular peruncit, then we will take some action to stop the supply of sugar to that particular peruncit.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Kota Sentosa.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: (Soalan tambahan) The shortage of sugar problem has been going on for quite some time and I agree with Yang Berhormat for Batu Kawah about the smuggling out of the sugar to our neighbouring country. So far has there been any smugglers being arrested or convicted in court in respect of the smuggling of sugar out of the country.

Menteri Muda Hal Ehwal Islam dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Haji Daud Abdul Rahman): So far we don’t have any smugglers being caught but Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri is monitoring on this. So far we have not caught any smugglers and we found out in Sarawak the amount of sugar smugglers according to Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri, the quantum of smugglers is not that big and the shortage of sugar in Sarawak now is under control and then the officers from Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri are monitoring the situation daily in each particular Division and they are going to every peruncit everyday every Division and they are monitoring from pemborong to peruncit the quantities, how much the quantity being sold to the peruncit and they monitor the peruncit from place to place and we know the actual amount used per year, the average amount daily. And if they seem to be ordering more, then we start to cut the supply from them and this has been done daily by the officers of Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri dan Hal Ehwal Pengguna and I can see that the situation in Sarawak now is under control.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Batu Lintang.

Y.B. Encik Voon Lee Shan: (Soalan tambahan) Yang Berhormat Minister, despite of the action taken, why is there still shortage of sugar in Sarawak?

Menteri Muda Hal Ehwal Islam dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Haji Daud Abdul Rahman): As far as I can see and I was informed by Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri, there was slight shortage before and as it is today there is no shortage. What was happening before was there was panic buying as what I mentioned to you, was panic buying by the people. In fact there is no shortage of sugar in Sarawak. The only problem is in the Klang Valley areas. Therefore, to say that there is a shortage of sugar in Sarawak is not really true. There may be some disruption of supply but actual shortage is not happening in Sarawak and if there is any particular problem or shortage in each particular area and if the officers from Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri find out the shortage in that particular area, we will supply the sugar immediately. And from the information we have, for instance, like now the usage for Kuching, for instance, keperluan bulanan in Kuching is only 2,500 tonnes and we have from January we supply 6,000 tonnes, in February 4,000 tonnes, in March 3,000 tonnes. Therefore, we are supplying more than the average amount used by the people in Kuching. Therefore, I think the shortage is not real.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Asajaya. Sesudah itu Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Sebuyau.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: (Soalan Tambahan) Terima kasih Tuan Speaker. Saya amat bersetuju dengan apa yang telah dikatakan oleh Menteri bahawa shortage di Sarawak adalah tidak benar jadi kalau tidak ada kekurangan gula ataupun shortage di Sarawak adalah tidak benar, kenapakah amat susah sekali untuk mendapat gula di kedai-kedai? Dan di sinilah saya rasa apakah tindakan pihak Kementerian Perdagangan untuk menangani masalah ini? Kalau tidak ada shortage, bererti gula ada di kedai, tetapi apabila kedai tidak menjual gula, bererti ada orang yang menyorok gula. Di manakah tindakan-tindakan yang telah, berapa banyakkah tindakan yang telah diambil, berapa banyak kes hoarders yang telah dibawa, ditangkap, hoarders of gula yang telah ditangkap supaya masalah ini dapat ditangani.

Satu lagi soalan saya, penggunaan berlebihan gula ini adalah satu perkara yang tidak baik. Jadi apakah tindakan Kerajaan Negeri terutama sekali Kementerian Kesihatankah, untuk memberi penerangan kepada rakyat terutama sekali rakyat Sarawak supaya mengurangkan penggunaan gula, apakah tindakan-tindakan yang telah dibuat supaya mengurangkan penggunaan gula supaya kita tidak begitu…(Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Yang Berhormat, apa soalannya? Jangan memberi hujah.

Menteri Muda Hal Ehwal Islam dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Haji Daud Abdul Rahman): Soalan tambahan daripada Yang Berhormat bagi Asajaya, apakah tindakan-tindakan yang diambil oleh Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri, kita sentiasa memantau seperti apa yang saya katakan tadi tentang peruncit-peruncit. Pemantauan dibuat secara harian, misalnya pada dua hari yang lepas, pihak Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri pergi ke 43 peruncit untuk melihat sama ada gula adakah tidak ada tersebut. Jika didapati peruncit-peruncit tersebut ada menyorok gula dan tidak ada pemborong tidak mempunyai rekod, kita akan membawa mereka, mengambil tindakan undang-undang. Setakat ini, lima pemborong telah diambil tindakan kerana they don’t keep their record properly. Tetapi setakat ini saya diberitahu tidak ada masalah tentang gula di Negeri Sarawak. Jadi, jika Yang Berhormat bagi Asajaya menghadapi masalah gula di kawasan Yang Berhormat, bolehlah beritahu dengan saya, kita boleh tolong supply di kawasan-kawasan tersebut.

Tuan Speaker: Soalan tambahan terakhir daripada Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Sebuyau.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Julaihi bin Haji Narawi: (Soalan tambahan) Tuan Speaker, boleh tak saya tahu berapakah jumlah ataupun bilangan pemborong yang terdapat di Negeri Sarawak? Dan siapakah pemborong-pemborong tersebut? Ada tak senarai yang terdapat di pihak Kementerian? Itu yang pertama. Kedua, berapakah jumlah yang boleh diedar dan dibeli oleh pemborong, berapakah jumlah minimum yang boleh dibeli dan diedar oleh pemborong dan jumlah minimum yang boleh dibeli oleh setiap pengguna?

Menteri Muda Hal Ehwal Islam dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Haji Daud Abdul Rahman): Jumlah pemborong-pemborong di Negeri Sarawak ini banyak kalau saya nak bacakan banyak. Misalnya di Kuching. Kita ada Lian Hua Sendirian Berhad, yang selalu mengambil 500 tan sebulan. Jadi kita ada Kim Chuan An Sendirian Berhad dari Kuching dan kita ada pemborong-pemborong di seluruh Negeri Sarawak. Kuching, kita ada lima. Mereka mengambil terus daripada pengilang-pengilang, misalnya Lian Hua Seng Sendirian Berhad terus mengambil daripada pengilang serta Sugar Sendirian Berhad, Kim Chuan An Sendirian Berhad mengambil sugar daripada Malayan Sugar Manufacturing Sendirian Berhad, Lee Chuan Hong mengambil terus daripada Malayan Sugar Manufacturing Sendirian Berhad, Lian Liat Sdn Bhd, mengambil gula terus daripada pengilang Kuda Padang Terap Sendirian Berhad, Joe Supplier Sendirian Berhad, jadi mereka ada pengilang-pengilang mereka dan ada kuantiti-kuantiti. Dan kalau hendak di seluruh Sarawak, mungkin sampai pukul 10:30 baru habis. (Laughter) Jadi cukuplah ini. Dan kita tidak menghadkan pembeli-pembeli runcit untuk membeli gula, tidak ada had, there is no limit if you want to buy but I think don’t waste so much money to buy the sugar. We can assure you we have enough stock.

PENGGANTIAN JAMBATAN KAYU

(10cool.gif Y.B. Encik Ranum anak Mina bertanya kepada Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan. Mengapa kerja pembinaan penggantian lima buah jambatan kayu kepada jambatan konkrit di sepanjang jalan Jalan Biawak mengambil masa yang terlalu lama untuk disempurnakan?

Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y. B. Encik Lee Kim Shin): Tuan Speaker, saya ingin memaklumkan Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Opar bahawa pembinaan lima buah jambatan di sepanjang Jalan Biawak telah dirancang dengan jadual pembinaan tamat tempoh kontraknya pada 14 Oktober 2007. Setakat ini tiga buah jambatan telah siap dibina manakala dua buah jambatan yang lain yang masih dalam pembinaan. Ini bererti tempoh pembinaan lima buah jambatan masih belum tamat.

Y.B. Encik Ranum anak Mina: (Soalan Tambahan) Soalan tambahan. Apakah tahap atau peratusan yang sudah siap?

Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y. B. Encik Lee Kim Shin): Tuan Speaker, untuk menjawab soalan tambahan tadi, pada keseluruhannya tahap peratusan siapnya ialah 90%.

YB Encik Ranum anak Mina: (Soalan Tambahan) Satu lagi soalan tambahan.

Tuan Speaker: Dua saja.

YB Encik Ranum anak Mina: (Soalan Tambahan) Tuan Speaker, berapakah kos keseluruhan pembinaan kelima-lima buah jambatan tersebut?
Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (YB Encik Lee Kim Shin): Tuan Speaker, untuk pembinaan lima buah jambatan, kos pada keseluruhannya ialah sejumlah RM5, 146,020.00.

PEMBINAAN PADANG BOLA SEPAK

(109) YB Encik Abdul Wahab bin Aziz bertanya kepada Menteri Pembangunan Sosial dan Urbanisasi: Apakah perkembangan selanjutnya pada masa kini tentang cadangan membina padang bola sepak untuk orang awam mahupun pusat rekreasi bagi Pekan Kabong dan Roban?

Menteri Muda Pertanian dan Menteri Muda Sukan (YB Encik Dublin Unting anak Ingkot): Tuan Speaker, untuk makluman Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Kalaka, cadangan bagi membina Kompleks Sukan Mini peringkat Daerah Kecil Kabong dan Roban telah dikemukakan untuk dipertimbangkan dalam Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan. Sekiranya cadangan projek ini diluluskan, perlaksanaan akan dimulakan dalam tempoh Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan. Komponen projek-projek termasuklah sebuah padang bolasepak, trek larian dan trek lompat jauh, grandstand yang boleh memuatkan 100 penonton dan sebuah Dewan Sukan yang boleh memuatkan 500 orang.

Y.B. Encik Abdul Wahab bin Aziz: (Soalan tambahan) Soalan tambahan, sudahkah tanah untuk “site” projek-projek tersebut diambil alih oleh Kerajaan?

Menteri Muda Pertanian dan Menteri Muda Sukan (YB Encik Dublin Unting anak Ingkot): Tapak tanah yang dirancangkan untuk membina padang bolasepak dan grandstand ini atau Dewan belum lagi dikenalpasti dan sekiranya projek ini dilaksanakan ianya akan dianggarkan menelan belanja sebanyak RM2 juta.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Julaihi bin Narawi: (Soalan tambahan): Soalan Tambahan.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Sebuyau.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Julaihi bin Narawi: Boleh saya tahu dari Yang Berhormat Menteri, berapa sebenarnya kos untuk membina sebuah padang bolasepak?

Tuan Speaker: Soalannya di Pekan Kabong dan Roban? Berapa kos? (Laughter) Bukan di Sebuyau, ya? Di Roban.

Menteri Muda Pertanian dan Menteri Muda Sukan (YB Encik Dublin Unting anak Ingkot): Kos untuk membina padang sukan ini termasuk dalam kos pembinaan RM2 juta tadi dan saya tidak pasti berapakah kos sebenarnya untuk membina satu padang bolasepak. Kalau nak tahu tentang ini, boleh berhubung dengan Kementerian saya.

CONSTRUCTION OF BATANG SETERAP BRIDGE

(110) YB Encik Snowdan Lawan asked the Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communications: There is apparent need to construct a bridge over the Batang Seterap river to improve accessibility to Pantu Bazaar by the people from the longhouse that are situated along the other side of the river and vice versa. Is there allocation under the Rancangan Malaysia Ke Sembilan to construct a bridge over the Batang Seterap?

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (YB Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Tuan Speaker, I wish to inform Ahli Yang Berhormat for Balai Ringin that the site for the proposed bridge has been identified at the end of Pantu access road next to the reinforced concrete landing jetty. The proposed bridge will serve as a link for 23 longhouses and four primary schools with approximately 3,000 people dwelling at the opposite bank of Batang Seterap to Pantu Bazaar. The project is to construct a 3 span RC bridge of 120 metre long crossing the Batang Seterap. The cost of the bridge is RM10 million. The project was put up in the Ninth Malaysia Plan. However the implementation of the project would be based on the availability of sufficient funds approved for the overall project throughout the State of Sarawak.

LOW COST HOUSING SCHEMES

(111) Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt asked the Minister for Housing: How many low cost housing schemes have been planned for Miri in the next five years?

Menteri Muda Perumahan dan Menteri Muda Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Dr. Soon Choon Teck): Tuan Speaker, for the information of Ahli Yang Berhormat for Pujut, the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) have proposed to implement two affordable schemes in Miri, one in Tudan and one in Kuala Baram, in the next five years. I think we would like to draw the attention of all the Ahli Yang Berhormat, that we don’t like the word “low cost housing”. My Minister, Ahli Yang Berhormat for Satok has advocated we use “affordable housing” which removes the stigma for those staying in those housing schemes.

Now for the two housing schemes in Miri, one in Tudan and one in Kuala Baram, the proposed for Tudan is 1,662 units with an approximate cost of RM122 million and Kuala Baram, 500 units with the cost of RM15 million and there will be a proposal for 500 units of flats for rentals and this is of course all proposed for the Ninth Malaysia Plan, depends on the allocation available.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Pantai Damai. Soalan ini tertumpu… kepada Pujut, ya?

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: (Soalan Tambahan) Thank you, Tuan Speaker. I would like to ask the Honourable Minister does the government have any plans to provide parks and recreational facilities in these, “affordable housing scheme”? Thank you.

Menteri Muda Perumahan dan Menteri Muda Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Dr. Soon Choon Teck): Tuan Speaker, the ministry has looked closely into all these affordable housing schemes in the past and the present and the future. Therefore, we like to incorporate in most of these housing schemes, even to include some libraries, kindergartens and parks. This is to encourage the interaction among the residents. You know we like for example, those housing schemes in Singapore for example, they always have some area for these people to have some recreation facility and also for residents to meet each other and we are implementing that and actually in the last few years, I think a lot of kindergarten has been opening and we are encouraging the regionalized small size libraries for all these schemes.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Pantai Damai.

Y.B. Dr. Abdul Rahman bin Junaidi: (Soalan tambahan) Tuan Speaker, apakah dasar ataupun pra-syarat yang diletakkan oleh pihak Kementerian sebelum memulakan satu skim Program Rancangan Rumah Mampu Milik seperti yang diadakan di Miri ataupun di mana-mana bahagian di Sarawak?

Menteri Perumahan (Y.B. Dato Sri Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Abang Haji Openg): Pra-syaratnya kita melaksanakan skim perumahan ini berdasarkan kepada dasar yang telah ditentukan oleh pihak SPA kerana selalunya Kerajaan Barisan Nasional hendak mewujudkan satu prasarana yang baik di antara penghuni rumah dan juga persekitaraannya. Bermakna, apabila satu kawasan dibangunkan, kita masukkan faktor-faktor prasarananya termasuklah kemudahan-kemudahan lain. Syaratnya ialah kalau kita membangunkan 10 ekar, kita berkehendakkan “open space green” dalam kawasan-kawasan tersebut.

KEDUDUKAN JAWATAN KETUA MASYARAKAT

(112) Y.B. Dato' Seri Haji Mohamad Ali Bin Mahmud bertanya kepada Ketua Menteri: Apakah dasar yang jelas mengenai kedudukan jawatan Ketua-Ketua Masyarakat. Adakah dibenarkan jawatan-jawatan tersebut dibuat secara pemilihan masyarakat kampung?

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Tuan Speaker, untuk makluman Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Muara Tuang, setakat ini jawatan-jawatan Ketua Masyarakat hanya diisi melalui proses perlantikan. Kerajaan tidak berhasrat untuk menukar dasar yang sedia ada kepada sistem pemilihan kerana daripada pengalaman silam, sistem pemilihan seringkali menimbulkan konflik dan perbalahan di kalangan masyarakat setempat. Gejala pecah rumah merupakan salah satu fenomena yang timbul daripada konflik dan perbalahan tersebut.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Pantai Damai.

Y.B. Dr. Abdul Rahman bin Junaidi: (Soalan Tambahan) Soalan tambahan. Terima kasih. Apakah faktor yang menyebabkan beberapa jawatan Ketua Masyarakat dan Ketua-ketua Kaum di beberapa tempat termasuk kawasan saya begitu lambat disahkan hingga ada yang menunggu sehingga dua tahun?

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Tuan Speaker, dalam mengisi jawatan Ketua Masyarakat perlu daripada peringkat bawah, daripada pihak Tuan Pegawai Daerah mengemukakan kepada Tuan Residen yang mengemukakan kepada pihak Setiausaha Kerajaan untuk dikaji oleh kerana kriteria-kriteria, dan lebih-lebih lagi sekarang kita pesat membangun, kita memerlukan Ketua-Ketua Masyarakat lebih berkaliber, peningkatan juga dan kebolehan mereka adalah satu daripada kriteria yang penting untuk memastikan projek dan dasar kerajaan yang akan dilaksanakan di peringkat kampung-kampung dan juga keupayaan Ketua-Ketua Masyarakat dilantik ini dapat mengawasi segala cara-cara, the normal kampung administration, adat-adat resam kampung dan mungkin juga tidak kebiasaannya akan mengambil masa begitu lama. Probably one, few isolated cases yang ada disebutkan oleh Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Pantai Damai tadi memang ada berlaku juga. I must admit that. Terima kasih.

YB Encik Abdul Wahab bin Aziz: (Soalan Tambahan): Soalan tambahan.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Kalaka.

YB Encik Abdul Wahab bin Aziz: (Soalan tambahan) Memandangkan Ketua-Ketua Kaum akan menerima elaun-elaun tertentu daripada kerajaan. Adakah cadangan oleh Kementerian berkaitan untuk memastikan lantikan mereka dihadkan kepada lima tahun saja supaya dapat dianalisa kepentingan mereka untuk dilantik semula?

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Tuan Speaker, apabila perlantikan Ketua Masyarakat dibuat biasanya dua tahun ataupun tiga tahun dan dalam pada masa perlantikan itu, prestasi Ketua-Ketua Masyarakat akan dikaji dari masa ke semasa. Sekiranya tidak memuaskan, adalah wajib bagi kerajaan untuk memberi amaran kepada Ketua Masyarakat yang dilantik untuk memberi peluang untuk improve themselves. If they don’t improve, it is only proper that this Ketua Masyarakat to be replaced in order to ensure that the efficiency at kampung level and the local adat administration will be effectively carried out. So purely based on performance of each individual.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat Encik Nelson Balang Rining, Ba’ Kelalan.

Y.B. Encik Nelson Balang Rining: Tuan Speaker, my question is (113) but before that I would like to make a correction here. It should be “to ask the Deputy Chief Minister”. There is a typing error there.

Tuan Speaker: Yes?

Y.B. Encik Nelson Balang Rining: To ask the Deputy Chief Minister, not “ak”. There’s a typing error there.

Tuan Speaker: Okay, okay, “ask”.

AGROPOLIS DEVELOPMENT

(113) Y.B. Encik Nelson Balang Rining asked the Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Modernization of Agriculture: Recently, Y.A.B. Ketua Menteri have mentioned that the Northern Highlands in Ba'Kelalan constituency will be developed into an agropolis. What would be the role of the government in this agropolis development and how would the local community participate and benefit from this agropolis development?

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pemodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): Tuan Speaker, Agropolis is our new initiative and mechanism whereby the private sector will undertake the lead role in the undertaking of commercial agriculture development. The main role of the government is to act as facilitator and provider of technical information, advisory and regulatory services.

With regard to the Northern Region, the Department of Agriculture had carried out the “Highland Development Study” in 1985. The findings of the study indicated that there are potentials for planting sub-tropical vegetables, fruits, beverages crops, such as highland tea and coffee and tea, spice, highland wet paddy and livestock such as buffalo. On the other hand, the study also reveal that the economic viability of undertaking this recommended agriculture activities was critically constrained by the high air transportation costs and poor accessibility of the area by land transport.

However, in view of the current interest in the development of agropolis in the region, the Department of Agriculture shall re-visit the above study to review the findings and recommendations as well as other new information, knowledge and other enabling factors.

In this agropolis development concept, the local community is expected to participate and benefit by venturing into commercial agriculture undertaking, either on their own or tied-up with other viable private ventures.

KEMUDAHAN BEKALAN AIR BERSIH DAN ELEKTRIK

(114) Y.B. Puan Rosey binti Haji Yunus bertanya kepada Menteri Kemudahan Awam: Apakah rancangan menyediakan kemudahan asas bagi rumah panjang/kampung di kawasan N.61 – Bekenu khususnya dari segi bekalan air bersih dan bekalan elektrik?

Menteri Muda Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Encik Sylvester Entri anak Muran): Tuan Speaker, untuk makluman Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Bekenu penyambungan paip air utama ke Kampung Ulu Gatas, Kampung Janggu, Kampung Bungai, Kampung Tengah, penempatan semula sepanjang Jalan Janggalas, Kampung Rancah-Rancah dan Kampung Masjid di Daerah Sebuti telah dimasukkan di bawah projek Bekalan Air Bekenu, Fasa III yang masih dalam peringkat pembinaan.

Penyambungan bekalan air bersih ke Kampung Upak, Kampung Terahat, Kampung Pelapi, Kampung Juyanggu, Kampung Lumut, Kampung Tusan dan Kampung Bakong telah dikemukakan untuk dimasukkan ke dalam RMK9 dan pelaksanaan projek ini bergantung kepada adanya peruntukan daripada Kerajaan Negeri di dalam Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan.

Peruntukan sebanyak RM16.8 juta telah dicadangkan untuk pertimbangan Kementerian Kemajuan Luar Bandar dan Wilayah di dalam Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan untuk perlaksanaan penyambungan paip utama ke Kampung Butir, kawasan Kampung Tiris, Kampung Sinuk, Kampung Mutap, Kampung Bulau, Kampung Matthew, Kampung Abom, Sungai Liam dan Kampung Kuala Sebuti di Daerah Kecil Sibuti, Kuala Niah, Kampung Baru, Kampung Bumiputera, Kampung Chang, Kampung Kuala Niah dan Saeh dan juga penempatan di sepanjang Jalan Sebato di dalam daerah kecil Niah, Suai. Perlaksanaan projek-projek ini adalah bergantung kepada adanya peruntukan daripada Persekutuan di dalam Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan.

Penyiasatan awalan telahpun dijalankan untuk mengetahui akan kebolehsaknaan teknikal di dalam penyambungan paip-paip utama ke kampung-kampung di kawasan Kelulit sepanjang jalan pesisir Miri-Bintulu. Peruntukan untuk pelaksanaan projek ini akan dikemukakan untuk pertimbangan Kementerian Kemajuan Luar Bandar dan Wilayah sepanjang tempoh 2007 ke 2010 di dalam Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan.

Berhubung dengan program bekalan elektrik luar Bandar untuk menyambung elektrik dari talian yang sedia ada ke kampung-kampung di rumah panjang di kawasan Bekenu yang belum dibekalkan bekalan elektrik akan dilaksanakan. Untuk kawasan N.61—Bekenu beberapa kampung telah dikenalpasti dan dimasukkan di dalam cadangan senarai projek BLB untuk dilaksanakan dalam tahun 2006/2007. Kampung-kampung tersebut termasuk Kampung Agus, Kampung Rambai, Kampung Tanjung Berlipat, Kampung Subak dan Kampung Banyang.

Tuan Speaker: Soalan tambahan ya? Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Bekenu.

Y.B. Puan Rosey binti Haji Yunus: (Soalan tambahan) Terima kasih, Tuan Speaker. Soalan tambahan saya, adakah kapasiti yang ada ini boleh menampung untuk tempoh 10 tahun yang akan datang? Terima kasih.

Menteri Muda Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Encik Sylvester Entri anak Muran): Loji rawatan Bekenu yang sedia ada adalah beroperasi dengan kapasiti 3.1 juta liter sehari, beroperasi dengan maksima, pada kapasiti maksima. Untuk memenuhi permintaan yang sentiasa meningkat dan penyambungan ke kampung-kampung dan rumah-rumah panjang di Sebuti maka kaedah terbaik ialah untuk menyambung bekalan air dari loji rawatan Lambir ke Bekenu. Oleh itu, projek bekalan air Bekenu Fasa 3 melibatkan penyambungan paip air utama sejauh 31.5 kilometer bersaiz 500mm, 35km paip-paip air agihan dan penyeleretan ke kampung-kampung dan rumah-rumah panjang. Sebuah kemudahan pump booster dan kolam perkhidmatan RC5 juta liter.

Cadangan sistem ini akan dapat menampung permintaan bekalan air ke 10 juta liter sehari dari Lambir ke Bekenu dan ke Beluru dalam Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan.

Tuan Speaker: Ya, silakan.

Y.B. Puan Rosey binti Haji Yunus: Terima kasih Tuan Speaker. Berapakah anggaran kos untuk bekalan elektrik bagi Kawasan Bekenu untuk tahun 2006/2007 ini nanti?

Menteri Muda Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Encik Sylvester Entri anak Muran): Untuk dalam tahun 2006 ke 2007 bagi penyambungan bekalan elektrik sepertimana yang saya telah sebutkan tadi iaitu ke Kampung Agus, Kampung Rambai, Kampung Tanjung Berlipat dan Kampung Subak dan juga ke Kampung Banyang adalah dua juta lapan ratus enampuluh ribu ringgit Malaysia.

RANCANGAN MEMBAIKI RUMAH PANJANG DI LINGGA

(115) Y.B. Puan Hajah Simoi binti Haji Peri bertanya kepada Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar: Adakah terdapat usaha atau perancangan untuk membaiki rumah panjang yang kebanyakkanya masih dalam keadaan agak daif di kawasan N.23 Lingga?

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Tuan Speaker, untuk makluman Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Lingga, setakat ini hanya rumah perseorangan sahaja yang menerima Program Bantuan Rumah. Bantuan tersebut melibatkan baik pulih rumah dan bina semula rumah di atas tapak rumah asal. Bagi rumah panjang pula, bantuan hanya akan diperuntukkan sekiranya keseluruhan rumah tersebut didapati dalam keadaan yang daif. Namun demikian, jika terdapat sesebuah rumah panjang mengalami kerosakan yang teruk dan di luar kemampuan penghuni-penghuni terbabit, permohonan bolehlah dikemukakan untuk dipertimbangkan atas kes-kes bersendirian.

MASALAH SOSIAL DI PERSEKIRATAN BANGUNAN BAITULMAL

(116) Y.B. Puan Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali bertanya kepada Ketua Menteri: Apakah langkah-langkah pihak berkuasa untuk mengatasi dan seterusnya mengurangkan masalah sosial ataupun maksiat yang sering berlaku di persekitaran Bangunan Baitul Makmur?

Menteri Muda Hal Ehwal Islam dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Haji Daud Abdul Rahman): Tuan Speaker, untuk makluman Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Semariang, Jabatan Agama Islam Sarawak melalui Unit Penguatkuasaan sering menjalankan operasi dan pemantauan bagi membanteras masalah sosial dan maksiat di persekitaran Bangunan Baitul Makmur terutamanya sebelah malam dan hujung minggu termasuk secara bersepadu dengan Polis DiRaja Malaysia.

Sehingga Jun 2006, sebanyak 25 operasi cegah maksiat telah dilakukan di kawasan tersebut dan langkah ini akan terus diteruskan dari masa ke semasa. Sebanyak 15 tangkapan telah dibuat melibatkan 12 kes di bawah Seksyen (16) Ordinan Kesalahan Jenayah Syariah 2001, minum minuman yang memabukkan dan tiga kes di bawah Seksyen (24) Ordinan Kesalahan Jenayah Syariah Khalwat. Sebanyak lima kes telah didakwa di Mahkamah Syariah dan didenda.

Untuk menangani masalah sosial di kalangan remaja, kerajaan adalah komited untuk menangani masalah gejala sosial ini terutamanya di kalangan anak-anak muda. Selaras dengan usaha ini, Jabatan Agama Islam Sarawak, Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (JAKIM), Kementerian Pembangunan Sosial dan Urbanisasi dan Jabatan Belia dan Sukan telah berkerjasama menyusun dan melaksanakan langkah-langkah bagi menghalang anak-anak muda daripada terjebak ke dalam gejala sosial seperti meminum arak dan menghidu gam. Antara langkah-langkah tersebut ialah:
(1) Memberikan sesi-sesi ceramah, ceramah umum mengenai gejala social;
(2) Mengadakan taklimat kesedaran jenayah Syariah ke sekolah-sekolah;
(3) Mengadakan khemah-khemah belia, seperti khemah remaja Al-Quran dan kem motivasi;
(4) Membuka ruang kaunseling terhadap golongan ini; dan
(5) Menguatkuasakan Seksyen (16) Ordinan Kesalahan Jenayah Syariah 2001.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Semariang.

Y.B Puan Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali : Yang Berhormat Menteri, saya difahamkan bahawa street lighting di kawasan tersebut ditutup agak lebih awal, say around pukul 9:00 ke 10:00. Saya ingin bertanya adakah ini benar dan jika benar kenapa? Terima kasih.

Menteri Muda Hal Ehwal Islam dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Haji Daud Abdul Rahman): Setahu kita street lighting dibuka seluruh malam, jika ada street lighting itu ditutup, kita harap Yang Berhormat bagi Semariang beritahu kepada kitalah. Kita sama-sama jalan malam ini nak check. (Laughter)

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Kota Sentosa.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: (Soalan Tambahan) Thank you Tuan Speaker. Having heard the steps taken by the government to reduce, untuk mengurangkan masalah sosial dan masalah maksiat, how would the Kementerian rate the success of the steps taken, given that nowadays, hooliganism not only happened in the society but even in schools and in Miri there are even girls they are ganging up to practice gangsterism. So how would the Kementerian rate the success of the steps being taken and if not very successful, how would the Kementerian propose to improve further, to lessen, all these bad elements in our society?

Tuan Speaker: Soalannya adalah…

Menteri Muda Hal Ehwal Islam dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Haji Daud Abdul Rahman): Baitul Makmur…

Tuan Speaker: Maksiat di sekitar Bangunan Baitul Makmur bukan seluruh Sarawak.

Menteri Muda Hal Ehwal Islam dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Haji Daud Abdul Rahman): This is what I have explained already, at Baitul Makmur. The rest I think we leave it to your…

Y.B.Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Masalah sosial. This is a social problem.

Tuan Speaker: The question is social problem, it is around Baitul Makmur. That is the question.




NUMBER OF GENUINE RURAL COMMUNITIES

(117) Y.B. Dr. Johnichal Rayong Ngipa asked the Minister for Social Development and Urbanisation: Whether the State Government fully realizes that there are still a great number of genuine rural communities who do not possess identification document/card. What is/are the State Government doing about this in support of any measures taken by the Federal authorities?

Menteri Muda Hal Ehwal Belia dan Menteri Muda Pelancongan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Hamden bin Haji Ahmad): Tuan Speaker, untuk makluman Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Engkelili, Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara, Negeri Sarawak memang menyedari masalah ketiadaan dokumen pengenalan diri penduduk di kawasan pendalaman Sarawak. Peraturan yang sedia ada tidak mengkehendaki Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara ataupun JPN menjelajah ke seluruh pelusuk negeri ataupun negara untuk urusan pendaftaran dokumen pengenalan diri.

Bagaimanapun, sebagai agensi Kerajaan yang berorientasikan perkhidmatan mesra rakyat, Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara Negeri Sarawak telah mengambil langkah turun padang untuk membantu penduduk di pendalaman yang layak untuk mendapat dokumen pengenalan diri.

Sebagai langkah bagi mengatasi masalah ini, JPN telah mengadakan lawatan khas sejak tahun 1980 lagi. Bagi mengemaskan pendaftaran dokumen pengenalan diri penduduk di pendalaman, Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara telah menubuhkan Unit Khas Bergerak ataupun UKB pada tahun 2004.

Dalam menjayakan operasi seperti ini Kerajaan Negeri melalui Pejabat Residen dan Daerah, Ketua Masyarakat, Jawatankuasa Kemajuan dan Keselamatan Kampung ataupun JKKK memberi kerjasama kepada Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara dengan mengatur lawatan ke kawasan pendalaman seperti Daerah Kapit, Belaga, Marudi dan Limbang dan mengadakan sesi dialog dengan Ketua-Ketua Masyarakat dan JKKK.

Y.B. Dr. Johnichal Rayong Ngipa: (Soalan tambahan) Adakah pihak kerajaan ataupun Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara dapat mengambil kira untuk mengecualikan apa-apa bayaran terhadap permohonan kad pengenalan baru ataupun Mycard? Terima kasih.

Menteri Muda Hal Ehwal Belia dan Menteri Muda Pelancongan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Hamden bin Haji Ahmad): Boleh ulangkan soalan?

Tuan Speaker: Pengecualian pembayaran.

Menteri Muda Hal Ehwal Belia dan Menteri Muda Pelancongan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Hamden bin Haji Ahmad): Tuan Speaker, setakat ini Jabatan JPN tidak ada memberi pengecualian.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Pantai Damai

Y.B. Dr Abdul Rahman bin Junaidi (Soalan tambahan): Baru-baru ini Kementerian di Kuala Lumpur telahpun menetapkan satu peraturan bahawa sekiranya sesiapa tidak membawa pengenalan diri atau ditangkap. Mereka akan didenda dan ianya pun telah diubah, boleh membawa satu fotostat. Jadi soalan saya: Adakah pihak Kerajaan Negeri telahpun berhubung dengan pihak Kerajaan Persekutuan mengenai masalah yang akan dihadapi oleh saudara-saudara kita yang datang daripada luar bandar yang tidak, ataupun yang belum memiliki dokumen diri?

Menteri Muda Hal Ehwal Belia dan Menteri Muda Pelancongan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Hamden bin Haji Ahmad): Tuan Speaker, buat pengetahuan Yang Berhormat dari Pantai Damai, memanglah Kerajaan Negeri sentiasa peka akan rakyat mereka. Oleh itu, disini saya nyatakan bahawa Kerajaan Negeri memanglah berurusan dengan Kerajaan Pusat bagaimana untuk mendapat pertimbangan sewajarnya dalam hal ini. Terima kasih.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat. The question time is up.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Tuan Speaker.

Tuan Speaker: Yes.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: I must apologise because I came in late just now. But I’ve been told outside and inside here that something was said in your communication that referred to me.

Tuan Speaker: Yes.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: And that requires my reply. May I know it, so that I may reply?

Tuan Speaker: The Honourable Member for Layar deliberated in the Dewan the details of the incidence and he is not satisfied with a qualified apology. He is prepared and together with the Honourable Member for Krian, if your goodself are prepared to give an unqualified, unequivocal and sincere apologies. If you do, they are prepared to accept and that will be the end of the matter. Because you put the word “if” in your letter.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Do you want me to reply now? If I may. Okay. First of all, I do realize the importance of the law that respects immunity and ….

Tuan Speaker: Dewan Undangan Negeri Privileges Immunities Ordinance.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: I respect that law because it is important that when a Member is doing, coming to the Dewan, which is actually doing the business of the State, he should not be interrupted, he should not be stopped from doing his duty which is to the people of Sarawak. Now, I am not saying anything bad about it. I believe this is very important, that’s why I must respect the law and I will respect the law.

Now, this until today we have a process server trying to serve two election petitions on both the Yang Berhormat that you just mentioned and these two election petitions relate to their election to this Honourable house. And time is running out. Now, they have tried their best to go to their house, to their office, I think day and night and time is running out, I think tomorrow. I believe, I believe that while a Member should not be stopped from doing his duty to this Dewan and to the people, this immunity should not be used, I am saying that, it should not be used as a shield to prevent them from meeting what would be, I believe, a properly issued court summons. Now, I hope, I hope sincerely hope that the two YBs will, in due course, after the sitting allow themselves to be served so that the process of court be continued, I mean at the appropriate place and to be arranged.

Tuan Speaker, after having said that ….

Tuan Speaker: That means that you are using this Chamber as a forum to enhance and in furtherance of service…

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: No, No. Tuan Speaker, I am saying that I respect the law and I respect their rights and immunities within but I believe that it should not be used as a shelter to prevent them from facing what they should face outside. Now, having said that…

Tuan Speaker: You have done your explanation in written form in your letter. You have done your explanation.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Yes.

Tuan Speaker: That explanation was written to me. I have received it. I have conveyed to the Honourable Member for Layar and he had replied in your absence. The gist is this, are you prepared to offer an unqualified, unequivocal sincere apology?. It is simple.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Tuan Speaker. Yes. I am prepared and I am offering.

Tuan Speaker: You are offering?

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Yes.

Tuan Speaker: An unqualified …

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: An unqualified …

Tuan Speaker: An unqualified and sincere apology.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Yes.

Tuan Speaker: Now is my turn to ask the Honourable Member for Layar and Krian whether they accept? Member for Layar, do you accept that apology?

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Tuan Speaker, as I have said, my credibility in this Dewan since elected, since 1974 speaks for itself and for the incidence that particular day on the 24th of July, that afternoon, when I was confronted by Ahli Yang Berhormat for Padungan and one other gentleman, when this one other gentleman said “we” implying that together, and when I come into this Dewan, Ahli Yang Berhormat for Padungan came over here and what he did was mentioned by me this morning for which he has no excuse not to be in the Dewan, if he is really sincere wanting to know.

But you have been very patient, I would like, one, to say thank you very much for the understanding to get things in a proper way but during this incident, Ahli Yang Berhormat for Padungan try to put the picture that the incidence outside does not happened as if to deceive this Dewan. So, who is credible?

Tuan Speaker: Now he is offering an apology, unqualified.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Ya, but please, this apology. don’t make it a habit. Yesterday when he want to suggest to withdraw from the Federation, he twisted his tongue that he want to withdraw from the Federation of Electrical Manufacturers so that Petronas can give us money. Well, if this is the colour of Yang Berhormat for Padungan, despite of that, because he is new to this Dewan, I maintain humanity here, I forgive you but don’t repeat it.

Tuan Speaker: So you accept?

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): I accept your apology … (Applause)

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Krian. Member for Krian, do you accept the apology, unqualified?

Menteri Muda Pertanian (Organisasi Petani dan Operasi) (Y.B. Datuk Peter Nyarok anak Entrie): Tuan Speaker, I hope Ahli Yang Berhormat for Padungan, don’t just simply said anything, don’t shout in the Dewan, don’t try to show your arrogant in the Dewan.

Tuan Speaker: Do you accept? (Laughter)

Menteri Muda Pertanian (Organisasi Petani dan Operasi) (Y.B. Datuk Peter Nyarok anak Entrie): You are new in this Dewan. I have been elected since 1991. That is not the type of colour, not the type of Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri we want for this beloved State of ours, Sarawak.

Tuan Speaker: Do you accept? (Laughter).He has offered you an apology, unqualified.

Menteri Muda Pertanian (Organisasi Petani dan Operasi) (Y.B. Datuk Peter Nyarok anak Entrie): In addition to that (Laughter), in addition to that, Iban tu, ari Krian, original Iban, 100% Iban and my voters 100% Iban. I know you try to defend Stanley Jugol who is supposed to be my nephew-in-law, you know that? I’ll explain to you. So please don’t interfere with this election, I am duly, duly elected and already announced by the Returning Officer that I am elected, I won with 2089 votes. You know that? Ingat. Remember. Ahli Yang Berhormat for Padungan. I’ll talk to you more on this later.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Krian, do you accept? (Laughter)

Menteri Muda Pertanian (Organisasi Petani dan Operasi) (Y.B. Datuk Peter Nyarok anak Entrie): For the sake of this Dewan, because I respect this Dewan, whether I respect you or not, is a question mark, but I respect this Dewan, I accept your apology. (Applause)

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Now, I just, I would like to thank the two Yang Berhormat for the graciousness and the statesmanship shown just now. Thank you very much. (Applause)

Menteri Muda Hal Ehwal Islam dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Haji Daud Abdul Rahman): You can touch on it on the TYT’s address and the kementerian will reply to you.

USUL PENGHARGAAN ATAS UCAPAN T.Y.T
YANG DI-PERTUA NEGERI
[Sambungan Perbahasan]

Tuan Speaker: Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat, I am pleased with the magnanimity and the high spirit prevailing in the Dewan. Since unqualified apologies are given by the Honourable Member for Padungan and the Honourable Member for Layar and Honourable Member for Krian, I graciously accept the apologies. The Chair decides that no further action be taken but obviously a clear warning is given to the Honourable Member for Padungan that any further breach of the said Ordinance could be made with more severe consequences, but the Dewan and the Chair are please that the matter has been settled amicably in the true spirit of elected representatives of the people of Sarawak. Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat, since many Honourable Members have not spoken, priorities are given to new Honourable Members, to enable them to deliver their maiden speeches. Under Standing Order 31(cool.gif, I limit all speeches to a maximum of 45 minutes, for every speech and I urge Honourable Members to minimize interruptions and rising of points of information or points of clarification and elucidation. So, any Honourable Members who wishes to speak? Batu Danau.

Y.B. Encik Paulus Palu Gumbang: Tuan Speaker, terima kasih kerana memberi peluang pada saya untuk berucap dan menyokong Usul Penghargaan ke atas Ucapan Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak yang disampaikan di majlis perasmian Dewan yang mulia ini pada 24 Julai yang lalu. Pada pandangan saya, Ucapan Tuan Yang Terutama, besar ertinya kerana kita telah sama-sama diberi peringatan supaya menjalankan amanah yang diberikan oleh rakyat dengan penuh komitmen dan dedikasi. Ucapan Tuan Yang Terutama juga telah merangkumi keseluruhan kepentingan dan permasaalahan rakyat di negeri ini dan strategi-strategi bagi mengurus, membesarkan lagi pembangunan dan memelihara keharmonian bagi meningkatkan pencapaian pembangunan di dalam negeri yang kita cintai ini.

Tuan Speaker, sebelum meneruskan perbahasan saya, saya ingin mengucapkan tahniah kepada Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri kerana telah berjaya sekali lagi memimpin Barisan Nasional ke arah kemenangan yang besar dalam pilihanraya yang baru sahaja selesai. Kemenangan yang cemerlang ini merupakan satu manifestasi bahawa rakyat Sarawak amat memerlukan Barisan Nasional untuk terus mentadbir negeri ini demi pembangunan yang berterusan. Sekalung tahniah juga saya ucapkan kepada Tuan Speaker dan semua Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat kerana telah memenangi kerusi masing-masing dalam pilihanraya yang sama.

Tuan Speaker, mewakili rakyat di kawasan Dewan Undangan Negeri N. 69 - Batu Danau, saya juga mengambil kesempatan ini untuk menyampaikan ucapan setinggi-tinggi penghargaan dan terima kasih kepada kerajaan kerana telah mewujudkan Kawasan Batu Danau sebagai sebuah kawasan pilihanraya yang baru. Pada masa yang sama, saya juga ingin mengucapkan terima kasih kepada SPDP amnya dan Barisan Nasional khasnya kerana telah memberi peluang kepada saya iaitu seorang daripada kaum Bisaya, satu kaum minoriti di negeri ini untuk mewakili Barisan Nasional bagi kawasan tersebut. Kita melihat usaha ini bukan sahaja sebagai satu strategi bagi memantapkan lagi pengurusan pembangunan dan kebajikan rakyat di kawasan berkenaan supaya taraf hidup mereka dapat dipertingkatkan bahkan ia juga adalah satu manifestasi bahawa Barisan Nasional Negeri telah mengambil kira kepentingan semua kaum tidak mengira walau sekecil manapun jumlah mereka. Oleh yang demikian, usaha ini amat dihargai dan disokong oleh rakyat di kawasan saya. Hal ini terserlah apabila calon Barisan Nasional menang di kawasan tersebut dengan majoriti yang agak besar. Justeru itu, saya ingin menyampaikan penghargaan dan terima kasih kepada semua pengundi dan semua ahli komponen Barisan Nasional yang telah membantu saya dalam pilihanraya tersebut.

Tuan Speaker, sebelum saya menyentuh perkara yang berkaitan dengan kawasan saya, izinkan saya terlebih dahulu menyentuh berkaitan dengan perkara-perkara am. Seperti yang kita semua sedia maklum, kita hanya mempunyai 15 tahun lagi untuk merealisasikan Wawasan 2020 iaitu untuk mencapai status sebuah negara maju. Ini bermakna kita perlu bekerja keras untuk memastikan kita tidak ketinggalan berbanding negeri-negeri lain apabila tarikh keramat itu sampai kelak. Saya penuh yakin bahawa kita mampu mencapai matlamat tersebut kerana pada sidang khas Dewan Undangan Negeri ini pada 20 April 2006 yang lalu, Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri sendiri telah membentang dan menggariskan falsafah dan strategi pembangunan serta fokus yang akan diambil oleh Kerajaan Negeri untuk mencapai tujuan tersebut. Saya ucap tahniah kepada Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri dan Kerajaan Negeri kerana mempunyai visi serta keberanian untuk melangkah ke satu era yang baru disebut dengan izin sebagai “the second wave of politics of development” iaitu satu peralihan daripada “infrastructure oriented approach to human resource approach”. Langkah ini merupakan satu pendekatan yang selari dengan kehendak dan Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan peringkat Persekutuan yang memberi antara lain penekanan dan fokus utama kepada pembangunan modal insan yang akan menelan belanja keseluruhannya sebanyak RM45.1 billion. Saya berharap pembangunan modal insan ini akan dilaksanakan secara holistik iaitu merangkumi perolehan pengetahuan dan kemahiran termasuk keupayaan keusahawanan dan pengetahuan sains dan teknologi. Ia juga perlu meliputi penanaman sikap, nilai dan etika positif melalui pendidikan, latihan dan pembelajaran sepanjang hayat. Ini adalah penting sebagai penentu bagi meningkatkan daya saing dan produktivi negara.

Tuan Speaker, as Malaysians we have always being proud of the ability of our multi-racial society in building the state and country to what it is today. I am sure most if not all Honourable Members of this august House would agree with me that racial harmony has always been one of the most important elements that contributed to our social and political stability. The practice of living together, working together, learning together, practicing different belief but coming together afterwards to celebrate the different festivity is really a unique one that should not only be preserved but continued to be nurtured.

Tuan Speaker, as former civil servant was involved not only in the dissemination of government information but also in promoting unity among various races, I am sad to see that during the last election, the issue of race was widely used throughout the campaign period by the official particularly in my constituency.

Tindakan seperti ini sudah tentu bukan sahaja membantutkan usaha kita untuk membina satu masyarakat Malaysia yang bersatu padu yang kita idam-idamkan bahkan tindakan ini sudah tentu memusnahkan segala usaha yang telah kita laksanakan bertahun-tahun sebelum ini. Pada pendapat saya, kita perlu sama-sama serius dalam perkara ini kerana isu ethnicity ini amat sensitif dan boleh mencetus kemarahan dan juga ketidak selesaan di kalangan masyarakat yang terbabit. We must always remind ourselves the consequences can be very serious and far- reaching as seen in other countries which continue to have civil and racial side.

Tuan Speaker, untuk meneruskan ucapan saya izinkan saya menyentuh perkara-perkara yang bersangkut-paut dengan kawasan saya. Sebagaimana semua Ahli Dewan yang mulia ini tahu pembangunan prasarana dan kemudahan asas di Sarawak khasnya jalanraya, bekalan air dan elektrik telah berkembang dengan pesat sejak merdeka khususnya sejak 25 tahun yang lalu. Kini banyak kawasan-kawasan di luar Bandar dapat dikunjungi dalam masa yang singkat. Di kawasan saya adalah diakui kemudahan jalanraya juga semakin baik. Jalan Limbang/Mendamit telah siap diturap kecuali beberapa buah jambatan yang masih dalam pembinaan. Namun demikian terdapat juga kawasan-kawasan yang masih banyak lagi yang perlu dinaiktaraf. Antaranya adalah persimpangan Jalan Mendamit ke pekan Ukung sepanjang 5km yang masih belum diturap. Selain daripada itu, perhubungan jalanraya juga perlu di kawasan Ulu Mendamit dan Mendihit dan juga di kawasan sebelah Ulu Lubai. Kemudahan ini amat diperlukan kepada beberapa buah sekolah rendah, rumah panjang dan juga perkampungan yang masih menggunakan sungai sebagai pengangkutan utama. Oleh yang demikian saya memohon supaya kementerian yang berkenaan memberi pertimbangan untuk menyediakan kemudahan ini. Bagi kawasan-kawasan yang sudah ada jalan, saya juga ingin mencadangkan supaya ianya dinaiktaraf.

Kita juga difahamkan bahawa projek bekalan air bersih kesebahagian daripada kampung dan rumah panjang sedang diusahakan oleh pihak Lembaga Air Kawasan Utara di Limbang. Kita amat mengalu-alukan usaha ini kerana ia akan memudahkan kehidupan harian rakyat di samping dapat menjamin kesihatan yang lebih baik. Saya percaya, Tuan Speaker, masyarakat di N.69 – Batu Danau mempunyai kesanggupan untuk membayar caj air yang mereka gunakan. Apa yang kita harapkan ialah bekalan air bersih sampai di rumah masing-masing. Kita juga mohon pertimbangan agar caj-caj kerja penyambungan bagi kemudahan berkenaan dilihat semula supaya ianya tidak terlalu membebankan. Satu kaedah yang boleh dipertimbangkan ialah dikenakan caj yang dibayar secara ansuran pada kadar yang mampu dibayar oleh rakyat setempat.
Kemudahan elektrik ke kawasan yang belum lagi disediakan juga harus diambil kira. Di kawasan saya masih banyak rumah-rumah panjang dan perkampungan yang belum mendapat kemudahan bekalan elektrik. Penggunaan generator set bagi setengah-setengah kawasan masa kini agak membebankan apatah lagi dengan kenaikkan harga minyak pada masa ini. Adalah diharapkan supaya kawasan-kawasan yang bersesuaian dibekalkan dengan kemudahan asas ini melalui rural electrical scheme ataupun SESCo sendiri.

Selain daripada prasarana dan kemudahan asas seperti projek-projek ekonomi yang boleh menyediakan pendapatan yang stabil dan peluang pekerjaan yang banyak amat perlu di Kawasan Batu Danau. Rakyat yang mempunyai pendapatan yang stabil akan lebih cepat mencapai peningkatan dalam taraf hidup mereka. Hal ini hanya dapat dicapai jika program pembangunan ekonomi dapat dilaksanakan untuk dinikmati oleh rakyat setempat. Seperti mana yang kita sedia maklum bahawa industri pembalakkan yang dahulunya banyak menyumbang kepada peluang pekerjaan dan pendapatan rakyat di negeri ini sudahpun menurun. Kawasan Batu Danau tidak terkecuali daripada fenomena ini. Selain daripada itu, kegawatan ekonomi yang melanda negara-negara Asean termasuk negera Brunei Darulsalam beberapa tahun lalu juga telah mengakibatkan kekurangan peluang pekerjaan bagi golongan muda di kawasan saya yang mana sebelum ini banyak bekerja di negara tersebut. Akibatnya ramai anak-anak muda yang dulunya bekerja di negara jiran ini terpaksa berhijrah mencari pekerjaan di bandar-bandar lain dan yang tidak ada mempunyai kemahiran terpaksa duduk di kampung dan tanpa pekerjaan. Oleh yang demikan, saya ingin memohon jasa baik kementerian-kementerian berkaitan untuk memberi pertimbangan mewujudkan projek-projek ekonomi yang boleh memberi impak jangka panjang kepada penduduk tempatan.

Tuan Speaker, adalah dicadangkan supaya pihak berkenaan melihat program-program pembangunan tanah seperti projek kelapa sawit, padi atau getah yang kita dapati berjaya menjana ekonomi dan meningkatkan taraf hidup rakyat. Ini telah terbukti di kawasan-kawasan yang lain di negeri ini. Saya juga mencadangkan supaya program pembangunan tanah ini melibatkan penduduk tempatan dengan pemilikkan ekuiti samada ianya Pembangunan Tanah Hak Adat Bumiputera ataupun tanah milik individu. Oleh yang demikian, kita mengalu-alukan FELCRA, LCDA, SALCRA ataupun agensi kerajaan lain untuk meninjau ke kawasan ini dan seterusnya jika berdaya maju merancang dan melaksanakan program pembangunan tanah. Selain, program pembangunan secara besar-besaran, kita juga mengalu-alukan program-program ekonomi secara kelompok seperti tanam-tanaman yang boleh diproses dan mengadakan pusat pemprosesan.

Saya, Tuan Speaker, pernah ditanya oleh seorang petani, iaitu, dengan soalan berbunyi, “kenapa kerajaan suruh kita tanam itu dan tanam ini, kenapa tak tubuhkan kilang supaya senang kita jual. Sekarang kalau musim rambutan, semua orang ada rambutan. Siapa mahu beli? Kalau ada kilang tak perlu suruh kita tanam, kita akan tanam kerana ada tempat menjual”. Pada saya apa yang dinyatakan oleh petani ini ada kebenarannya. Sungguhpun demikian kita sedar usaha ini bukanlah mudah. Oleh kerana itu, kita mencadangkan supaya ada usaha untuk melihat apa-apa jua potensi yang ada.

Kita juga semua tahu tentang kepentingan pelajaran dalam kehidupan masa kini. Oleh kerana itu, tidak perlulah saya berhujah panjang lebar mengenai kepentingan pelajaran kepada kita. Di kawasan saya kemudahan persekolahan ke tahap sekolah adalah baik. Namun demikian masih ada ruang untuk diperbaiki khasnya kemudahan-kemudahan dan kelengkapan mengajar dan pembelajaran dan juga asrama. Selain daripada itu apa yang amat kurang adalah peluang pembelajaran selepas pelajar-pelajar ini tamat tingkatan 5 dengan yang memperolehi keputusan yang kurang cemerlang. Oleh yang demikian, saya ingin mencadangkan supaya ada usaha untuk mewujudkan sebuah institut latihan perindustirian mahupun sekolah-sekolah teknik di kawasan saya ataupun di Bahagian Limbang bagi menampung keperluan pelajar-pelajar dari Bahagian ini yang tidak dapat meneruskan pengajian mereka ke peringkat universiti ataupun kolej. Pada masa ini mereka terpaksa pergi ke tempat lain untuk mendapat kemudahan yang sedemikian dan ini memakan belanja yang amat besar.

Pembangunan pelancongan merupakan satu sektor yang boleh bukan sahaja dapat mempamerkan kekayaan kebudayaan berbilang di Negeri Sarawak tetapi juga dapat menjana ekonomi dan pembangunan negeri. Di kawasan saya terdapat beberapa ruang bagi pembangunan pelancongan. Gunung Buda, kawasan rumah panjang, Lumba Kerbau dan pesta bebulang kaum Bisaya, kawasan perkelahan Semabat dan Inseriban di Medamit dan kawasan alam semulajadi di Ulu Limbang hingga ke Long Napir boleh dijadikan sebagai daya tarikan pelancongan. Dalam hal ini, kita memohon agar pihak-pihak berkenaan meneliti bagaimana ia dapat dibangunkan dengan lebih pesat. Sebagai contoh, pesta bebulang dan lumba kerbau di Batu Arau telah mendapat sambutan yang agak baik, bukan sahaja dikalangan penduduk tempatan tetapi juga dari negara jiran dan pelancongan asing yang lain. Penduduk di kawasan saya amat menghargai sokongan yang telah diberi oleh pelbagai pihak khasnya Kementerian Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan Sarawak kerana pesta tersebut telah disenaraikan dalam kalendar pelancongan negeri. Bagi membolehkan para penduduk tempatan menikmati faedah daripada pesta tersebut adalah dicadangkan supaya pakej-pakej pelancongan dalam bentuk ‘homestay’ dapat dimajukan di kawasan berkenaan. Dengan yang demikian penduduk dapat menikmati terus faedahnya selain daripada mereka yang terlibat dalam perkhidmatan penginapan, makan dan minuman dan juga pengangkutan.

Tuan Speaker, sebelum saya duduk saya amat berharap apa yang telah saya sentuh dalam ucapan saya dapat diberi pertimbangan yang sewajarnya oleh Dewan ini. Dengan ini saya menyokong penuh Usul Penghargaan atas Ucapan Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri. Sekian, terima kash.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat, we have a short break. Sitting resumes at 11:20 am.

(Mesyuarat ditangguhkan pada jam11:03 pagi)

(Mesyuarat dimulakan pada jam 11:37 pagi)

[Tuan Speaker mempengerusikan Mesyuarat]

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Bukit Kota.

Y.B. Dr. Abdul Rahman Ismail: Terima kasih, Tuan Speaker. Saya bangun untuk mengambil bahagian dalam perbahasan ucapan dasar Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak yang dibuat semasa perasmian persidangan Dewan Undangan Negeri Keenam Belas pada 24 Julai 2006. Saya mengucapkan terima kasih kepada Tuan Speaker kerana memberi peluang kepada saya mengambil bahagian di dalam Dewan yang mulia ini.

Tuan Speaker, ucapan dasar yang disampaikan oleh Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri adalah ucapan yang sangat baik dan menyeluruh yang menyentuh pelbagai aspek, daripada tanggungjawab Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat, perpaduan dan keharmonian rakyat, keselamatan dalam negeri dan agenda sosial, pembangunan ekonomi, Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan, pembangunan modal insan, pembangunan luar bandar, penggunaan sumber tenaga secara efisyen, peningkatan kualiti hidup dan perkhidmatan dan sistem penyampaian negeri. Pada pandangan saya, ianya merupakan ucapan dasar yang amat berguna untuk dijadikan panduan bagi semua Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat yang telah diberikan amanah dan tanggungjawab oleh rakyat sebagai wakil untuk membawa segala permasalahan yang dihadapi oleh rakyat kepada kerajaan.

Sebagai seorang wakil rakyat yang bertanggungjawab, kita tidak boleh semata-mata menggunakan keistimewaan di dalam Dewan yang mulia ini untuk membuat pelbagai ucapan-ucapan yang penuh dengan janji-janji manis dan rhetoric yang tidak mungkin dapat ditunaikan seperti menegak benang yang basah. Ucapan-ucapan yang membuat pelbagai tuduhan tanpa bahan bukti yang kukuh, ucapan-ucapan yang berbentuk tohmahan dan fitnah dan ucapan-ucapan yang menghina perlembagaan dan sebagainya. Kita perlu menjaga kemuliaan Dewan ini dan perlu menunjukkan sikap yang penuh bersopan-santun dan berhemah semasa membuat ucapan dan mengamalkan nilai-nilai yang positif, bukannya budaya-budaya negatif kerana kita akan dilihat dan dinilai oleh rakyat, bukan sahaja rakyat yang kita wakili malah seluruh rakyat di negeri ini. Oleh itu, saya nasihatkan agar kita mengamalkan nilai-nilai yang murni seperti yang terkandung dalam Rukun Negara sekiranya kita menjadi rakyat yang setia kepada negara Malaysia yang tercinta ini.

Tuan Speaker, Tuan Yang Terutama adalah seorang pemimpin yang amat prihatin dan mengambil berat kepada kebajikan dan kesejahteraan hidup rakyat tanpa mengira latarbelakang, keturunan, bangsa, adat-resam dan kepercayaan agama. Tuan Yang Terutama sentiasa memberi sokongan kepada kerajaan negeri di bawah pimpinan Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri, Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud dalam agenda politik pembangunan yang dipelopori beliau, yang mana telah terbukti membangunkan Negeri Sarawak sehingga menjadi antara tiga negeri yang teratas dari segi pembangunan di Malaysia. Tuan Yang Terutama sentiasa memberi nasihat-nasihat kepada rakyat agar berusaha dan bersedia untuk menghadapi apa sahaja cabaran-cabaran yang mendatang, terutama dalam era globalisasi dan era teknologi maklumat supaya kita akan terus menikmati pembangunan, kejayaan dan kesejahteraan.

Tuan Speaker, pada kesempatan ini, saya ingin menyentuh mengenai perkara-perkara yang menjadi keperluan dan masalah-masalah yang dihadapi di kawasan saya iaitu N.68 - Bukit Kota. Pertama sekali, saya ingin mengucapkan terima kasih kepada Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri Sarawak, Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud kerana telah memberi kepercayaan kepada saya untuk menjadi calon Barisan Nasional di dalam pilihanraya yang lepas. Rakyat di kawasan saya membalas kepercayaan ini dengan memberikan undi majoriti yang besar dan ini menunjukkan bahawa rakyat di N.68 - Bukit Kota terus memberikan sokongan kepada kerajaan Barisan Nasional yang telah terbukti dapat menunaikan janji-janji untuk memberi pembangunan kepada rakyat tanpa mengira di mana sahaja mereka berada samada di bandar mahupun di luar bandar.

Dalam kesempatan ini, saya juga ingin mengucapkan tahniah kepada Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri kerana berjaya menerajui Barisan Nasional dalam kemenangan besar dalam Pilihanraya Negeri Kesembilan. Insya-Allah, saya akan berusaha sama-sama dalam satu pasukan untuk pembangunan di kawasan saya khasnya, dan di Negeri Sarawak, amnya.

Tuan Speaker, Kawasan N.68 - Bukit Kota mempunyai pentadbiran yang sama dengan Kawasan N.69 - Batu Danau iaitu Daerah Limbang. Daerah Limbang adalah sebuah daerah yang unik di Negeri Sarawak kerana ianya terletak di antara dua buah kawasan Negara Brunei Darussalam. Dua kawasan Daerah Limbang adalah 3,928.1 kilometer persegi dengan anggaran penduduknya bagi tahun 2005 seramai 44,900 orang. Kumpulan etnik yang menduduki Daerah Limbang terdiri daripada etnik Melayu, Bisayah, Iban, Cina dan lain-lain. Pekerjaan utama rakyat di Daerah Limbang adalah dalam bidang pertanian, selain daripada bidang perniagaan, penjawat awam kerajaan dan swasta dan sebahagiannya bekerja di negara jiran.

Daripada aspek pembangunan, Alhamdulillah, Daerah Limbang juga telah menikmati pelbagai pembangunan di bawah Kerajaan Barisan Nasional. Antara lain adalah lapangan terbang baru yang membolehkan kapalterbang sederhana besar seperti Fokker 50 mendarat. Kemudahan sukan dan rekreasi seperti Dewan Suarah, Kompleks Sukan berserta kolam renang bertaraf Olimpik dan Stadium Tertutup Limbang. Kemudahan pejabat Kerajaan Negeri dan Persekutuan yang baru seperti Pengkalan Marin, CIQ di Jalan Pendaruan, penjara baru dan pembinaan CIQ di Tadungan.

Oleh itu, saya ingin mengucapkan terima kasih dan penghargaan kepada Kerajaan Barisan Nasional di atas pembangunan yang berterusan yang dirancang dan dilaksanakan di kawasan saya, terutama dalam Rancangan Malaysia Ke-sembilan. Bagaimanapun seperti yang saya nyatakan tadi, daerah Limbang adalah sebuah daerah yang unik kerana ianya dihimpit oleh dua sempadan antarabangsa. Oleh itu, ianya juga menghadapi masalah-masalah unik terutamanya di dalam perhubungan antarabangsa dan perhubungan dalam negeri. Daerah Limbang juga masih mempunyai masalah-masalah keperluan asas yang belum dinikmati oleh sebahagian penduduk-penduduk di sini.

Masalah Perhubungan dan Pengangkutan

Tuan Speaker, untuk kita sampai ke daerah Limbang, kita boleh menggunakan tiga cara, iaitu melalui jalan raya, melalui udara dan melalui sungai. Kalau kita menggunakan jalan raya, kita perlu melalui sempadan antarabangsa yang sudah tentunya memerlukan pelbagai proses-proses yang tertentu termasuk memerlukan paspot antarabangsa dan sebagainya. Ia juga melibatkan masalah-masalah yang berkaitan terutamanya pengangkutan produk-produk perniagaan seperti ubat-ubatan dan sebagainya.

Dari segi statistik, ketibaan dan pemergian daripada Pos Imigresen Tadungan semakin meningkat dari tahun ke setahun. Sebagai contoh, pada tahun 2004, jumlah ketibaan dan pemergian ialah 2,178,817 orang dan dalam tahun 2005 seramai 2,295,278 orang dan sehingga April 2006 seramai 811,471 orang. Jumlah ketibaan dan pemergian yang besar ini menjadikan Pos Imigresen Tadungan adalah yang keempat paling sibuk di Malaysia. Dengan keadaan Pos Imigresen sekarang ini mengakibatkan kesesakan dan kadang-kala masa menunggu diperlukan untuk melepasi sempadan adalah sehingga empat jam, iaitu satu tempoh masa yang amat panjang.

Daripada segi ini, saya ingin mengucapkan terima kasih kepada kakitangan di Pos Imigresen Tadungan kerana dapat menjalankan tugas dengan baik memandangkan keadaan tempat kerja yang sesak dan kurang selesa dan jumlah kakitangan yang terhad. Mereka telah berusaha sedaya mungkin untuk memudahkan proses ketibaan dan pemergian pengunjung.

Kerajaan Barisan Nasional amat prihatin dengan masalah ini dengan meluluskan projek pembinaan CIQ baru di Tadungan yang sekarang ini dalam pembinaan dan dijangka siap pada tahun 2008. Diharap dengan siapnya, CIQ baru ini akan menambahbaik keadaan ketibaan dan pemergian di sempadan Tadungan.

Saya juga ingin mencadangkan pembukaan Pos kawasan imigresen di sempadan Pendam untuk mengatasi dan mengurangkan kesesakan kemasukan dan pemergian memandangkan jumlah kemasukan dan pemergian yang semakin meningkat dari tahun ke setahun. Dengan pembukaan Pos Imigresen di Pendam akan dapat juga mengurangkan masalah-masalah jalan-jalan tikus di sempadan dan akan meningkatkan lagi kedatangan pelancong-pelancong terutamanya daripada negara jiran. Ianya juga akan dapat membuka peluang-peluang ekonomi bagi penduduk-penduduk di kawasan tersebut.

Tuan Speaker, selain daripada melalui pintu masuk jalan darat, kita juga mempunyai sebuah lapangan terbang moden dan canggih yang dibina oleh Kerajaan Barisan Nasional. Penduduk-penduduk Limbang amat berterima kasih dengan pembinaan lapangan terbang ini yang membolehkan kapalterbang jenis Fokker 50 mendarat dan dengan ini kedatangan pengunjung-pengunjung ke Limbang bertambah dan menjadi lebih mudah terutamanya bagi kakitangan-kakitangan dan pegawai-pegawai kerajaan yang datang untuk urusan rasmi melalui perkhidmatan yang diberikan oleh Sistem Penerbangan Malaysia ataupun MAS.

Setakat ini, kita tidak menghadapi masalah besar dengan perkhidmatan yang diberikan oleh MAS tetapi dengan pengambilalih laluan luar bandar oleh Syarikat Penerbangan Air Asia melalui anak syarikatnya iaitu Syarikat Penerbangan FAX telah menimbulkan keadaan yang tidak menentu. Kita berharap FAX dapat memberikan perkhidmatan yang setanding malah lebih baik daripada perkhidmatan yang ada sekarang. Saya ingin memberi beberapa cadangan kepada FAX supaya perkhidmatan tidak akan terjejas dan dapat diterima oleh pelbagai golongan penumpang yang terdiri daripada rakyat biasa, ahli-ahli perniagaan, pegawai-pegawai kerajaan, orang-orang kenamaan dan sebagainya.

(1) FAX tidak mengikut sistem yang diamalkan oleh Air Asia, iaitu sistem free seating. Sistem free seating ini mengakibatkan keadaan berebut-rebut untuk menaiki kapalterbang dan tidak semua penumpang merasa selesa dengan keadaan berebut-rebut ini;

(2) FAX perlulah membuat perundingan dengan MAS dan memastikan jadual penerbangan yang dibuat selaras dengan jadual penerbangan MAS terutamanya bagi sektor Miri-Kuching;

(3) Saya berharap FAX dapat menambah kekerapan penerbangan dan dapat memenuhi semua jadual-jadual penerbangan yang ditetapkan di samping memberi perkhidmatan yang selesa kepada pelanggan-pelanggan;

Dengan cadangan dan harapan ini, saya mengucapkan selamat kepada FAX dan Air Asia dan berharap mereka akan bekerjasama dengan MAS dalam memberikan perkhidmatan yang baik kepada pelanggan-pelanggan.

Keperluan-Keperluan Asas

Tuan Speaker, saya juga ingin menarik perhatian Dewan yang mulia ini tentang keperluan-keperluan asas di Kawasan Bukit Kota iaitu Projek Jalanraya Pengkalan Rejab Buang Abai Telahap Meritam dan Projek Jalanraya Jalan Ipai Pendam berserta dengan kemudahan asas yang lain seperti bekalan elektrik dan bekalan air bersih. Saya difahamkan projek-projek ini telah dimasukkan dalam Rancangan Malaysia Ke-sembilan dan saya berharap ianya dapat dilaksanakan mengikut jadual.

Saya juga ingin mencadangkan projek jalan raya yang menghubungkan Jalan Bukit Lubok ke Kampung Bulan Tak yang mana boleh dihubungkan ke Kampung Limpaku Pinang. Penduduk-penduduk di Kampung Bulan Tak dan Kampung Limpaku Pinang juga memerlukan kemudahan asas yang lain seperti bekalan elektrik dan bekalan air bersih. Saya harap kajian dapat dijalankan oleh jabatan kerajaan yang berkaitan.

Penanaman Getah

Tuan Speaker, bagi meningkatkan tahap ekonomi penduduk luar bandar, adalah dicadangkan supaya pihak Kerajaan Negeri menumpukan perhatian kepada penanaman getah yang mana harga getah pada masa ini adalah pada tahap yang tinggi dan dijangka meningkat akibat kenaikan harga minyak petroleum. Oleh itu, penduduk-penduduk yang berminat dan pekebun-pekebun kecil getah perlu diberikan bantuan dan perhatian dalam Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan dan diharap Kementerian Pertanian dapat memohon peruntukan yang lebih bagi penanaman getah dan diharap peruntukan ini akan dapat diagihkan sama rata di seluruh bahagian Negeri Sarawak.

Untuk pengetahuan, permohonan-permohonan bagi penduduk di kawasan saya yang telah diajukan kepada Jabatan Pertanian Limbang adalah seperti berikut:

(1) Bagi permohonan untuk projek tanaman getah individu adalah seramai 178 orang yang melibatkan tanah seluas 227 hektar;

(2) Bagi permohonan untuk projek tanaman getah berkelompok adalah seramai 735 orang yang melibatkan tanah seluas 1,019 hektar; dan

(3) Bagi permohonan projek tanaman getah mini estet adalah seramai 838 orang yang melibatkan tanah seluas 2,756 hektar.
Permohonan-permohonan ini menunjukkan ramai penduduk-penduduk amat berminat untuk melibatkan diri dalam penanaman getah dan saya harap pihak kementerian dan Kerajaan Negeri dapat mengambil perhatian kepada perkara ini.

Penternakan Kerbau

Tuan Speaker, saya juga ingin mencadangkan agar sebuah kawasan penternakan kerbau secara komersial diadakan di Kawasan Bukit Kota kerana penternakan kerbau ini begitu berpotensi untuk dimajukan dan kita boleh memasarkan daging kerbau kepada pasaran tempatan dan pasaran antarabangsa iaitu di negara jiran. Saya harap pihak-pihak yang berkaitan dapat membuat kajian di atas cadangan ini.

Penanaman Padi

Tuan Speaker, saya juga ingin mencadangkan agar satu kajian dibuat oleh Kerajaan Negeri untuk melihat sama ada projek penanaman padi secara besar-besaran dan komersial di Lembah Limbang yang secara tradisional merupakan satu kawasan yang begitu subur untuk penanaman padi sama ada dapat dilaksanakan atau tidak untuk menambah kegiatan ekonomi di Limbang yang banyak bergantung kepada bidang pertanian.

Pusat Pertumbuhan Desa

Tuan Speaker, saya juga ingin mencadangkan agar sebuah Pusat Pertumbuhan Desa ataupun Rural Growth Centre diwujudkan di kawasan Bukit Kota, iaitu di kawasan Kampung Limpaku Pinang. Kampung Limpaku Pinang adalah sebuah perkampungan yang terpencil dan hanya dapat dihubungi melalui jalan sungai dan ianya terletak di Kuala Sungai Limbang.

Pekerjaan utama penduduk kampung ini adalah sebagai nelayan dan tidak mempunyai kemudahan asas seperti jalan raya, bekalan elektrik dan bekalan air bersih. Adalah diharapkan dengan menjadikan Kampung Limpaku Pinang sebagai salah sebuah RGC di Negeri Sarawak akan dapat meningkatkan taraf kehidupan bagi penduduk-penduduk kampung tersebut yang telah begitu lama ketinggalan berbanding dengan tempat-tempat lain.

Kemudahan Pelancongan

Tuan Speaker, dengan kedudukan yang unik, Limbang juga mempunyai kelebihan berbanding dengan tempat-tempat lain iaitu ia merupakan salah satu pintu masuk ke Sarawak sama ada melalui Negara Brunei Darussalam, daripada Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan dan daripada Negeri Sabah melalui Daerah Lawas. Oleh itu, kita perlu meningkatkan usaha untuk menarik pelancong-pelancong ke Negeri Sarawak melalui Limbang dengan membuka, mengusahakan dan memperkenalkan tempat-tempat tarikan pelancongan di Limbang dan kawasan sekitarnya kepada umum.

Usaha-usaha ini dapat dilakukan sama ada oleh pihak kerajaan ataupun pihak swasta yang berminat atau melalui usahasama antara kerajaan dan swasta. Pada pendapat saya, ada dua buah kawasan pelancongan yang unik di Limbang untuk dimajukan:
Banjaran Gunung Muda

Banjaran Gunung Muda ini terletak di kawasan pedalaman Bahagian Limbang dan ianya bersambung dengan Banjaran Gunung Mulu yang sudah diisytiharkan sebagai salah sebuah khazanah dunia ataupun World Heritage Site.

Gunung Muda hanya lebih kurang 90 kilometer daripada bandar Limbang dan kita boleh sampai ke sana melalui jalan balak. Bagaimanapun terdapat 22 jambatan kecil yang telah roboh dan perlu diperbaiki. Sekiranya jambatan-jambatan kecil ini diperbaiki, masa untuk sampai ke kawasan Gunung Muda ini hanyalah lebih kurang dua jam daripada bandar Limbang.

Banjaran Gunung Muda ini mempunyai sistem gua yang unik dan menarik. Setakat ini, saya difahamkan sudah ada lima ekspedisi dan kajian diadakan iaitu pada tahun 1994, 1996, 1997, 2000 dan 2003 dan setakat ini sebanyak 22 buah gua telah diterokai yang menjangkau kawasan sepanjang 84 kilometer. Daripada Gunung Buda kita boleh sampai ke Gunung Mulu melalui cara berjalan kaki dan mengambil masa selama lapan jam sahaja.

Oleh itu, saya berharap agar banjaran Gunung Buda ini dapat diperkenalkan sebagai sebuah kawasan pelancongan di Sarawak dan sebagai salah satu pintu masuk ke Gunung Mulu yang sudah begitu terkenal di seluruh dunia.

Tuan Speaker, kawasan kedua yang saya cadangkan untuk dimajukan sebagai tempat pelancongan di Daerah Limbang adalah kawasan mud volcano ataupun tanah membuak bagi penduduk tempatan. Kawasan mud volcano ini terletak di Kampung Meritam iaitu kira-kira 34 km daripada Bandar Limbang. Ianya meliputi kawasan seluas lebih kurang tiga ekar adalah dipercayai oleh penduduk-penduduk kampung, tanah membuak ini mempunyai keistimewaan untuk menyembuhkan pelbagai penyakit kulit. Tetapi kajian lebih lanjut perlu dijalankan untuk mengesahkannya.

Pada masa ini kawasan ini adalah terbiar dan tiada kemudahan asas seperti tempat mandi yang tertutup untuk kegunaan pengunjung. Adalah difahamkan pada masa ini ramai pengunjung-pengunjung telah datang ke kawasan ini termasuk daripada Semenanjung Malaysia. Oleh itu, saya berharap ada usaha daripada pihak-pihak berkenaan untuk memajukan kawasan ini dengan menyediakan kemudahan-kemudahan asas.

Prasarana Kesihatan Dan Kakitangan

Tuan Speaker, dari segi kemudahan prasarana kesihatan kita amat berterimakasih kepada Kerajaan Barisan Nasional kerana pada Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan Daerah Limbang diperuntukkan untuk pembinaan sebuah PoliKlinik di kawasan Bandar Baru Limbang. Tetapi adalah diharapkan jumlah kakitangan dan doktor yang berkhidmat di hospital-hospital dan klinik dapat ditambah kerana kita masih lagi kekurangan doktor untuk merawat pesakit-pesakit yang semakin bertambah dari semasa ke semasa terutamanya di bahagian pesakit luar.

Di Poliklinik Limbang pada tahun 2003 seramai 49,523 orang datang untuk mendapatkan rawatan ataupun seramai 135 orang sehari. Dan pada tahun 2005 jumlah pesakit meningkat kepada 74,640 orang ataupun 200 pesakit sehari tetapi bilangan doktor yang bertugas masih sama iaitu hanya satu orang atau dua orang dalam satu-satu masa. Ini mengakibatkan masalah menunggu yang lama bagi pesakit-pesakit. Pada masa ini hanya lima orang doktor yang ada di Limbang untuk mengisi jawatan doktor yang ada iaitu 12 orang. Oleh itu pihak kerajaan perlulah mengambil beberapa jalan agar kekosongan doktor yang ada dapat diisi dengan seberapa segera agar perkhidmatan kesihatan kepada rakyat dapat dipertingkatkan dan mengurangkan tekanan dan bebanan kerja kepada doktor-doktor yang bertugas.

Saya juga ingin menarik perhatian dewan yang mulia ini mengenai permintaan daripada rakyat di Limbang agar di Hospital Limbang dapat ditempatkan sekurang-kurangnya seorang doktor pakar untuk memberikan perkhidmatan memandangkan masalah pengangkutan yang dihadapi untuk menghantar pesakit-pesakit yang tenat ke Hospital Miri yang terpaksa melalui negara jiran.

Pembangunan Modal Insan

Tuan Speaker, pembangunan modal insan adalah penting bagi sesebuah negara. Pada masa ini kerajaan banyak menumpukan kepada pelajar-pelajar di peringkat sekolah rendah dan peringkat sekolah menengah dengan menyediakan prasarana-prasarana sekolah rendah dan menengah bagi Daerah Limbang. Jika dilihat dari segi keputusan peperiksaan awam di Daerah Limbang bolehlah dibanggakan iaitu pada tahun 2005 keputusan adalah seperti berikut:

1. UPSR 69.1%
2. PMR 50.93%
3. SPM 86.99%
4. STPM 91.2%

Bagaimanapun ramai pelajar-pelajar yang tidak begitu berminat dan tidak mampu untuk meneruskan pelajaran di peringkat lebih tinggi terutamanya jika melibatkan keperluan untuk belajar di tempat-tempat lain seperti di Kuching. Ini adalah kerana berbagai-bagai sebab termasuk faktor ekonomi. Oleh itu, saya mencadangkan Daerah Limbang diperuntukkan sebuah sekolah yang menumpukan pada bidang latihan dan kemahiran seperti sekolah teknikal ataupun institut kemahiran agar pelajar-pelajar ini dapat menimba ilmu di bidang kemahiran dan latihan. Dan dengan ini akan menambahkan kualiti modal insan yang mempunyai kemahiran-kemahiran tertentu agar mereka dapat pekerjaan yang bersesuaian dengan kemahiran mereka dan dengan ini mengurangkan masalah pengangguran dan masalah sosial yang berkaitan.

Kesimpulan

Tuan Speaker, sebagai kesimpulan saya ingin menyatakan di Dewan yang mulia ini ucapan terima kasih dan penghargaan kepada Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri di atas ucapan dasar yang begitu bernas dan baik. Diharapkan semua wakil rakyat dapat mengikuti dan mengamalkan segala nasihat-nasihat yang berguna yang diberikan oleh Tuan Yang Terutama di dalam menjalankan amanah dan tanggungjawab yang diberikan oleh rakyat. Kepada Tuan Speaker, saya ingin mengucapkan terima kasih kerana memberi peluang saya untuk membuat ucapan sulung ini dan saya berharap dan berdoa agar Tuan Speaker diberikan kekuatan ilmu dan ilham yang bernas untuk menjalankan tugas dalam mempastikan semua Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat menghormati dewan yang mulia ini dan tidak menyalahgunakan keistimewaan-keistimewaan sebagai Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat untuk kepentingan politik semata-mata tanpa mengindahkan peraturan-peraturan mesyuarat Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak.

Sekian, terima kasih.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Bekenu.

Y.B. Puan Rosey binti Haji Yunus: Terima kasih, Tuan Speaker. Sekali lagi terima kasih kerana memberikan saya peluang untuk mengambil bahagian dalam ucapan pada tengahari ini.

Tuan Speaker, pertama izinkan saya merakamkan setinggi-tinggi syabas, tahniah dan terima kasih kepada Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak di atas Ucapan Pembukaan Persidangan Penggal Pertama Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak yang Keenam Belas pada 24 Julai 2006 yang lalu. Terima kasih juga di atas pesanan seperti yang tercatat dalam ucapan, atas pesanan, nasihat, dorongan dan panduan yang disentuh dalam ucapan itu. Saya yakin dan percaya ianya akan dijadikan panduan dalam menjalankan tugas dan amanah yang dipertanggungjawabkan.

Tuan Speaker, izinkan saya bagi seluruh warga Kawasan N.61 – Bekenu, khususnya bagi masyarakat Kedayan mengucapkan setinggi-tinggi penghargaan dan terima kasih pertama, Yang Amat Berhormat Perdana Menteri Malaysia selaku presiden Barisan Nasional Malaysia, khusus juga kepada Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri Ketua Menteri Sarawak selaku presiden Barisan Nasional Sarawak atas kepercayaan dalam memilih saya pertama, sebagai calon Barisan Nasional dan seterusnya menjadi wakil rakyat N.61 – Bekenu. Dirakamkan juga ucapan terima kasih ini kepada Yang Berhormat Datuk Presiden Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) dan ahli majlis tertinggi parti atas kepercayaan yang diberikan kepada saya untuk mewakili parti SPDP bagi Kawasan N.61 – Bekenu.

Dalam masa yang sama saya juga ingin mengucapkan kesyukuran dan terima kasih sekali lagi kepada Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri Sarawak kerana menambahkan lagi bilangan wanita sebagai wakil rakyat. (Applause) Sesungguhnya ini jelas menunjukkan akan pengiktirafan dan kepercayaan akan kemampuan kaum wanita dalam sama-sama membangunkan Negeri Sarawak.

Bagi diri saya sendiri saya amat menghargai kepercayaan yang diberikan kepada saya tambah-tambah lagi dengan keadaan ini menjadikan saya Kedayan yang pertama dilantik sebagai Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak. (Applause) Kepada Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri Ketua Menteri Sarawak terima kasih kerana telah mengukir sejarah yang sangat bermakna kepada masyarakat Kedayan. It is indeed an honour and again a very big thank you.

Tuan Speaker, tarikh 25 Mei 2006 adalah tarikh yang sangat bermakna kepada Kerajaan Negeri Sarawak, bila mana 62 buah kerusi berjaya dimenangi dan tahniah kepada Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri Ketua Menteri Sarawak kerana berjaya mengekalkan kerusi N.51 – Balingian seterusnya memimpin Kerajaan Negeri Sarawak sekali lagi. Kepada semua Yang Berhormat, sebelum itu tahniah juga kepada Tuan Speaker kerana dilantik semula sebagai Speaker of this august House. Kepada semua Yang Berhormat daripada semua komponen parti Barisan Nasional tahniah diucapkan kerana berjaya mempertahankan kerusi masing-masing. Ini jelas menunjukkan akan kerja keras dan komitmen Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat sekalian in serving the rakyat in your constituency dan kerana itu juga you all have paved the way for us the new group. Bagi rakan-rakan Yang Berhormat yang baru tahniah kerana berjaya dipilih dan saya yakin kemenangan Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat yang baru termasuk saya adalah kerana pertama, atas kepercayaan rakyat akan perjuangan Kerajaan Barisan Nasional di bawah kepimpinan Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri Ketua Menteri Sarawak kita. Jadi dirakamkan juga terima kasih kepada para pengundi yang menyebabkan kemenangan ini.

Yang kedua, saya yakin juga adalah kerana bantuan dan sokongan semua Menteri, Ahli-Ahli Parlimen, Menteri-Menteri Muda dan Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat serta semua ahli komponen parti yang telah memberi sokongan, bantuan dan telah sama-sama menjelajah ke kawasan untuk mempastikan kemenangan Barisan Nasional. Di samping itu, Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri Ketua Menteri Sarawak your undivided focus on the development of Sarawak really has a great impact in making, quote and unquote, “Sarawak a peaceful, progressive and prosperous State”. Tahniah.

Pengenalan Kawasan N.61 – Bekenu

Tuan Speaker, sebagai pengenalan, Kawasan Dewan Undangan Negeri N.61 – Bekenu adalah kawasan baru hasil daripada pensempadanan semula kawasan Dewan Undangan Negeri N.55 – Lambir yang lalu. Terima kasih kepada Kerajaan Negeri Sarawak atas keadaan ini kerana dengan persempadanan semula ini kawasan menjadi lebih kecil berbanding dengan sebelumnya. Dan ini memberi lebih banyak ruang untuk memberi lebih fokus kepada pembangunan kawasan. Kawasan ini kini terdiri daripada 46 buah rumah panjang, 45 kampung dan dua pekan iaitu Bekenu dan Niah. Dan mempunyai 10,559 orang pengundi berdaftar pada pilihanraya yang lalu. Kemenangan dengan majoriti yang sangat baik semasa pilihanraya yang lalu menunjukkan akan kepercayaan rakyat dan akan aspirasi rakyat yang masih mahukan Kerajaan Barisan Nasional untuk terus memimpin Kerajaan Sarawak tambah-tambah lagi dengan adanya dan bermulanya Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan yang sangat ditunggu-tunggukan oleh setiap lapisan masyarakat.

Pembangunan Kawasan: Jalan Raya, Bekalan Letrik, Bekalan Air Bersih Dan Paip

Tuan Speaker, menyentuh tentang isu jalan raya, saya ucapkan terima kasih kepada Kerajaan Negeri Sarawak kerana dengan terbinanya dan siapnya coastal road jalan pesisir pantai dan telah dapat digunakan serta menjadi laluan komunikasi yang banyak menjimatkan masa. Kini untuk ke kampung saya sendiri, Kampung Pejuang, hanya mengambil masa dalam 45 minit dan ke Bintulu dalam masa dua jam berbanding dengan dahulunya melebihi tiga jam. Kalau dulu untuk ke kampung saya, Kampung Pejuang, dari Miri mengambil masa dua jam kini kurang dari 45 minit. Dan kita terpaksa mengikut jadual pasang surut, kena cetak jadual dari Internet. Almaklumlah kalau di bandar ini kita mempunyai keistimewaan akses Internet, jadi kena cetak jadual pasang surut. Tapi kalau orang kampung, dulu kena bawa dua set pakaian. Satu untuk tolak tarik perahu dan yang kedua sebelum selekoh sampai ke Bekenu baru tukar pakaian. Jadi bila sampai Bekenu, nampak smartlah sedikit. So actually nobody in Bekenu would know and imagine how you look like before that. Again thank you for that atas siapnya jalan pesisir pantai.

Jadi kini fasa pertama perhubungan melalui jalan persisir pantai telah terlaksana hasil pembangunan yang telah dirancang dan dilaksana oleh Kerajaan Barisan Nasional.

So actually we have “tasted” the first phase of development dan langkah seterusnya adalah untuk kita melaksanakan fasa kedua yang melibatkan the upgrading of the gravelled road to tar road dan bagi yang belum dapat di access melalui jalan raya sebelum ini kita accesskan sekurang-kurangnya melalui projek membatu jalan-jalan yang telah dirintis sama ada oleh fasa pertama yang belum siap seperti jalan ke kampung Kuala Sibuti, jalan ke Sebalik Tiris, ke Kampung Rancah-Rancah, Kampung Dagang Sepupuk ataupun atas-atas jalan yang dibina oleh kem pembalakan atau oleh pengusaha ladang kelapa sawit seperti jalan ke Kampung Bulau, Kampung Sinuk, Kampung Mutab, ke rumah-rumah panjang di Saeh dan Niah.

Saya amat gembira sekali apabila mendengar dan mengetahui dalam Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan sebanyak RM15.108 billion telah diagihkan kepada Negeri Sarawak oleh Kerajaan Persekutuan. Oleh itu, special thanks to the Federal Government di atas keprihatinan ini kerana kita dapati ianya 17.9% lebih tinggi daripada Rancangan Malaysia Kelapan yang lalu. Dalam masa yang sama, kita ambil maklum melalui ucapan Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri Sarawak pada Persidangan Khas Dewan Undangan Negeri pada 20 April 2006 yang lalu. RM10 billion juga telah diagihkan bagi tujuan pembangunan termasuk untuk pembangunan luar bandar yang saya yakin terkandung juga di dalamnya usaha-usaha untuk memperluaskan bekalan elektrik dan bekalan air-air paip. Inilah yang amat ditunggu-tunggu oleh rakyat dan memandangkan akan sokongan yang tinggi terhadap kerajaan Barisan Nasional melalui keputusan pilihanraya yang lalu, saya memohon dapat diberikan peruntukan yang lebih kepada kawasan-kawasan ini.

Potensi Kawasan

Seterusnya mengenai potensi kawasan. Tuan Speaker, Bekenu, ini termasuk Bekenu dan Niah selama ini adalah ternama sebagai pengeluar-pengeluar durian, dengan izin, Durian Ukak. Di antaranya juga petai, rambutan, jagung, limau manis dan beberapa dan banyak lagi. Di samping itu juga, pengeluaran hasil laut seperti belacan, cencalok dan keropok. Pemasaran setakat ini adalah melalui jualan di pasar dan pasar-pasar minggu. Penanaman kelapa sawit juga sedang giat dikerjakan oleh penduduk-penduduk di kawasan ini. Melihat akan potensi ini, saya yakin ianya dapat diperkembangkan. Oleh yang demikian, saya mohon kerjasama daripada Jabatan Pertanian, Pertubuhan Peladang, WEDA, MPOB, SOP, FELCRA, penyertaan sektor-sektor swasta dan agensi lain yang berkaitan untuk sama-sama membantu agar usaha kecil-kecilan ini dapat diperluas dan diperkembangkan lagi. Saya juga dengan ini memohon agar Kerajaan Negeri Sarawak dapat menjadi Bekenu sebagai hub pengeluaran hasil-hasil atau produk pertanian agar dapat meningkatkan lagi taraf ekonomi rakyat.

Pelancongan, Tarikan, Tempat dan Budaya

Potensi seterusnya mengenai pelancongan, tarikan, tempat dan budaya. N61 – Bekenu adalah di antara kawasan yang kaya dengan tempat-tempat yang boleh menarik para pelancong. Di antaranya kita mempunyai Gua Niah yang penuh sejarah. Di samping itu juga kita mempunyai pantai-pantai yang indah seperti di Trusan Bungai, Pantai Bungai, Kuala Sibuti dan Kuala Niah. Selain itu, dengan teraccessnya nanti Kuala Sibuti melalui jalanraya satu lagi tarikan yang boleh diusahakan iaitu crocodile watching, ini crocodile sungai, memancing dan pada malam hari pula boleh melihat fireflies yang menerangi tebingan sungai. Ini satu keistimewaan.

Tuan Speaker, untuk dikaitkan juga, Sarawak adalah sebuah negeri yang unik. Unik dalam erti kata terdapatnya berpuluh jenis kaum etnik. Di Kawasan Bekenu sahaja tidak kurang daripada 10 jenis kaum etnik dan ini kita pasti mengamalkan adat dan budaya serta perayaan masing-masing. Pengamalan dan pengtengahan serta penghidupan budaya ini bukan saja sebagai tarikan malah masa yang sama dapat mengekalkan dan ini yang saya gelar budaya kita harus mekar di laman global. Contohnya, Makan Tahun, Bergendang Bermukun, tarian-tarian tradisi dan beberapa lagi. Dengan ini adalah menjadi satu permohonan agar usaha kearah menambahbaik facility, meningkatkan usaha mempromosi boleh dilakukan khususnya oleh Kementerian Pelancongan supaya aspek ini boleh diperkembangkan lagi sebagai satu daya tarikan pelancong dalam dan luar negara.

Naiktaraf Daerah

Potensi ketiga, naiktaraf daerah. Bekenu dalam beberapa tahun ini dengan adanya jalan pesisir pantai telah mula berubah wajah. Kalau dulu ianya merupakan sebuah pekan yang sunyi dan seakan-akan statik tapi kini seperti yang saya katakan tadi, sejak adanya jalan pesisir pantai, kita nampak satu perubahan yang ketara sekali. Hujung minggu kita lihat ramai orang datang khusus untuk marketing kerana ingin mendapatkan sayuran dan ikan segar. Keadaan ini tambah meriah lagi dengan adanya pasar minggu yang dimulakan oleh Persatuan Peladang Kawasan Subis. Di samping kemeriahan ini, beberapa projek pembangunan juga sedang rancak diusahakan termasuk penyusunan semula pekan di mana bangunan tergendala yang selama ini menjadi eyesore telah diroboh dan akan tersergam deretan kedai yang baru, market yang sedang dalam pembinaan, penyusunan semula jalan-jalan di dalam pekan. Special thanks also to the former Wakil Rakyat N.55 – Lambir.

Bilangan penduduk juga jauh bertambah, yang mana dengan keadaan ini saya merasakan sudah sampai masanya Bekenu dijadikan satu daerah. We have what it takes to be a daerah. Ini juga merupakan satu permohonan untuk dipertimbangkan, Tuan Speaker.

Pembangunan Modal Insan, Pembinaan Sekolah,
Peluang Latihan, Pusat Latihan

Seterusnya saya nak sentuh tentang pembangunan modal insan, pembinaan sekolah, peluang latihan, pusat latihan. Tuan Speaker, seperti yang ditekankan di dalam ucapan Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak semasa upacara pembukaan Persidangan Penggal Pertama Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak Yang Keenam Belas, pembangunan modal insan merupakan di antara agenda penting dalam pembangunan Negeri Sarawak kerana perlunya mewujudkan masyarakat berilmu dan tenaga kerja yang mahir. Dengan izin, saya juga ingin memetik kenyataan Yang Amat Berhormat Datuk Seri Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi, Perdana Menteri Malaysia semasa pembentangan Bajet kesembilan pada 31 Mac 2006 yang lalu. Saya petik:

“Sekiranya kita ingin melangkah ke era ekonomi berpaksikan pengetahuan, jika kita mahu menjadi negara maju dan kekal pada tahap tersebut, pembangunan modal insan harus diutamakan. Dalam konteks dunia global, modal insan bermutu tinggi adalah keperluan bukan lagi satu kemewahan.”

Selaras dengan itu, kita termaklum bahawa di bawah Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan sebanyak RM1.03 billion disediakan untuk Kementerian Pelajaran dan Kementerian Pelajaran telah mengenalpasti 54 buah sekolah baru sebagai di antara projek itu. Adalah menjadi harapan agar Negeri Sarawak juga termasuk di dalam di antara negeri yang akan mendapat sekolah baru tersebut memandangkan masih banyak lagi sekolah yang beroperasi dua sesi. Saya juga mengharap agar pembinaan sebuah lagi sekolah berasrama penuh dapat dipertimbangkan untuk Negeri Sarawak memandangkan sekarang ini hanya dua buah sahaja iaitu di Sekolah Menengah Sains Kuching dan Sekolah Menengah Sains Miri. Ini dirasakan perlu kerana kita dapati bahawa dengan menghimpunkan pelajar-pelajar yang berpotensi dan dengan diberi kemudahan asrama sepenuhnya, segala program kecemerlangan dapat dilaksanakan dengan lancar. Di samping itu, dua buah sekolah ini juga telah berjaya mencatat keputusan yang cemerlang dalam SPM dan PMR dengan mengekalkan 100% lulus kerana keadaan yang disediakan adalah kondusif selain daripada program-program yang dirancang dan dijalankan bersama sekolah berasrama penuh yang lain di Semenanjung Malaysia.

Selain daripada pembinaan sekolah, sebagai tambahan kepada yang sedia ada bagi menampung bilangan pelajar yang semakin ramai, tidak dinafikan juga ada di antara remaja-remaja yang tercicir atas alasan-alasan tertentu. Untuk ini, peranan-peranan badan-badan bukan kerajaan (NGO) juga adalah diharap dapat membantu dalam mengelolakan kursus-kursus atau aktiviti serta juga membuka pusat-pusat latihan dan peluang latihan-latihan kemahiran agar para belia yang tercicir dari alam persekolahan ini khasnya mempunyai asas untuk berdikari kerana kalau belia-belia ini terbiar, mereka akan menjadi bebanan kepada kerajaan terutama apabila golongan ini terjebak ke aktiviti-aktiviti yang merosakkan.

Rumusan dan Permohonan

Rumusan dan juga merupakan permohonan. Tuan Speaker, setelah menyentuh beberapa aspek yang berlegar sekitar pembangunan kawasan, potensi, modal insan, saya juga mengetengahkan dan merumuskan beberapa perkara yang memerlukan perhatian kita. Di antaranya adalah masalah hakisan yang begitu ketara sekali terutama di tebing laut, sebagai contoh di Pantai Peliau Bungai bila mana sebahagian jalan telah runtuh akibat hakisan yang teruk. Saya dengan ini memohon agar dapat dibantu dari segi peruntukan untuk membuat retaining wall. Di samping itu saya juga memohon pertimbangan perluasan bekalan elektrik termasuk ke kawasan-kawasan Kampung Pejuang Kelulit, rumah panjang di Saeh dan juga di Niah. Saya juga memohon agar bekalan-bekalan air bersih, air paip ke kampung-kampung dan rumah-rumah panjang terutama yang berdekatan dengan jalan pesisir sebagai permulaan contohnya ke tempat yang telah saya sebutkan tadi. Selain itu, jalan-jalan raya yang perlu diupgrade seperti jalan di Sepupok, Kampung Dagang Sepupok, jalan ke Rumah Chang, Rumah Selan, Saeh. Dalam ertikata lain, setiap kampung dan rumah panjang juga dipohon agar dapat diaccess melalui jalan raya. Penghargaan kepada Ahli Parlimen Miri, State Development Office, Pejabat Daerah, JKR, Jabatan Saliran atas perhatian yang diberikan kepada kawasan N.61 selama ini.

Dalam masa yang sama, Tuan Speaker, saya mohon juga agar klinik-klinik di Bekenu dan Niah diperbesarkan lagi melalui pembinaan semula kerana yang ada sekarang sudah terlalu kecil berbanding dengan pertambahan penduduk yang ada. Balai Polis Bekenu dan Niah juga perlu diambil kira termasuk juga pertambahan bilangan pegawai kerana memandangkan pertambahan penduduk serta juga kerana pembukaan ladang-ladang yang baru yang menyebabkan the influx of workers from merata tempat.

Tuan Speaker, kita juga memerlukan kemudahan sukan seperti trek bitumen untuk Kawasan Bekenu yang boleh digunakan oleh masyarakat dan juga sekolah-sekolah yang berdekatan kerana setakat ini kita belum ada lagi kemudahan ini. Kita ada empat buah sekolah menengah dalam Kawasan N61 – Bekenu.

Waterfront Bekenu juga perlu diberi peruntukan agar dapat dilakukan facelift kerana memandangkan ianya kini menjadi tumpuan pelancong-pelancong terutama pada hujung-hujung minggu.

Seterusnya, Tuan Speaker, saya mohon pertimbangan khas mengenai status tanah NCR yang ada kaitan dengan permohonan bagi benih anak kelapa sawit yang kini dimaklumkan bahawa hanya tanah yang bergeran sahaja yang akan diberi pertimbangan. Begitu juga dengan permohonan bagi Rumah Mesra Rakyat. Ini perlu agar kemudahan ini dapat dinikmati oleh khususnya orang-orang di kampung.

Tuan Speaker, atas segala permohonan tadi, adalah menjadi harapan dengan teragihnya peruntukan Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan ini nanti, saya yakin akan merealisasikan impian dan hasrat rakyat. Begitu juga saya berharap agar segala projek yang direncanakan untuk dilaksanakan dapat dipercepatkan supaya dapat juga mempercepatkan pembangunan luar bandar, pembangunan modal insan serta meningkatkan kualiti hidup rakyat khususnya penduduk di kampung.

Tuan Speaker, sebelum mengundur diri sekali lagi tahniah dan terima kasih di atas nasihat, pesanan, panduan dan harapan seperti yang terkandung di dalam ucapan Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak sempena Upacara Pembukaan Persidangan Penggal Pertama Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak Yang Keenam Belas. Tahniah juga kepada Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri Sarawak kerana telah berjaya memimpin dan membawa Sarawak ke status di antara negeri yang diurus dengan terbaik di Malaysia dan kepada Menteri-Menteri, Timbalan-Timbalan Menteri serta Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat dari semua komponen parti Barisan Nasional, tahniah juga dan terima kasih di atas sokongan, panduan, nasihat yang diberikan.

Sesungguhnya segala ini adalah demi masa depan Sarawak yang kita sayangi di bawah kepimpinan Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri Sarawak kita.
Sekian. Terima kasih.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat, dengan ucapan dari Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Bekenu, sidang berehat sebentar dan sidang akan bermula pada jam 2:00 petang.

(Mesyuarat ditangguhkan pada jam 12:31 petang)

(Mesyuarat dimulakan pada jam 2.19 petang)

[Tuan Speaker mempengerusikan mesyuarat]

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Jemoreng

Y.B. Encik Abu Seman Bin Jahwi: Terima kasih Tuan Speaker kerana memberi peluang kepada saya untuk mengambil bahagian dalam perbahasan menyokong usul penghargaaan ke atas ucapan Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak sempena perasmian pesidangan penggal pertama Dewan Undangan Negeri Keenam Belas pada 24 Julai 2006 yang lalu.

Tuan Speaker, ucapan Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak adalah jelas dan amat besar maknanya bahawa beliau turut bergembira dan senang hati kerana Barisan Nasional di bawah kepimpinan Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri Ketua Menteri dalam pilihanraya negeri Sarawak pada 20 Mei yang lalu telah sekali lagi diberi mandat oleh rakyat Sarawak untuk menerajui pentadbiran negeri Sarawak yang kita cintai. Syabas dan tahniah besar kepada Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri Ketua Menteri atas lantikan semula sebagai Ketua Menteri Sarawak pada 21 Mei 2006 yang lalu.

Untuk rekod Tuan Speaker, terima kasih saya ucapkan kepada semua pengundi Kawasan N.38 – Jemoreng yang mana telah mengundi saya dalam pilihanraya yang lalu. Dari tarikh 20 Mei sehingga ke hari ini telah memasuki hari yang ke enam puluh tujuh saya menjadi wakil rakyat ADUN di Kawasan N.38. Seterusnya ucapan tahniah juga saya ucapkan kepada semua Ahli Yang Berhormat yang telah dipilih semula menjadi wakil rakyat dalam pilihanraya yang lalu. Ucapan tahniah juga saya rakamkan kepada Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat yang baru pertama kali dipilih sebagai wakil rakyat di kawasan masing-masing.

Tuan Speaker, Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak dalam ucapannya telah memberi nasihat dan pandangan yang bijak agar kita semua memberi perkhidmatan yang baik dan berkesan kepada rakyat di kawasan masing-masing. Kita sebagai wakil rakyat disarankan supaya sanggup turun padang bagi melihat sendiri permasalahan rakyat yang kita wakil serta bersikap prihatin ke atas rintihan dan juga suara rakyat. Di samping itu, Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak juga menasihatkan kita Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat supaya terus memelihara dan mempertahankan perpaduan dan keharmonian kaum yang sedia wujud. Beliau juga turut berbangga bahawa walaupun rakyat Sarawak terdiri tidak kurang daripada 28 kaum tapi masih dapat bergaul mesra antara dengan yang lain tanpa masalah kaum.

Tuan Speaker, sememangnya bahawa kemenangan besar oleh Barisan Nasional telah menampakkan kepada kita bahawa tahap kerjasama dan tahap perpaduan di kalangan rakyat Sarawak amatlah tinggi. Ini membuktikan bahawa kebijaksaan kepimpinan Pehin Sri Ketua Menteri telah menghasilkan kestabilan politik yang tinggi di Negeri Sarawak. Keadaan yang aman telah menarik minat pelabur-pelabur luar untuk menjalankan perniagaan di negeri ini dan keadaan keselamatan yang baik juga telah menarik ramai pelancong untuk melawat Negeri Sarawak yang mempunyai tempat daya tarik pelancong yang banyak dari pelbagai tempat termasuklah pantai-pantai yang indah, tasik-tasik, kawasan gua dan juga taman hutan dan sebagainya. Aktiviti tersebut telah memberi impak yang positif kepada kepesatan pembangunan sosial dan ekonomi negeri Sarawak pada keseluruhannya.

Tuan Speaker, kita kini berada di ambang Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan dan diperuntukkan sebanyak 15.1 billion untuk tujuan pembangunan Negeri Sarawak. Jumlah wang peruntukan yang besar itu sudah pasti memberi faedah yang banyak kepada rakyat kalau digunakan mengikut apa yang telah dirancangkan. Tambahan lagi seperti kita sedia maklum bahawa dengan persempadanan semula kawasan ADUN dan Parlimen di Negeri Sarawak sudah pasti memberi advantage kepada peruntukan kewangan untuk pembangunan akan ikut bertambah dan sekaligus akan membantu mempercepatkan pembangunan sosio-ekonomi kawasan berkenaan dan akan dapat meningkatkan taraf hidup rakyat di Negeri Sarawak.

Pembangunan Kawasan N.38 – Jemoreng

Tuan Speaker, dalam siri lawatan awal saya di kawasan saya Jemoreng, didapati bahawa pada asasnya pembinaan infrastruktur seperti jalan raya, jalan-jalan kampung, jambatan-jambatan kampung, serta penyediaan kemudahan bekalan air dan elektrik adalah ditahap yang baik. Untuk tujuan rekod saya dalam dewan yang mulia ini merakamkan setinggi tahniah dan terima kasih banyak kepada keprihatinan kerajaan Barisan Nasional dalam usaha membantukan rakyat di Kawasan N.38.

Tuan Speaker, aktiviti perladangan kelapa sawit yang diperkenalkan di Kawasan N.38 sejak sepuluh tahun yang lalu telah menampakkan kejayaan dan telah memberi faedah ekonomi kepada penduduk tempatan khususnya dalam menyediakan peluang pekerjaan kepada rakyat di kampung-kampung berdekatan. Peluang pekerjaan yang disediakan telah sedikit sebanyak dapat mengurangkan penghijrahan penduduk dari kawasan luar bandar ataupun dari kampung ke kawasan bandar seperti ke Sibu dan lain-lain bandar di Sarawak. Namun begitu, Tuan Speaker, pembukaan tanah yang semakin bertambah untuk tujuan perladangan telah juga didapati memberi kesan negatif kepada alam sekitar terutama sekali ke atas mutu air di kawasan tersebut dan telah didapati sedikit tercemar dan mengancam kehidupan air dan juga kawasan tanah juga telah kalau tidak dikawal akan menjejaskan kawasan tadahan air yang terhad di kawasan pesisir pantai khususnya di Kawasan N.38.

Tuan Speakar, dalam Dewan yang mulia ini sukacita saya mencadangkan kepada pihak kerajaan dan kementerian berkaitan agar memberi perhatian dan tindakan sewajarnya di atas perkara berikut:

(1) Membuat kajian awal kesan aktiviti perladangan kelapa sawit ke atas mutu air dan kawasan tadahan air di Kawasan N.38. Kalau tidak, mungkin keadaan buruk akan berlaku di masa akan datang;
(2) Meluaskan semula Sungai Batang Matu yang kini tidak dapat digunakan dengan sempurna akibat ditumbuhi oleh rumput-rumput yang tebal sehingga menghalang pengaliran air dan menyebabkan banjir mudah berlaku. Penggunaan sungai yang berkurangan adalah akibat sistem jalan raya yang elok yang telah dilaksanakan di kawasan tersebut;

(1) Mempercepatkan pembinaan jambatan yang melintasi Sungai Batang Igan bagi melengkapkan rangkaian jalan pesisir di Negeri Sarawak. Adalah diharapkan dengan terbinanya jambatan tersebut nanti perkhidmatan feri tidak diperlukan lagi dan masa perjalanan dapat dipercepatkan;

(2) Menggantikan bangunan-bangunan sekolah yang diperbuat daripada kayu yang sudah uzur agar diganti dengan bangunan-bangunan konkrit agar lebih selesa dan selamat untuk tempat anak-anak kampung belajar;

(3) Mengambil perhatian dan tindakan perlu ke atas soal kebajikan warga tua dan juga golongan rakyat kurang upaya kerana bilangan permohonan yang saya terima sejak dua bulan yang lalu semakin hari semakin bertambah;

(6) Mengambil perhatian dan tindakan perlu ke atas soal kebajikan warga tua dan juga golongan rakyat kurang upaya kerana bilangan permohonan yang saya terima sejak dua bulan yang lalu semakin hari semakin bertambah;

(7) Menambahkan lagi aktiviti bercorak keagamaan memandangkan 92% daripada penduduk di kawasan N.38 adalah beragama Islam dan; seterusnya.

(cool.gif Meneruskan pembinaan jalan raya, penyediaan bekalan air dan elektrik di kampung-kampung yang terpencil serta rumah panjang seperti di Daerah Kecil Igan iaitu Kampung Ilas dan juga Kampung Tebuau di mana seratus peratus merupakan penyokong Barisan Nasional. Jadi, kalau perkara ini tidak ditangani, tidak di-address mungkin di masa pilihanraya akan datang akan ditimbul semula.

(9) Memohon kepada jabatan yang berkenaan supaya menempatkan seorang jawatan Pembantu Perubatan di Klinik Matu supaya perkhidmatan kesihatan dapat ditingkatkan.

(10) Memulih dan menjalankan kerja-kerja pembaikan ke atas Rumah Panjang Melanau di Kampung Sut Matu kerana rumah panjang tersebut mempunyai nilai sejarah dan berpotensi untuk menjadi satu produk untuk menarik pelancong datang ke Matu. Untuk makluman, rumah panjang tersebut sudah dalam keadaan yang perlu dibaiki.

(11) Supaya pihak kerajaan membina Balai Bomba kerana buat masa ini perkhidmatan bomba belum ada di Matu dan sekira kebakaran berlaku agak payah untuk memadamkan kebakaran kalau terjadi.

Seterusnya, mencadangkan diwujudkan juga Pusat Pertumbuhan Desa di Matu sebagai pemangkin kepada pembangunan di Kawasan N.38. Seterusnya menimbang permohonan Program Rumah Mesra Rakyat Skim Individu daripada rakyat Kawasan N.38. Dan akhir sekali mencadangkan supaya pihak berkenaan memulakan perlaksanaan dan pembinaan Matu Township yang mana tapak tanah pembinaan telah dikenal pasti dan disediakan dan sebahagiannya pampasan tanah telah dibayar kepada pemilik tanah yang berkenaan.

Tuan Speaker, dengan melaksanakan perkara-perkara yang saya sebut di atas tadi, saya percaya Kawasan N.38 akan turut maju seperti kawasan lain. Dan saya yakin sokongan rakyat kepada kerajaan baru Barisan Nasional akan terus kuat dan berada dalam keadaan yang kukuh. Dengan itu, membuat Kawasan N.38 menjadi kuat kubu Barisan Nasional di masa akan datang. Insya-Allah.

Tuan Speaker, sebelum saya mengundur diri, untuk tujuan rekod juga saya ingin merakamkan setinggi-tinggi terima kasih dan penghargaan kepada semua pegawai kerajaan, dan ketua-ketua jabatan yang telah memberi kerjasama yang begitu tinggi dan penuh komitmen dalam melaksanakan tugas-tugas dan perlaksaan projek-projek pembangunan kerajaan khususnya di Kawasan N.38. Thank you for your good service dan saya sangat berharap hubungan baik antara Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat dan pegawai kerajaan terus dikekalkan seperti yang telah ditunjukkan sebelum ini. Ucapan terima kasih juga saya tujukan kepada anggota keselamatan kerana telah berjaya mewujudkan suasana yang aman dan damai dan pengorbanan mereka menjaga keselamatan dengan cemerlang telah memboleh projek-projek pembangunan dijalankan dengan baik tanpa gangguan.

Tuan Speaker, akhir kata izinkan saya sekali lagi mengusulkan bahawa Dewan yang mulia ini berhimpun dan meluluskan ucapan setinggi-tinggi penghargaan dan terima kasih kepada Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak sempena perasmian Persidangan Penggal Pertama Dewan Undangan Negeri Keenam Belas pada 24 Julai 2006 yang lalu. Kepada semua Ahli Yang Berhormat di Dewan yang mulia ini marilah kita bekerja sebagai satu pasukan untuk kemajuan dan kesejahteraan Negeri Sarawak Bumi Kenyalang yang kita cintai. Sekian, terima kasih.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Muara Tuang.

Y.B. Dato’ Seri Mohamad Ali bin Mahmud: Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh, Yang Berhormat Tuan Speaker, terima kasih kerana memberi peluang kepada saya untuk berucap menyokong usul ucapan Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak. Dengan sukacitanya saya berdiri di Dewan yang mulia ini untuk turut serta dalam menyokong perbahasan Usul Terima Kasih kepada Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri. Dengan penuh hormat dan takzimnya saya mengambil peluang ini untuk merakam setinggi-tinggi penghargaan kepada Tuan Yang Terutama di atas perutusan beliau.

Tuan Yang Terutama telah menggariskan dengan jelasnya suasana politik, ekonomi, sosial dan budaya masyarakat Negeri Sarawak serta perubahan susur galurnya. Negeri Sarawak telah menyaksi perubahan yang tidak pernah berlaku sebelum ini dalam sejarah kecemerlangannya. Kita telah mengalami perubahan dan pembangunan yang melangkaui apa yang pernah kita impikan. Tuan Yang Terutama juga berpandangan jauh kehadapan menuju tahun 2020, matlamat murni kita semua. Yang Amat Berhormat Perdana Menteri Malaysia dan Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri Sarawak masing-masing telah membentangkan Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan di dalam Parlimen dan juga di Dewan yang mulia ini. Halatuju untuk mencapai matlamat Wawasan 2020 hanyalah melalui Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan dan seterusnya diikuti Rancangan Malaysia Kesepuluh dan Kesebelas.

Tuan Speaker, kita bersyukur ke hadrat Ilahi kerana dengan limpah dan kurnianya maka kita menikmati suasana yang aman dan damai di Malaysia amnya dan di Sarawak khususnya. Sementara bencana tsunami telah melanda Acheh di Pulau Sumetera Utara dan baru-baru ini di Jawa Barat meninggalkan kemusnahan yang boleh disaksikan hingga kini. Manakala Kepulauan Jawa dan Sulawesi pula digegarkan oleh gempa bumi dan gunung berapi. Selatan Thailand dan Filipina pula saban hari menyaksikan kekalutan masyarakatnya. Kita di Sarawak telah terselamat daripada bencana alam semulajadi dan ancaman keselamatan.

Di Sarawak tiada tsunami, tiada gunung berapi, tiada gemba bumi, tiada perang saudara dan tiada rusuhan kaum. Sebaliknya di negara dan negeri kita Sarawak telah dilimpahkan dengan suasana aman dan sejahtera. Kita juga harus bersyukur kerana dalam suasana yang demikian kita dapat menikmati pembangunan ekonomi yang mampan berkat perpaduan serta keharmonian kaum dan toleransi beragama yang menyumbangkan keadaan politik yang stabil.

Tuan Speaker, rakyat Sarawak selama ini telah selesa menikmati kesemua rahmat ini, sehinggakan ianya diambil mudah oleh sesetengah pihak. Mengimbas kembali sejarah Sarawak, Dewan yang mulia ini mempunyai 48 Ahli Yang Berhormat pada tahun 1987. Ketika itu pembangkang mempunyai 20 ahli manakala Barisan Nasional mempunyai 28 Ahli Yang Berhormat. Pada masa itu, parti pemerintah dan kerajaan semasa dipimpin oleh Barisan Nasional. Kerana Barisan Nasional memenangi 28 kerusi dan pembangkang hanya 20 kerusi, maka kemenangan mutlak adalah milik Barisan Nasional dengan kelebihan lapan kerusi.

Dalam Pilihanraya Negeri Sarawak pada bulan Mei tahun ini, Barisan Nasional telah berjaya memenangi 62 kerusi manakala pembangkang dan calon bebas hanya sembilan kerusi. Sudah tentulah dengan alasan yang sama Barisan Nasional telah memenangi dengan cemerlangnya. Secara keseluruhan, Barisan Nasional telah berjaya mendapat sokongan lebih 87% berbanding pembangkang yang hanya lebih sedikit 12%. Di sini, saya ingin mengambil peluang untuk mengucapkan tahniah kepada Barisan Nasional di bawah kepimpinan Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri Ketua Menteri atas kemenangan yang cemerlang ini. Tahniah juga kepada rakan-rakan Yang Berhormat yang telah menyapu bersih 62 kerusi dan sokongan yang melebihi 87%. Walau bagaimanapun, saya ingin mengucapkan tahniah kepada Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat… (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Ya, Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Kota Sentosa

Y.B. Dato’ Seri Mohamad Ali bin Mahmud: Bagi pihak pembangkang dan bebas… (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: He is not giving way.
Y.B. Dato’ Seri Mohamad Ali bin Mahmud: Pada pilihanraya yang lepas.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Clarification.

Y.B. Dato’ Seri Mohamad Ali bin Mahmud: Silakan.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Terima kasih Yang Berhormat. Saya ingin bertanya, jika kita membanding dengan, di antara Pilihanraya Negeri 2006 dan Pilihanraya Negeri 2001 dimana hanya satu kerusi pembangkang menang. Adakah ini menunjukkan satu sokongan, sokongan untuk Barisan Nasional sudah turun, sama ada Yang Berhormat setuju dengan cadangan saya?

Y.B. Dato’ Seri Mohamad Ali bin Mahmud: Saya tidak setuju. Hanya yang saya nampak jelas kemenangan pembangkang mahupun bebas tenggelam timbul. (Applause) Tuan Speaker, saya berasa bangga kerana telah dipilih untuk kerusi N.15 Muara Tuang dan mewakili rakyat di Muara Tuang di dalam Dewan yang mulia ini. Kita boleh mengingati kembali kehidupan di kawasan saya kira-kira 22 tahun yang lalu. Tiada jalan raya yang menghubungkan Kuching dengan Muara Tuang. Perjalanan dengan menggunakan bot kargo selama beberapa hari merupakan kemewahan kepada mereka yang mampu untuk melawat bandar besar Kuching waktu itu.

Dalam perjalanan yang mengambil masa agak lama ketika itu, mereka terpaksa menyediakan bekalan air dan makanan sebelum memulakan pengembaraan menggunakan bot kargo. Kini, di bawah pemerintahan Kerajaan Barisan Nasional kita hanya perlu memandu selama 30 minit sahaja dari Kuching untuk sampai ke pinggir desa kawasan Muara Tuang. Semua ini menjadi kenyataan kerana pembangunan yang sangat pesat terutamanya dalam pembinaan prasarana jalan raya untuk menghubungkan bandaraya Kuching dengan Muara Tuang.

Pembangunan sebegini bukan hanya terdapat dalam kawasan saya sahaja tetapi juga dalam kawasan lain. Jalan-jalan yang telah dibina bukan sahaja menghubungi setiap bandar di Sarawak hingga ke Negeri Sabah bahkan membolehkan kita merentasi sempadan antarabangsa ke Brunei dan Kalimantan Barat semakin cepat dan selesa.

Tiga puluh tahun yang lalu, semua ini hanyalah impian dan khayalan semata-mata. Namun demikian, dengan berkatnya kita merdeka dalam Malaysia, Kerajaan Barisan Nasional Negeri di bawah pimpinan Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri yang berteraskan politik pembangunan telah dapat membuktikan bahawa khayalan dan impian itu kini telah menjadi kenyataan. Alhamdulillah.

Pembangunan yang pesat di Kawasan Muara Tuang telah dinikmati oleh masyarakatnya terutama dalam masa lebih kurang 15 tahun kebelakangan ini. Dengan kemunculan pusat pengajian tinggi awam kita sendiri iaitu Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), Universiti Teknologi MARA, Institut Perguruan Tun Abdul Razak dan kolej-kolej pengajian lain, banyak lagi rancangan pembangunan sedang dibina. Sekarang ini impian setiap anak tempatan untuk menjejak kaki ke institut pengajian tinggi dan menjadi graduan bukan lagi mustahil. Kini semua anak tempatan di Muara Tuang atau di tempat lain di Sarawak, di bandar atau sebaliknya bukan hanya berangan-angan tetapi benar-benar melangkah jauh ke arah kejayaan untuk mendapat ijazah dalam pengajian peringkat tertinggi.

Penubuhan UNIMAS, UiTM dan Institut Perguruan Tun Abdul Razak juga telah menarik pelajar dari dekat dan jauh untuk datang menuntut ilmu di tempat ini yang dulunya merupakan perkampungan teratak usang yang berlumpur. Aktiviti akademik yang pesat akan menjadikan Muara Tuang bandar ilmu yang dinamik. Graduan dan pelajar yang tamat pengajian daripada institusi pengajian tinggi ini, akan meningkatkan ilmu pengetahuan masyarakat Muara Tuang khasnya dan Sarawak amnya. Golongan kaya ilmu dengan minda ilmu kelas pertama inilah yang kita harapkan untuk menerajui ekonomi yang berteraskan ilmu pengetahuan ataupun k-economy seperti yang telah digariskan dalam Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan.

Menyedari sumber semulajadi yang semakin berkurangan saban hari, hanya ekonomi yang menggunakan nilai tambah ilmu pengetahuan dan modal insan sahajalah yang akan mampu bersaing dengan berkesan. Oleh itu, segala pelaburan yang telah dibuat oleh Kerajaan Barisan Nasional dalam membangunkan institusi pengajian tinggi ini memang tepat dan strategik demi kejayaan masa depan negeri, negara dan bangsa.

Tuan Speaker, dengan penempatan berbagai pejabat kerajaan di kawasan ini, setiap urusan rakyat dengan kerajaan juga telah dipermudahkan dan dipertingkatkan. Perkara ini bersama dengan penubuhan institusi pengajian tinggi yang telah dinyatakan sebelum ini telah memberikan lebih banyak peluang pekerjaan untuk penduduk-penduduk tempatan. Menyedari keperluan komuniti sub-bandar yang pesat membangun, sebuah pejabat polis, balai BOMBA, klinik-klinik kerajaan, stadium, Masjid Bahagian Baru, Sekolah Kebangsaan Datuk Traoh adalah di antara projek-projek yang telah dibina.

Memang tidak dapat dinafikan dan disangkalkan lagi bahawa Kerajaan Barisan Nasional di bawah kepimpinan Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri Ketua Menteri yang sangat komited untuk memastikan hanya yang terbaik untuk rakyat sama ada dari segi pembangunan prasarana mahupun pendidikan, komunikasi, pertanian dan sosio-ekonomi tanpa menjejaskan perpaduan kaum dan adat resam warisan budaya semua kaum di Sarawak.

Tuan Speaker, masyarakat Muara Tuang sentiasa menyokong Kerajaan Barisan Nasional yang telah mempertingkatkan kehidupan mereka melangkaui impian mereka. Mereka juga telah mendapat manfaat yang besar daripada program pembangunan bersepadu di mana sumber desa dan bandar disatukan bagi mengembangkan ruang sosio-ekonomi. Saya berasa bangga untuk mewakili kawasan yang dinamik ini yang telah mengalami banyak transformasi dalam tempoh tiga dekad yang lepas. Ucapan setinggi-tinggi terima kasih dan penghargaan yang tidak terhingga kepada Kerajaan Pusat dan Kerajaan Negeri iaitu tidak lain, tidak bukan Kerajaan Barisan Nasional.

Muara Tuang tidak lagi dikenali sebagai kampung pesisir dengan penduduk luar bandar seperti beberapa dekad yang lepas. Sekarang Muara Tuang telah menjadi bandar yang penuh dengan aktiviti perdagangan dengan jalan raya sejauh 25 kilometer yang menghubungkannya dengan Kuching. Pembangunan yang pesat telah dimangkinkan oleh sistem jalan raya yang baik yang menghubungkan bandar dan kampung di sekitarnya seperti Daerah Asajaya, Serian dan Daerah Simunjan. Pembangunan yang pesat dan besar ini bermakna bandar ini sekarang telah mempunyai kemudahan yang serba moden.

Tuan Speaker, mengenai pembangunan pertanian. Di kawasan saya, pertanian merupakan sumber penting ekonomi penduduk terutamanya penduduk-penduduk luar bandar. Seperti juga dengan kawasan-kawasan lain di Sarawak mereka terdiri daripada berbilang kaum dan agama. Pertanian telah menjadi sumber rezeki sejak berpuluh-puluh tahun yang lalu lebih-lebih lagi penanaman padi. Namun demikian, penanaman padi adalah untuk keperluan sendiri sahaja dan diusahakan secara kecil-kecilan. Di samping itu, mereka juga terlibat dengan tanaman getah buat beberapa tahun. Walau bagaimanapun, apabila harga getah merosot mereka kemudian beralih kepada koko. Seperti juga dengan getah, penanaman koko juga tidak dapat bertahan lama. Harga koko juga tidak stabil dan menyebabkan penanaman koko tidak menguntungkan.

Baru-baru ini, harga getah telah meningkat dan dapat memberi pulangan yang baik. Namun demikian, kebun-kebun getah yang lama terbiar tidak mudah untuk dipulihkan serta diusahakan untuk menikmati faedah kenaikan harga getah pada masa sekarang. Dalam pada itu, banyak juga kebun getah yang telah ditebang dan digantikan dengan tanaman lain seperti kelapa sawit. FELCRA adalah agensi utama yang menggerakkan ladang kelapa sawit yang melibatkan pekebun-pekebun kecil di kawasan saya. Satu kilang kelapa sawit telah dibina oleh FELCRA di kawasan Endap. Walaupun, kita menggalakkan penanaman kelapa sawit, penjagaan alam sekitar hendaklah diutamakan supaya tidak tercemar.

Tuan Speaker, keadaan pasaran yang sentiasa berubah-ubah membuat usaha kerajaan untuk meningkatkan taraf hidup rakyat luar bandar menjadi lebih sukar dan mencabar. Saya yakin Jabatan Pertanian telah berusaha sebaik mungkin dan malahan berjuta-juta ringgit wang kerajaan telahpun dibelanjakan untuk infrastruktur dan input pertanian sejak Rancangan Malaysia pertama lagi bagi meningkatkan tahap sosio-ekonomi petani. Usaha-usaha ini disokong serta dibantu oleh agensi-agensi lain seperti IADP, FAMA, DID, FELCRA dan SALCRA.

Bagi Rancangan Malaysia Kelapan, Kerajaan Negeri telah memperuntukkan sebanyak RM23 juta bagi Bahagian Samarahan melalui Jabatan Pertanian untuk melaksanakan pelbagai projek pertanian. Bagi Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan, kita mengharapkan Bahagian Samarahan diberi peruntukkan yang lebih besar memandangkan banyak lagi projek-projek bagi meningkat produktiviti yang perlu dilaksanakan.

Hasil daripada usaha-usaha kerajaan dan kegiatan-kegiatan pertanian, jumlah kawasan yang dibangunkan dengan buah-buahan, sayur-sayuran, nenas, padi dan sebagainya adalah sebanyak 2,039 hektar di Daerah Samarahan dengan bantuan Jabatan Pertanian dan IADP. Jabatan DID juga telah terlibat dalam pembinaan ban dan jalan kebun yang banyak memudahkan pekebun untuk pergi ke kebun masing-masing. Bagi memastikan pembangunan pertanian yang maju, berdaya saing dan produktif, satu kawasan telah digazet bagi mewujudkan taman kekal pengeluaran makanan seluas 1,000 ekar di kawasan Endap.

Projek-projek pertanian telah memberi manfaat secara langsung kepada kira-kira 3,000 warga tani di Kawasan N.15 – Muara Tuang. Dengan adanya projek-projek ini taraf hidup petani telah terbela meningkat dan bertambah baik. Mengikut kajian bagi kawasan IADP Samarahan yang dijalankan oleh UNIMAS pada tahun 2004, pendapatan petani telah meningkat daripada RM350 pada tahun 1982 kepada RM1,000 pada tahun 2004. Setakat ini kebanyakan petani terlibat dalam pengeluaran bahan mentah pertanian, tidak banyak yang terlibat dalam aktiviti pemprosesan makanan atau aktiviti nilai tambah yang lain. Bagi meningkatkan produktiviti dan pendapatan, mereka perlu digalak untuk melibatkan diri dalam kegiatan ekonomi hiliran serta nilai tambah. Di sini MARDI, IADP, FAMA dan Jabatan Pertanian dapat memain peranan masing-masing dan mereka adalah diminta untuk membantu secara bersepadu.

Memandangkan nanas adalah tanaman utama aktiviti pemprosesan nanas perlu diberi pertimbangan yang serius. Lebih besar kawasan perlu ditanam dengan nanas supaya ada economy of scale bagi menyokong aktiviti pemprosesan nanas di kawasan N.15 Muara Tuang. Sememangnya Kawasan Muara Tuang amat unik dengan penduduknya yang berbilang bangsa, kaum dan agama. Mereka terdiri daripada orang-orang Melayu, Iban, Cina, Bidayuh dan lain-lain. Walaupun banyak perbezaan, namun perpaduan di kalangan mereka adalah amat baik dan ketara sekali. Mereka hidup aman damai dan harmoni dengan penuh semangat, saling membantu dan tolong-menolong sesama sendiri. Malahan, kepimpinan kerajaan Barisan Nasional telah berjaya menjadikan masyarakat yang majmuk ini sebagai kekuatan untuk pembangunan.

Tuan Speaker, menyentuh tentang pembangunan perumahan dan komersil. Sejak tahun 2000 pembangunan taman-taman perumahan dan komersil telah bertambah pesat. Ini dapat kita lihat dengan ketara di kawasan sekitar Kota Samarahan sepanjang Jalan Tabuan-Mambong dan Jalan Datuk Muhamad Musa. Berbagai taman perumahan telah dibina seperti Desa Ilmu, Samarindah, Riveria, Midway Crescent dan Tia Vista. Setakat ini sebanyak 5,900 buah rumah pelbagai jenis telah siap dibina dan manakala banyak lagi dalam peringkat pelaksanaan. Taman-taman perumahan yang telah siap masih dapat menampung permintaan tempatan. Kita menjangka permintaan daripada penduduk Bandaraya Kuching akan bertambah memandangkan kawasan-kawasan perumahan tersebut adalah berhampiran dengan Bandaraya Kuching. Dengan pembesaran UNIMAS, UiTM dan IFTAR, bilangan pelajar dan pensyarah akan bertambah berlipat ganda dan oleh itu permintaan tempat tinggal akan bertambah.

Tuan Speaker, kepesatan pembangunan di Kota Samarahan memerlukan agensi-agensi yang responsif dan cepat bertindak. Buat masa sekarang, kebanyakan agensi kerajaan mengalami kekurangan personel dan tidak dapat bertindak dengan pantas seperti yang dimahu oleh pelanggan. Oleh itu, organisasi kerajaan di peringkat bahagian perlu dikaji semula dan diperkukuhkan. Berhampiran dengan tapak ini juga terdapat Pusat Perubatan Antarabangsa Sarawak, satu lagi projek pembangunan yang sedang dibina dan dijadualkan siap pada bulan November 2007. Pusat perubatan ini akan merupakan yang terbaru dan tercanggih di rantau ini. Ianya meliputi kawasan seluas 100 ekar. Sebuah kem tentera yang bernilai RM240 juta sedang dalam peringkat pembinaan, ianya dijangka siap pada tahun 2009.

Tuan Speaker, sememangnya merupakan suatu kenyataan bahawa tiada gelombang besar tsunami di Sarawak. Gunung berapi dan gempa bumi juga tiada. Jauh sekali kekecohan serta rusuhan perkauman dan juga keganasan. Semenjak Negeri Sarawak diterajui oleh Kerajaan Barisan Nasional apa yang telah kita alami hanyalah gelombang besar pembangunan dalam pelbagai bidang. Orang yang tidak menghargai kemajuan dan pembangunan ini akan ketinggalan ke belakang dan jauh daripada arus perdana. Teras utama integrasi antara kaum tanpa dibatasi oleh bangsa, agama dan budaya sudah berjaya dijadikan pemangkin ke arah pembangunan yang pesat. Sehubungan dengan itu, saya ingin mengambil peluang ini untuk mengajak rakyat Sarawak agar bukan sahaja memelihara dan mengekalkan perpaduan ini tapi juga terus berusaha untuk menambah baik keadaan yang sedia ada. Marilah kita sama-sama bersatu padu menunju puncak kejayaan.

Tuan Speaker, sekali lagi saya ingin memanjat doa ke hadrat yang Maha Kuasa. Sebagai calon yang baru dipilih untuk meneruskan perjuangan yang mulia ini, yang telah disumbangkan oleh bekas ADUN Muara Tuang selama 28 tahun. Insya’Allah, saya akan dengan sedaya-upaya berusaha untuk mencurah bakti kepada masyarakat di Kawasan Muara Tuang khasnya, dan Negeri Sarawak yang tercinta amnya, agar semua rakyat negeri ini dapat mengecapi pembangunan yang seimbang dan keharmonian yang berterusan.

Saya penuh yakin bahawa Barisan Nasional akan terus memerintah negeri yang kita cintai ini untuk selama-lamanya, Insya’Allah.

Tuan Speaker, sebelum mengakhiri ucapan izinkan saya melafaz dua rangkap pantun:

Pertahanan diri seninya bersilat,
Turun temurun menjadi warisan,
Kejayaan kami mandat rakyat,
Kemajuan berterusan kesejahteraan berkekalan. (Applause)

Jangan bermain di tepi perigi,
Kalau terjatuh padah sendiri,
Jangan suka bermain api,
Nanti terbakar diri sendiri. (Applause)
Negeri aman rakyatnya harmoni,
Menjadi hasrat setiap Y.B. kami.

Sekali lagi saya ingin merakam setinggi-tinggi terima kasih pada Tuan Yang Terutama dan menyokong usul ucapan dan mandat beliau pada hari Isnin, 24 Julai 2006. Sekian, terima kasih.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Pujut.

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: Tuan Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to join my Honourable colleagues to express my sincere appreciation for the opening speech of our gracious Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri on 24 July 2006. I am extremely honoured and feel privileged to be a member of this august House. I wish to thank the Barisan Nasional and Sarawak United Peoples Party for giving me the opportunity to stand as a candidate for Pujut, N.64. I also wish to thank the people of Pujut N.64 constituency and members of all Barisan Nasional component parties for their support. I pledge to serve to the best of my ability and at the same time uphold the good name and prestige of this honourable august House.

The loss of eight seats by SUPP in the last election, I believe, is a temporary setback. (Applause) We accept the democratic choice of the people. We will learn and find out our shortcomings. We will return better and stronger. (Applause)

Tuan Speaker, Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri in his gracious address to this august House has highlighted to us some or our state’s development progress and achievements which we should take cognizance and be proud of. Going through our state development history, I would say that the significant change and transformation came through the politics of development since the 1990’s introduced by our State Barisan Nasional leaders and collectively implemented by all BN wakil rakyat as well as the support of the people as a whole. The political climate has been good. Our multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-lingual society is united, harmonious and peaceful. Mutual respect and understanding, goodwill, tolerance and cooperation among the people of various ethnic origins and different religious background had always prevailed. Our politics had been stabled. We must ensure that this is maintained for the sake of the country.

Tuan Speaker, permit me now to deal with some of the important topics of the day.

Land Leases

I understand that the BN government has been working hard to formulate new policies and administrative procedures regarding the renewal of land leases in Sarawak. At this juncture, I would like to bring along an appreciation message from the Miri Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry whose Chairman, Mr Sim Hock Guan and his members have wanted me to say - Thank you to Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri and the Barisan Nasional Government for approving the renewal of leases for the old Miri shophouses for another sixty years. (Applause)

The first phase of 27 shophouses was completed in September 2004. The second phase of 29 shophouses will be completed by May 2007. Thereafter, the third phase of 49 shophouses will begin. The three phases were planned to minimize disruption to the commercial activities in the city centre.

Earlier this year, the Land Office in Miri had seek the assistance of SUPP Miri to help locate a list of Chinese landowners in Miri who had not yet applied for renewal of land lease expiring in five years. The Land Office was in fact taking a proactive step to make sure that landowners applied for renewal before the expiry of their land titles. These show that the State Government is sincere in its pledge to renew the land leases.

Tuan Speaker, as the next 10 years will see an increasing number of land leases due for renewal, I wish to express some of the aspirations of the people regarding this issue. The people regard a home as their most important asset. There is a genuine concern by the people that they may lose their homes after their leases expired or not be able to pay the premium upon lease expiry or not be able to sell or mortgaged their homes. The government had stated that the houses leases would be renewed unless certain rare public usage was required.

Unfortunately, the opposition took opportunity of this exception clause to raise fear and concern amongst public for its political mileage during the last State Election. There ought to be a properly announced standard procedure and adequate public relation exercise in respect of land lease renewal in order to address this problem. The people can no longer be left in doubt of the government’s sincerity. I fully support the statements made by the Honourable Member for Batu Kawah in his maiden speech in this august House yesterday regarding land lease renewal and premium. In addition I would like to bring to his august House the following suggestions and comments regarding lease renewal for consideration and comments:-

(1) Permit the renewal of lease at anytime before the lease expires

Banks do not generally accept the property as collateral if its lease expires in less than 20 years. This put the property owner in dilemma as his housing or business bank facilities may not be renewed due to the short remaining lease years. The acceptance of a lease renewal application earlier than 20 years before expiry, besides helping the property owner, means that premium collection is done early to improve the cash flow of the government. The administrative staff will also not be burdened with the sudden surge of land lease renewal applications as lease expired in badges. This will most certainly will eradicate delay in processing the application for lease renewal caused by everyone making application five years on the expiry date;

(2) Consider granting each Sarawakian, one residential home free from renewal premium

Sarawak is a huge State, nearly as large as Peninsula Malaysia, but with a small population of less than three million. This gift to the people of Sarawak in a land of plenty is therefore not outrageous. The land size acceptable for exemption may be limited to, say, one acre to avoid abuse. Land exceeding the first one acre is therefore subject to premium payment. Non-residential properties will not be granted this special exemption.

(3) Renewal premium be allowed to be paid over 30 years

This will most certainly ease the financial burden of the general public. To be fair, perhaps a small interest charge be imposed for such concession by the government. We have received many feedbacks from the people expressing their concern of not being able to afford to pay the land premium when the leases expire. We must take care of this especially those in the low to middle income groups who are most likely to face this financial burden.



(4) 99-year lease

The 60-year lease inherited from the colonial days is generally considered too short. Apart from creating anxiety among the Sarawakians, the 60 years lease is a deterrent for would be foreign investors who are not used to seeing such short lease. The resultant financial loss to the State can be enormous as a result of our land not being attractive to the foreign investors. Our priority is of-course to help Sarawakians. As also mentioned by the Honourable Member for Batu Kawa, the State Government is already granting 99 years leases for some commercial and residential development in Sarawak in recent years. In fact there are currently some 80,000 leasehold titles with 99 years lease in Sarawak. I hope this is the beginning of new trend for all future new and renewing leases that is 99 years lease of title.

Youth

On the youth, the Ninth Malaysian Plan includes extensive programme to develop youths with good leadership qualities as well as equipping them with entrepreneurship skills and knowledge such as to empower the youths to enhance their role in society, fostering national unity and nation building.

I must congratulate YAB Prime Minister for including Youth Empowering in the Ninth Malaysian Plan. I look forward to witness the briefing, planning and implementation of this programme which I believe, if carried out successfully and correctly, will launch the Malaysian youths into a new exciting era of development beneficial to the long term future of Malaysia.

I hope the State Government will monitor this programme to ensure that all youths throughout Sarawak will benefit as participants of this worthwhile programme.

Sports

On sports, Tuan Speaker, I support the Federal Government’s initiatives to nurture young sportsmen and sportswomen into world-class standards. Sports achievements are not only bring pride to the nation but also unity among the citizens too. We must provide the good catchments of sports excellence to support this national sports policy. In order to achieve this, adequate sports facilities must be provided to attract youth participation. Football and basketball are two excellence popular community sports which we can help popularize among the youth. Even you go to any open fields and basketball courts in Miri during the late afternoon, you will see a lot of youths playing freely. Lots of friends are made in the process. A participant does not need to have a ball or expensive equipment. He just turns up and joins in the fun. The limited sports facilities and open spaces in my Pujut Kawasan are often full of youths participating in sports mentioned during most late afternoons. It is a cheap and a wonderful way to promote sports. Indeed, when I left the DUN Building yesterday evening, I noticed several groups of young men playing football in the car parks at open areas outside this building.

Tuan Speaker, Sarawak is blessed with large land mass. Some of the cheapest sports facilities to maintain and cheapest participating sports are football, volleyball, basketball, sepaktakraw and softball. Currently, we do not have adequate facilities for these sports in most areas. I wish to request the State Government to look into providing open spaces and simple facilities near to residential area for football, basketball, sepaktakraw, volleyball, softball etc. Such cheap and simple facilities will encourage youth to participate in healthy sports, for community to come together make friends and socialize in this sporting activities. It may also deter our youth from participating in unhealthy activities.

Social and Housing Development

On social and housing development, Tuan Speaker. The development of Miri City under the Barisan Nasional Government has expedited the urbanization process which inevitably gives rise the issue of illegal squatters. While the relocation and the low cost housing schemes at the Tudan Resettlement Area introduced by the Barisan Nasional Government is making commendable progress, there are still squatters found in places where the traffic converges like Padang Kerbau, fringes of the Miri City and riverbanks unoccupied reserves from Pujut Corner to Pujut 7.

There appears to be a gap between the affordability of our low cost houses and the income of this targeted groups. Some could not afford low cost houses priced around RM40,000. Some are constrained by the convenience and cost of transportation and some others are refused a bank loans.

I propose that “Rumah Rakyat”, a type of low cost, low rise flat units at places conveniently located near to the socio- economic hubs to temporarily accommodate this less privileged group. The eligible people are allowed to rent the flat unit at affordable rate until they are ready for their low cost houses.

I hope the government can create this “social nest” to bridge the gap between the lower income group and affordability of the low cost houses.

The locality of these flats is important. High transportation costs will deter this low income group from staying if the flats are located too far away from places of employment, shops and schools.

This, I believe, will go a long way to address some of the social problems for the community due to unavoidable increasing over migration.

Migration of youths from the rural to urban areas can pose serious social problem for the community. If we do not address this issue, the squatter colonies will increase. If the migrants do not settle down in the urban areas with proper jobs and housing, they may be tempted to commit crimes in order to survive in the new environment.

The government must look into ways to address this. Perhaps clubs and centers may be set up to brief this group of people so that they can slowly assimilate into the urban culture. The community leaders may also render assistance to guide this group. We must initiate a serious plan and action to tackle this issue before the situation gets worst.
Tourism

Tuan Speaker, on Tourism. I am happy to note that Malaysia Airline system (MAS) and Federal Ministry of Transport have approved the request for the Sarawak people for more domestic routes and the continuance of special fares especially for the retirees, students and family travelers.

Kota Kinabalu is currently the entry point in East Malaysia for MAS flights linking, Japan, Southern China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The discontinuance of MAS flights between Kota Kinabalu and Miri causes great inconvenience for travelers between Northern Sarawak and these Asian destinations. Travelers will now need to spend long transit time, including overnight stay, in Kota Kinabalu and also have to handle their luggages in between the transit. Tourists from East Asian countries going to Kota Kinabalu will be reluctant to come to Sarawak. Sarawakians will also experience travel inconvenience.

Tuan Speaker, I would strongly support the voice of northern Sarawakians requesting MAS to continue flying the Miri-Kota Kinabalu route. Perhaps we should even go one step further to urge the said Ministry and MAS to make Miri the Northern Zone as a tourist destination, we must have some direct international flights so that the huge tourist population of Southern China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Taiwan can be tapped.

Mulu National Park is a well known World Heritage Nature Reserve. Currently, it can only be accessed conveniently by air travel. Most famous tourist spots in many countries are usually accessible by road. A fine example is New Zealand’s Milford Sound. A mountainous road measuring some 119 km from its nearest town, Te Anau, was constructed to link Milford Sound to the tourists arriving in the famous holiday destination of Queenstown. There is also a long tunnel to cross just before arriving at the beautiful Milford sound. There are no settlements or commercial activities along this scenic drive. Another fine example is the “Cape of Good Hope” which is accessible by a long road from Cape Town in South Africa.

Tuan Speaker, I am proposing that the government construct a proper road linking Miri to Long Terawan from where, all tourists must take a short boat ride to the Mulu National Park. This way, we are preserving the National Park from unwanted trespassers by road who have no genuine interest in the beauty of this Park. I understand that the boat ride is an extremely scenic one. This will add value to the attractions. The roads will also open up a huge beautiful and scenic rural area in Greater Miri, covering Long Lama, and should bring countless economic benefits to the rural population. This will also encourage tourists to stop by Miri City instead flying into Mulu directly from Kuching and Kota Kinabalu.

Many Honourable Members of this august House had indicated that they had not been to Mulu National Park, one of the world’s natural heritage. I am sure that the Honourable Member for Telang Usan will have the pleasure to have you visiting his kawasan, and most importantly, you can in future tell visitors about this wonderful park as ambassadors for Sarawak.

Today, the Kuching Waterfront is highly regarded and acclaimed not only by Sarawakian and also many visitors and tourists who come to Kuching. Indeed, it is now a must visit place for all tourists. I must congratulate for the forsight of Yang Amat Berhormat Chief Minister in this respect. Indeed, if one travels to China, one will see that many cities and towns have good waterfront parks along their rivers and these are the places where the community gathers for various activities. Some of them are very simple, cheap but nice. I notice a simple waterfront across the river from the Holiday Inn in Kuching. It is a wonderfully, pleasant place, for the residence there to gather for all kind of activities too.

The Sungai Miri meanders around part of my Pujut Constituency. I hope that the State Government will consider building a waterfront here so that all the people in Miri and visitors to this resort city can enjoy the wonderful recreational facilities and environment so created. We can start by building simple walkways and a few jetties plus do some landscaping at the initial stage. Its needs not be too expensive to start with. We can gradually improve this when budget permits.

Tuan Speaker, on Shell on Miri. The Miri people are delighted that Shell has made Miri its Asia-Pacific Headquarters. We must do whatever we can to help Shell value its Miri HQ as an excellent choice. The economic social intellectual and cultural benefit that Shell brings to Miri and Sarawak are enormous. We need therefore to protect this interest. As a regional headquarters, many Shell international staff and their families have moved into Miri. We should ensure that the government department provide excellent, efficient services to them right from the airport immigration points to the city council. There is no shame in giving them that extra. Many countries go a long way to lobby for and attract foreign companies to move to their countries. Here we have Shell in Miri. We should therefore spare no efforts to help them in all possible ways. Work permit applications by the expatriates can be a complicated and lengthy process. We must change that, we must speed up and simplify the process. We do not want to inconvenient our investors unnecessarily. By helping our investors, we are helping ourselves.

The oil boom in the 1980s attracted many young men from Sabah and Peninsula Malaysia to move to Miri. They had contributed to the success of Miri. Many of them married Sarawakians and settled down here with Sarawak-born children. They had made Miri their home. Many have retired and many more are now approaching retiring age and have express interest in staying here for good since their wives and children are Sarawakians and they considered themselves naturalized Sarawakians. They love Sarawak. If they move back to Sabah or Peninsular Malaysia, they will be total strangers there and have to start new lives all together. Out of humanity reasons, we must consider granting permanent residence to these Malaysians who have contributed so much in Sarawak and its economy. We cannot deny them the privilege to settle here. We cannot chase away their Sarawakian wives and Sarawakian children. It is not morally right. This group is also normally a middle income group with lots of servings to help the Sarawak economy. I speak in my heart, please do grant them permanent residence here so that they can retire gracefully here where all their friends are and where they belong.




Government Services

On government services, Tuan Speaker, there are still many daily paid workers in the government services. They don’t enjoy the many benefits of a government employee. The government should probably look into the plight of these who have served for more than 10 years. Their service loyalty must not be taken for granted. Indeed, they should be given first priority if permanent vacancies arised. It is sad, do not doubt, in the recent case in Miri. None of the daily paid workers many of whom have worked for the Miri City Council for more than 15 years had been offer a permanent post when some 20 vacancies arose. The interviews for these posts were carried out by public service commission personnel from Kuching. No Miri City Council staff was consulted for the interviews. It perplexes me to note that interviews of applications for junior positions in the Miri City Council are done centrally by Kuching personnel. Although the rational of centralize administration may be justifiably solid in some cases, I find it hard to understand in this particular case. Perhaps, it is time to be centralized some of these government administrative procedures so that the government can be closer to the ground.

Parking Wardens

Here, Tuan Speaker, I am talking about the parking wardens. We must take good care of those long service workers who had given much of their adult lives to servicing the government and the general public. On public sector delivery system, Tuan Speaker, Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri has stated that the public sector delivery system must be effective. I fully support this. The State Civil Service is generally reliable and effective. However, they are always rooms for improvement. In certain areas like courtesy of front liners, indecisiveness of these decision makers, lacklustre maintenance and repair culture of some of offices, etc. All too often we hear of the ordinary folks who complained of not being treated with courteously good services by some government officers. However, people who dressed up smart or have high public and social standings are almost, always treated very well by these front liners. We must not permit this double standard in the front offices. The offices’ front liners must be reminded to be courteous to all citizens, irrespective of their status, race or creed.

Although not always possible, government officers must always try to deliver an efficient, speedy and effective public sector delivery system to benefit the general public, the private and the public sectors. Delays often cause inconvenience, money, unhappiness and sometimes, injuries and even death.

We must try to reduce red tapes and simplify procedures as much as possible. Perhaps we can introduce a respond time frame for government services. I must congratulate some government departments which have taken initiatives to speed up government process. The passport process unit of the Immigration Department is one such excellent unit. I have received numerous feedbacks from the public on the fast and good services provided by this unit. It is commendable that the department has recently announced that it would process passport within two hours. The National Registration Department had also recently announced that MyKad would be processed within one day. If these two departments ‘boleh’ surely all departments also ‘bolehlah’.

One common public complaint is the unavailability of a Head of Department to sign documents. It is inevitable that the top senior staff needs to be out of the office to carry out his or her duties or to attend meetings and seminars, etc. Government procedures normally require the chiefs to sign documents, licenses, permits and other approvals. We cannot allow the general public to wait unnecessarily. If the deputy or the assistant is not authorised to sign in the chief’s absence, perhaps it is time that we authorise the deputies and assistants to sign for some non critical documents, etc. when the chiefs are absent.

Politics

Tuan Speaker, on politics. It is an undeniable fact that our Barisan Nasional has played the key role in bringing about the progress and success of our state over the last three decades. Definitely it is not DAP or Keadilan! One of the critical success factors in political stability, which enable our state to have a strong and stable government.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Point of clarification.

Tuan Speaker: Yes.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Keadilan, of course could not be around to develop the state, we have just coming to existence a few years ago. So it is not 30 years, if it is 30 years I am sure we can do this as well if not better.

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: Thank you, that is my comment, they have, DAP and Keadilan have not done anything in Sarawak so far. They were not government is because they were not elected. Barisan Nasional was elected, we represent the people for the last 30 plus years… (Applause) Thank you, I wish to continue now, Tuan Speaker…(Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: I wish to.

Tuan Speaker: He is not giving way. Let him continue first.

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: Let me finish first, you will have your chance, thank you.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: I think I was sporting yesterday when I gave everybody a chance.

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: Tuan Speaker, this morning you mentioned that we only have 45 minutes. The Honourable Speaker, yesterday have nearly one and a half hour.

Tuan Speaker: Yes.

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: Since I have only 45 minutes, I wish to continue, thank you…(Applause) May I continue, thank you.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: I am sure you can.
Tuan Speaker: Refrain from too many interruption because I allow only 45 minutes. One or two, in the course of the speeches.

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: Thank you, Tuan Speaker. Our government has been able to focus on development and progress and bringing about better living standard for the people. Look at the numbers of cars on the roads and its annual increase, the number of low cost houses built, resettlement schemes, new housing schemes and commercial centers, new schools, colleges, schemes, new housing schemes and commercial centers, new schools, colleges, universities, polyclinics, new and modern hospitals in several divisions, various improvement of infrastructures including the construction of the coastal road linking Kuching to Miri, the increasing number of villages and longhouses served by roads, etc. There are many more vivid examples and it is too long to list them here. All this is a clear manifestations of the irrefutable positive contributions and progresses made by our Barisan Nasional towards the state and its people.

In order for our state to continue to progress and prosper, it is imperative to ensure that political stability will be enhanced and further prevail. Bad politics can easily destroy our political stability. Therefore, we cannot take our political stability for granted. In the past, our Sarawak politics were confined to local people politics. However, this is not so in recent years. We began to see imported opposition political cultural elements being introduced by the DAP and Keadilan, both Semenanjung based opposition parties.

Tuan Speaker, as our state election has just been held about two months ago, it is appropriate to look into some of the pertinent issues that were well exploited by the opposition. One of the issues concerned the extension of land leases that have expired or due to expire in five years time. The opposition parties appeared to have deployed various misleading propaganda to create fear, confusion and unhappiness among the people, especially on land owners whose land leases were due to expire.

The fact is that according to the information gathered from the Land and Survey Department, out of the total of 1,520 applications for renewal of land leases which are due to expire between 2005-2009, 1,413 applications have been approved and the remaining are being processed. The opposition has a tendency to make misleading statements just to suit its purpose especially in trying to hoodwink the people and to garner people’s support. It would even go to the extent of doing it while in this august House.

Tuan Speaker, the Honourable Member for Kota Sentosa had confirmed that he had said that SUPP was threatening the security of Sarawak, implied to be during the year of 1977 when his father was the Honourable Member for Repok. Sarawak was at that particular time, a member of the Sarawak State Coalition Government. SUPP had never been a security threat to Sarawak! (Applause)

I believe you were said to mislead the august House. During the debate for the motion proposed by the Honourable Member for Kota Sentosa on 24th July, 2006, he had stated that our assessment rates were the highest in Malaysia. He went on to say that the annual rates of our properties were 29.5%, 28%, 27% of the annual rateable value while those in Kuala Lumpur were 11%. This is another case of misleading this august House that the assessment rates in Sarawak were the highest in Malaysia. The Honourable Member for Kota Sentosa is a professional lawyer and he should know that the ultimate assessment rate amounts payable are what we should be looking at and not the percentage. I have figures here to show you that, for example, for a typical terrace house of 150 square metre, and I am excluding Ipoh since that Ipoh is the one who is higher than here, I am excluding Ipoh. RM426.55 for Kuching, RM434.40 for Petaling Jaya, RM725.40 for Pulau Pinang and RM516.00 for Kota Kinabalu. All these are for typical terrace house of 150 square metres. Tell me, my learned friend, is Sarawak’s rate the highest? Certainly not. At the end of the day, it is the ringgit and cent that matter, not the percentage. You should know that as a professional lawyer. I think you just wanted the House and public to believe otherwise! (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Seeking clarification… (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: Another case in point, can I continue, Sir? Another case in point is when you jump to conclusion… (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Seeking clarification.

Tuan Speaker: He is not giving way.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: You want to give way?

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: Yes, I am allocated 45 minutes, Tuan Speaker.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Do you want to give way?

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: No, I am not giving way.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Okay, fair enough.

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: I finish than I will give you a chance. Thank you.

Another case in point is when you jump to conclusion that your friend contracted dengue fever because of the blocked drain outside the house as you are later informed by Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan that dengue mosquito only breed in clear, clean and stagnant water and in Singapore being a cleaner city with well maintained drains has more than 10,000 cases of suspected dengue fever last year. In fact from information that I gather now, last year alone in Singapore there were 13,984 cases with 19 deaths.

As a professional lawyer you shall know that you cannot produce conclusion without investigating into the facts properly. Tuan Speaker, (Applause )I do not intend to bore this House with more facts but it is important for this august House and the public to know what kind of politicians we are dealing with here. (Applause)

Perhaps, may I suggest that Honourable Member for Kota Sentosa learn from your more experienced Honourable Member for Bukit Assek, since you like to deal with history. Let me tell this august House some history. Sorry, I have to say this here Honourable Member for Bukit Assek, but I feel that I owe a duty to tell the Honourable Member for Kota Sentosa some history for his own good which is noted from the Hansard of 21st November, 1996 that an Opposition Member, the Honourable Member for Bukit Assek had to withdraw his misleading remarks and matters consequential thereto made by him on 19th November, 1996. In withdrawing his unsubstantiated remarks, I quote what the Honourable Member for Bukit Assek had said on 21st November 1996 in the sitting of this august House:

“ Tuan Speaker, Thank you for allowing me to address this House and, Tuan Speaker, as it has been confirmed by the Minister in this august House that the Sibu township masterplan has not been approved by the government, I seek Tuan Speaker’s leave to withdraw my remarks made in this august House as appearing in Paragraphs 2 and 3 at Page 28 of the unedited Hansard dated 18th November 1996. And matters consequential thereto in that the said paragraph be expunged from the said Hansard”.

There was another much earlier incident which occur in the 1987 State Election when the Honourable Member for Bukit Assek was the DAP candidate in Miri. He make an unfounded allegation against the Barisan Nasional candidate. He was sued and he have to make a public apology published in a Chinese press. Let me quote here his apology statement as follows:

“During the 1987 State Election (in which I was a DAP candidate) a DAP campaign article entitled ‘To Solve Squatter Problems Build One House Dismantle One House’ was circulated in Miri. The campaign article accused the two ministers from Miri, YB Datuk Dr. George Chan and YB Peter Chin of profiteering from the housing project at 6th Mile, Lutong. There is no truth in the said accusation. I hereby tender my sincere apologies to the two Ministers. In view of the grave misunderstanding and embarrassment which have been caused, I am grateful to the two Ministers for their understanding and generosity in accepting this apology.”

It is time that the people should also question the opposition and check on them. Who are they and what are they? Is the opposition perfect? I dare to say it loud and clear that it is certainly not! (Applause) As such, the opposition and its leaders are also imperfect. The oppositions often like to portray themselves as if they are perfect and they are the right and that the government is always wrong. They have never given any due recognition, least of all … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Order, Point of order, point of order. When I cite point of order you sit down. That is the rule of the debate.

Tuan Speaker: What order?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Ok. Point of order 31, no, 32 , 32(6).

Tuan Speaker: Yes.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No member shall impute improper motive to any other member. Why is he imputing is that we always think, see ourselves, portray ourselves as perfect. We never portray ourselves as perfect, we never portray ourselves as perfect. We all know that human do make mistakes, like what the opposition leader, he as what I cited, we have never portray ourselves as being perfect. But we criticized the government for the fault of the government. So, I cite this Standing Order to correct my learned friend, the Ahli Yang Berhormat. Thank you.

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: Can I continue now Tuan Speaker.

Tuan Speaker: Ya..(Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: I would like to repeat … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I think you should take back such allegation.

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: No. I would like to repeat what I said. You hear it properly please. You hear it one more time, okay. The oppositions often like, like, to portray themselves… (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: How do you know we like?

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: Oh yes you are, you like to portray yourselves as perfect… (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: That is imputing….

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: You like to portray yourselves as perfect.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Imputing something that is not true? Imputing improper motive.

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: Tuan Speaker, I would like to continue, please. Tuan Speaker only allowed me … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: That is what he say, imputing improper motive. We don’t like to portray.

Tuan Speaker: You asked him to substantiate.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, No, No, I am saying that is a wrong imputation and that is a wrong…. (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: Please, please, Tuan Speaker, I have to explain what I said…. (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: This is, I am raising a point of order.

Tuan Speaker: Ya, taken.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Yes, you sit down first.

Tuan Speaker: Yes. Yes taken.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Then, jangan kurang ajar. (Laughter)

Tuan Speaker: Ya.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: You direct it wrongly.

Tuan Speaker: Ya. Point taken.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: Point of order please…

Tuan Speaker: 32(6) here Okay.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: Tuan Speaker, I think Honourable Member for Kota Sentosa has read, misquote and read this thing wrongly. What has been said by the Member for Pujut was that, Members of the Opposition, he is not referring to any individual member as per 32(6), no Member shall impute improper motive to any other Member. I think he is not referring to him. (Applause and Boos) He is not referring to you. He is referring to the whole … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Tuan Speaker… (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Let me clear it first. Member for Pujut, you are referring to opposition or Member for Kota Sentosa?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, no, no. Oppositions, all of us. He cited the opposition leader as an example. That is what he said. And I believe, Tuan Speaker, Tuan Speaker has made a ruling saying that if one side from the opposition side raised any point, the other side should, he, the person who is holding the floor should be answering, no one should help. That was the ruling made yesterday, likewise I think the ruling should apply both ways. But why is…(Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Okay, let me ask the Member for Pujut. You are saying about opposition or Member for Kota Sentosa?

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: Tuan Speaker, I am mentioning the opposition. You want me to repeat the paragraph?

Tuan Speaker: Ya, you repeat.

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: Okay, I repeat. Please no more interruption. It is time that the people should also question the opposition and check on them. Who are they and what are they? Is the opposition perfect? I dare to say it loud and clear that it is certainly not. As such, the opposition and its leaders are also imperfect. The oppositions often like to portray…(Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Any Clarification?

Tuan Speaker: Okay. Continue. Continue the paragraph.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Because the party behind used to be the opposition too. So, I want him to clarify which opposition he is talking about? I think we have the right to do so.

Tuan Speaker: He is talking about opposition.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: That could mean his own party.

Tuan Speaker: Ya.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: He was in the opposition too, wasn’t he? I am talking about history now. Weren’t you in the opposition?

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: I am not talking about history. I am talking about now, okay. Let me continue please. The opposition…(Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Voon Lee Shan: You want to say about history. You say you wanted to quote history. Now this is history. SUPP was also in the opposition.

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: Please let me continue.

Tuan Speaker: Order, Order, Order. Honourable Member for Pujut… (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: Tuan Speaker, I hope you will kindly offer me the 45 minutes, please.

Tuan Speaker: It is nearly 45 minutes, so … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: Please do not cut me off, because I have been interrupted.

Tuan Speaker: So, you can bring your concluding remarks.

Y.B. Encik Voon Lee Shan: The more you talk about history, the more I will interrupt you later on.

Tuan Speaker: Member for …(Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: My right to speak was taken away from me by interruption from people like you. But you must clarify, just because you are now the Member of the Government you can speak backwards about the opposition?

Tuan Speaker: Member for Padungan, I am giving him just 45 minutes. So you bring your concluding remarks. Ya.

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: I was stopped halfway, so, I will continue from the beginning. The opposition like to portray themselves as if they are perfect and they are right and that the government is always wrong. They have never given any due recognition, least of all shown any gratitude to the government for all the accomplishment and the good things that it has brought to the people. All they are interested is to discredit and try to bring down the government.

The opposition does not have any development plans for the people, unlike the government, which comes up with a comprehensive development plan every five years. The BN Government also has a long-term vision for the people and the country, that is, Vision 2020 which is to achieve developed nation status by 2020.

Tuan Speaker, to govern a country is no easy task. I am grateful that the Barisan Nasional Government has brought to our people, peace, progress and prosperity, something which we have often taken for granted. We acknowledged that we may not be perfect. Then again, no countries and governments in this world would dare claim to be perfect. Not even the developed western world. I hope the public can understand this. I request them to look at the whole scenario. I request them to know that the Barisan Nasional Government is a caring and understanding one. And this government will live up with its election manifesto of bringing ‘Peace, Progress and Prosperity’ to the people of Sarawak.

With that, Tuan Speaker, I wish to thank all Honourable Members for giving me this opportunity to speak in this august House. I wish our beloved Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri, good health, and all Honourable Members and DUN staff, a peaceful, progressive, prosperous and healthy year ahead.

Tuan Speaker, I wish to express my full support for the Motion of Thanks for the Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri’s address to this august House.

Thank you very much

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Meradong

Y.B. Cik Ting Tze Fui: Thank you, Tuan Speaker, for giving me a chance to take part in the debate in appreciation to the address of Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak delivered in this august House on 24th July, 2006.

Let me say a few introductory words. First of all, let me take this opportunity to thank the people of Meradong for giving me a chance to serve them. I take great pride to be able to speak in this Dewan as the first DAP Legislator from Meradong, since the landing of the rocket in Sarawak 28 years ago. (Applause) Had it not been for the dedicated help and encouragement of my leaders, supporters and my family members, this moment would not have been possible. I would like to single out my parents, who had taken the time and pain to nurture me. I am really grateful. I must congratulate the Chief Minister and his coalition team on their victory in the last state election. (Applause) You obtained the number to from the government and we accept that is the decision of the people. I also wish to congratulate my colleague, the Honourable Member for Bukit Assek, for leading DAP Sarawak to the greatest height ever, (Applause) that is, six rockets into the Dewan.

I assure this august House that it is my party’s stance that we will support all policies and legislation to be passed in this august House that will benefit the people. We will raise our reasoned objections where we truly believe that the reverse is the case. I am a first timer, but let me assure you that I will be learning, but I will also speak the voice of the people, especially those who had elected me.

I wish to emulate my colleague from Kidurong, Y.B. Chiew Chiu Sing who had done a great job in the past five years in this august House, though as a sole ranger from the opposition bench. We all should appreciate his contributions in advancing the cause of democratic representation in this Dewan. I am indebted for his advice and support. I hope to be able to do like what he had done over the years.

Revenge-taking Not Our Culture

Tuan Speaker, Bintangor, a small country town, is my birthplace and the place where I had spent my formative years. Unfortunately, since our Independence, Bintangor has not seen much progress. It is still under-developed and the town is backward. Job opportunity is scarce, and most of the youths have left the town to find work in other parts of Sarawak and elsewhere.

What has the government done for Bintangor since Independence? The recent State Elections result in Bintangor shows that the Barisan Nasional Government has failed the people there. Although the Barisan Nasional Government has always claimed that its development policies have, economically, benefited the multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society as a whole, yet unfortunately such claims may not apply to Bintangor. I salute the people in Bintangor for wanting a change.

Some say that if the opposition is elected, then the development of Bintangor will slow down and even come to a stand still. This was the campaign message of the Barisan Nasional in Bintangor. I hope that the Barisan Nasional Government will not act in such a high-handed way. People living in the seats won by the Opposition also pay the same rates and taxes as those won by BN candidates. To deny them such development is an act of revenge. Taking revenge against the people should not be part of our political culture.

When the Honourable Chief Minister presented the “Ninth Malaysia Plan: The Sarawak Perspective” during the last Dewan sitting before the Ninth State Elections was held, he said:

“The Politics of Development has allowed us to work towards development and improving the welfare of our people in a united and focused manner. By not allowing our differences to get in the way of development, we had managed to put all our energies into projects and programmes and brought benefits to the people from real change. The State Government will continue to do its best to provide the necessary assistance to the people.”

Though we are in the opposition, we will not oppose the development projects and programmes that will benefit the people. We are not a bunch of senseless people who oppose just for the sake of opposing! We care for our constituents and we love our country, just as much, if not more than our Barisan Nasional counterparts! We want to see our constituency develop. We do not want to fall behind other parts of the state. But, the government has to be fair to our people by not becoming political bullies.

Health Care and District Development Blueprint

Tuan Speaker, let me begin by telling you “The Tale of a Forgotten City”. The Forgotten City is obviously referred to Bintangor. I feel that it is usually forgotten when government maps out its development programmes.

This riverside town is essentially an agricultural town. Besides being the biggest producer of Sarawak pepper, Bintangor is also well-known for her aromatic, sweet and sour oranges, known locally as “Bintangor Orange”.

If you are an internet surfer, you will probably find that Bintangor is most famous for “Bintangor experience”, where the active anti-HIV agent from the Bintangor tree (Calophyllum lanigerum) is undergoing clinical trials in the USA, but not as famous as a town that produces delicious Bintangor Rojak, based on the google’s search results.

Health care programmes are extremely important for the sub-urban and rural folk – the lower income groups. Bintangor needs a government hospital and all the important government departments and agencies.

Presently we have only a clinic, which is not even a polyclinic as it only houses a few medical assistants. A lot of the times, the clinic is without a qualified doctor. Can the medical assistants give treatment and prescriptions? Are they properly trained?

I have received complaints from some women that not enough BCG vaccines were provided in the government clinic. Although their newborn children could get the vaccination of BCG in private clinics or private hospitals, it is a great financial burden for them. I would urge the Honourable Minister to look into this matter and to improve on the services. It is urgent that a district development blueprint be prepared to map out the socio-economic needs, economic potential and action plans for Meradong.

It is also important to make the development of Meradong an integral part of development in the central region of Sarawak. If Meradong is left out, it will adversely affect the economic development of the state as a whole.

People-friendly Government Should Not Play Tai Chi

Tuan Speaker, although Bintangor is an agricultural town, it is essential for the government to develop a light industrial park so that agriculture produce could be processed and turned into value-added products. This industrial park should not be limited to agricultural product processing, but also include small-scale printing, vehicle repair garages, building maintenance shops, metal works, millworks and also cabinetry works.

I have received complains that bureaucratic red taps are rampant. When an owner makes an application to convert a piece of agricultural land into an industrial or commercial land, he will face all kinds of problems and conditions imposed by the Land and Survey Department and the State Planning Authority. The government should simplify the application procedure. Straight guidelines should be provided, and the government servants should be friendlier and not play “Tai Chi” (in Mandarin).

While discharging my duties as a wakil rakyat, I need to bring some of the problems to the attention of government officers. My experiences with them had so far been horrific. I had tried several times to make an appointment with the District Officer but to no avail. Only a typical answer was given, “DO has gone outstation!” If such is the case, then his being outstation is too frequent and therefore unable to serve the people in the district.

I am extremely unhappy and disappointed with those attitudes. Imagine if I am not a wakil rakyat! Such attitudes should be reprimanded publicly, I hereby reassure you and all civil servants that, we, the opposition, are elected to help solve problems, not to cause troubles.

Infrastructure Development

Tuan Speaker, infrastructure development in Meradong still leaves much to be desired. The road conditions are poor and should be overcome immediately. Many people even described the road from Upper Lanang, Sibu to town centre of Bintangor as “horse riding track”. The problem becomes much more serious during rainy days, and accidents happen frequently, especially in certain parts of the roads. It results in death, injuries and loss of properties.

If the rain comes, the muddy roads will easily get flooded. Sometimes, we even cannot determine where the road and the drains are. This is how the accidents occurred. During the rainy days, the lorry drivers do not drive into the flooded farm areas. Then, how could the farmers’ vegetables and some other agro-based products be marketed for their household incomes? I would like to urge the government to take this matter into serious consideration, and prepare to undertake various steps to improve the roads immediately.

Even though water was already provided by the government for the resettlement scheme of Sungai Meradong, yet with no supply of electricity by SESCo, the residents are unable to move into the areas. Thus, it will affect the residents’ application for the land titles of their areas. Here, I would also call on the government to build a new swimming pool in the town centre of Meradong, for the benefits of our younger generations.

Since the completion of the Rejang Bridge in April this year, the local residents have expressed their grievances towards the high toll rates. This has definitely added economic burden to the lower-income groups. Within a short time since this July, I have received more than 10,000 signatures from road and non-road users who petitioned to oppose the toll collection. This clearly shows the discontent of the people. They want the government to abolish the toll collection immediately.

The government is doing very well economically. With the revenue earned from fuel price hikes internationally, it can easily buy over the Rejang Bridge from the contractor so that the people do not have to pay tolls. There are many farmers travelling from Meradong to sell their farm produce in Sibu every Saturday and Sunday. Many students have also to cross the Rejang Bridge every day. Most of these bridge users are poor. The bridge toll is a heavy burden on them. So please abolish it.

Human Capital Development and Education

Tuan Speaker, as we all know, most of the Meradong residents belong to the lower-income groups. We cannot get rid of poverty just by giving away money to poor people. It requires an “algorithm”. For me, the human capital development and education are two of the most important agendas for the poverty eradication programme.

A public or private university and a youth skill training centre are ideal for Meradong. The environment is conducive for education and the cost of living is low. When I was a little girl, I heard that TAR College might be built in Bintangor. I waited with anxious expectations. But it was not the case. In the 1996 State Elections, I heard that the people had been told by many politicians to choose between TAR College or SUPP. I was later lucky to be able to study in Kuala Lumpur. There are many who had not the chance. Had the TAR College been allowed to be established in Bintangor, the economy in Bintangor may be different today. Now TAR College is of course known as Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) no more a college. A university is suitable in Bintangor because the central Rejang Basin has no university yet. Let me assure you Meradong is the best location of all.

Renewal of Land Lease

Tuan Speaker, I recall the days that landowners have been advised against listening to rumours that the government would not renew the lease on their land. “Should they hear something and be in doubt, they should contact the Land and Survey Department for correct information,” said the Land Superintendent of the Land and Survey Department.

During the State Elections, Land and Survey Department approved the application for extension of over 1,000 land leases. Had it not been for the election, would they have been approved so quickly? But after the election, everything remains unchanged. I would like to cite a case in Meradong, where the land title of a piece of agricultural land has not been renewed for nearly 20 years. The land is at Lot 200, Block 2, Meradong land district and its owners are three siblings.

I understand that the 60-year lease expired on 26th May, 1987 and they made the extension application with a formal letter on 24th May, 1987. Subsequently, they had been told that the application was still being processed. Two years later, in 1989, they made another application but the same answer was given.

This case is cited just to respond to what has been said by the Superintendent of the Land and Survey Department. This is not a rumour. However, they have to wait indefinitely just for their land lease to be renewed or extended. The people want their leases extended without conditions and without paying any premium. For the sake of fellow Sarawakians, the government has to support my stand on this matter.

Agricultural Modernization Policy, WTO and CEPT

Tuan Speaker, Meradong’s agricultural sector has contributed substantially to the growth and development of the Malaysian economy. A lot of people in Meradong, as well as those living in other parts of Sarawak, are engaging themselves in farming. In Bintangor, pepper farming is the big thing. The pepper produced from the production of pepper is declining since 2001. According to the Ninth Malaysia Plan, the production of pepper in year 2000 is 24,000 metric tonnes, while in 2005, the volume declined to 19,100 metric tonnes.

While the government targeted an annual growth of 5.9% for pepper production under the Eighth Malaysia Plan, it turned out to be an annual negative growth rate of 4.5%. Now, under the Ninth Malaysia Plan, the government targets an even more ambitious annual growth rate of 9.5%. I would say, this is mission impossible, unless the government is willing to provide subsidies and incentives for the farmers to encourage them. Then, I urge the State Government to do so.

To bring changes to rural areas, the State Government has declared its intention to promote large-scale agriculture farming. I would like to ask the State Government whether it has any subsidy or incentive to help the smallscale farmers, including those cultivating pepper and cocoa.

Although large-scale agriculture is economically viable, the interest of the small-scale farmers should not be neglected.

I would also like to urge the government to make the small- and medium-scale farmers landowners. I propose the State Government coming up with a land reform plan.

I believe that bureaucratic red tapes are the main factor undermining the government’s distribution of incentives to farmers. For instance, let me quote the Report of Auditor-General Malaysia on the Public Accounts and Financial Management of the Sarawak Government in 2003:

“Pemeriksaan Audit juga mendapati input pertanian bernilai RM13,106 untuk 35 petani yang diterima daripada pembekal pada bulan Februari 2003 untuk Skim Tanaman Lada, buah-buahan, padi dan sayur-sayuran yang diluluskan pada tahun 2002 di Pejabat Daerah Meradong masih tidak diagihkan kepada petani… lawatan Audit serta temu bual dengan beberapa penerima bantuan mendapati sebahagian daripada pemohon tidak mengetahui bahawa permohonan mereka untuk mendapat bantuan telah diluluskan oleh kerana jangka masa untuk mereka mendapat bantuan yang dikehendaki telah berlalu dan tiada sebarang makluman diterima daripada pihak jabatan”.

“Semakan Audit mendapati sejumlah RM8.36 juta baki peruntukan masih berada dalam akaun Pertubuhan Peladang Kawasan untuk Pejabat Pertanian Daerah Meradong pada akhir tahun 2003. Sebahagian daripada jumlah tersebut adalah untuk program yang diluluskan pada tahun 2001 dan sebelumnya. Sebahagian besar baki peruntukan akaun tidak dapat dibelanjakan disebabkan pihak kontraktor gagal melaksanakan kerja mengikut jadual yang ditetapkan.”

To address the bureaucratic red tapes, I suggest that the government should undertake a holistic approach in implementing the agricultural modernization policy.

As we all know, Sarawak has a landmass of 12.4 million hectares, of which 3.8 million hectares are under secondary forests. Currently, the agricultural activities like palm oil, rice, coconut, pepper and rubber, only make up 792,500 hectares or an equivalent of 6.4% of the landmass. It means that we are far from fully utilizing the landmass available.

Apart from the difficulties in utilizing the landmass because of bureaucratic red tapes, the rural sector continues to experience problems of low productivity. The holdings are too small to be economically viable. Labour shortages and low commodity prices have further led to substantial idle or abandoned agricultural holdings away from the urban centers.

I observe that Malaysian agricultural products will be facing greater competition with full implementation of agreements under the World Trade Organization and the Common Effective Preferential Tariff scheme of the ASEAN Free Trade Area. Main exports such as rubber and palm oil will face increasing competition from countries with lower production cost and will continue to face discriminatory tariff and non-tariff barriers.

I urge the government to implement the agricultural modernization policy in Bintangor.

Biotechnology Development

Tuan Speaker, to bring more people into the agricultural sector and to be in line with the Third National Agricultural Policy for the period 1998 to 2010, I urge the State Government to seriously help develop the area of biotechnology.

The future looks good for the agrobiotechnology in Malaysia, especially with strong endorsement by the Federal Government, which recognizes it as a high-end technology to be fully exploited in the 21st century.

In addition, Sarawak belongs to one of the world’s twelve mega biodiversity regions, which together account for some 60–70% of the world’s biodiversity. I believe that it is the right time for the Sarawak Government to move into this potential arena.

Besides, I would like to suggest that serious attention should be given by the State Government to biosafety, risk management, and the responsible exploitation of biotechnology products to ensure a safe and healthy environment and conservation of natural resources.

Once the biosafety law is in place, it will encourage more bilateral collaboration with private and public organizations abroad, and attract more biotechnology companies to invest in Sarawak.

Petroleum Royalty

Tuan Speaker, Sarawak is the biggest state in Malaysia. It is rich in natural resources such as oil and LPG. Unfortunately, the state and its people do not benefit much from this richness. The Barisan Nasional Government has consistently failed to increase the five percent royalty miserably paid to Sarawak. Timber industry has become a sunset industry as a whole. Therefore, we should foster and expand our agricultural sector to the fullest. Meradong has no mineral resources except landmass. Let us not under utilize the potential of our land.

I do hereby urge the State Government to be more proactive. Give as much assistance as possible to the farmers and workers, especially in the face of ever rising costs of living.

In conclusion, this state election has come of age and history was finally catching up to reality. The election of a sizable number of opposition wakil rakyat not only represented generational and political change. It has forced and brought about a democratic spring which can only lead to flowering of new ideas, hope and energy which in turn will help to reinvigorate this great state of Sarawak.

Tuan Speaker, with these words, I support the Motion to Sincerely Thank the Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri for his valued address in this House. Thank you.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat, we have a short break. Sitting resumes at 4:45 p.m.

(Mesyuarat ditangguhkan pada jam 4:21 petang)

(Mesyuarat dimulakan pada jam 4:51 petang)

[Tuan Speaker mempengerusikan Mesyuarat]

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Samariang.

Y.B. Puan Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali: Terima kasih, Tuan Speaker kerana memberi peluang kepada saya untuk turut serta dalam perbahasan Usul Penghargaan atas ucapan Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri yang telah disampaikan dalam Dewan yang mulia ini pada 24 Julai 2006. Amanat dan ucapan beliau yang berbentuk fakta, nasihat dan pandangan amat berguna sebagai garis panduan bagi Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat di sini untuk terus memajukan lagi kawasan masing-masing.

Sebagai ucapan sulung saya di dewan yang mulia ini, saya ingin terlebih dahulu mengambil kesempatan ini untuk mengucapkan tahniah kepada Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri Ketua Menteri Sarawak atas kejayaan besar dalam pilihanraya Sarawak kesembilan baru-baru ini. Kejayaan ini telah memberikan mandat sekali lagi kepada Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri untuk menumpukan perhatian kepada pembangunan yang mengutamakan kesejahteraan semua lapisan masyarakat selaras dengan falsafah politik pembangunan dalam arus gelombang kedua.

Juga saya ingin mengambil kesempatan ini untuk mengucapkan tahniah kepada semua Ahli Yang Berhormat yang telah berjaya semasa pilihanraya yang lalu. Juga saya ingin secara peribadi mengucapkan jutaan terima kasih kepada Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri yang telah memberi kepercayaan kepada saya untuk menyertai pilihanraya Sarawak 2006 sekaligus menjadi wakil rakyat di kawasan Dewan Undangan Negeri N7 – Samariang. Peluang yang diberikan oleh Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri Ketua Menteri membuktikan keyakinan dan kepercayaan beliau terhadap kaum wanita untuk bersuara memberikan pandangan serta cadangan bagi bersama-sama membangunkan Negeri Sarawak yang kita cintai ini. InsyaAllah, saya akan bekerja keras dan dengan sebaik yang boleh untuk memenuhi amanah yang telah diberikan kepada saya untuk memajukan lagi kawasan saya.

Sebelum saya melanjutkan ucapan saya, saya ingin berharap dan merayulah kepada Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat di sini agar sentiasa mengekalkan adat budaya dan bersopan-santun di dalam Dewan. Walaupun kita berbeza pendapat, adalah harapan saya agar segala perbezaan pendapat dapat diluahkan secara beradab dan bersopan-santun. Janganlah kita melampaui batas dari segi tindak-tanduk dan tutur kata kita semasa perdebatan. Hormatilah Dewan ini dan juga hormatilah jemaah Kabinet kita yang ada di sini yang semuanya ahli politik yang berpengalaman dan banyak berjasa kepada bangsa, agama dan negara kita.

Tuan Speaker, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Dewan, bad leadership has for centuries in the history of mankind turned rich and peaceful countries into chaos, salvaged by war and extreme poverty that have killed millions of innocent lives. Just to name a few, Germany under Hitler, Musolini in Italy, Stalin in Russia, Edi Amin in Uganda, Slovodan Milosovic in Serbia Montenegro, Saddam Hussein in Iraq and hundreds of similar leaders regardless of religion, race and where they come from. It practically takes decades or even centuries for such unfortunate countries to get back on their feet after such less than a decade of bad leadership era.

I would like to share with this Dewan one very touching moment I had with a very young Yang Berhormat in Sabah during my last campaign trail. I was really moved by the intensity of her expression when she shared her sad experience when Sabah was under the leadership of the opposition party. She virtually shed tears when she recounted the moments when all public facilities including schools, roads and mosques were virtually not maintained and rendered and useable under this poor leadership. Sabah, prior to that was comparable to Sarawak in terms of prosperity. A decade under the opposition control, according to her, has virtually made Sabah a bankrupt state. It took more than a decade then for the Barisan Nasional Government to bring back Sabah to its past glory and where it was before the opposition government took over. According to her, most of what the opposition promised before they took over from Barisan Nasional Government were ideals and ideas that are easier said than done. An expensive lesson indeed for the Sabahans and I am sure that the Sarawakians would certainly in all possible ways avoid this from happening to our wonderful and beloved Sarawak. (Applause)

As we sit here today, thousands of people in another parts of the world are dying everyday of atrocities and poverty. From my interaction with people coming from such unfortunate countries, it is crystal clear that their predicament is not about the lack of resources of their country or anything to do with geographical factors, ethnic diversity or anything else, but the problems are due to bad leaders.

In that light, I would like to relate this to Malaysia and Sarawak. Sarawak in comparison is one of the riches states in Malaysia and renowned for peace, political stability and economic prosperity for maybe more than 40 years now. Whether a people organized together as a nation in a defined geographic area make the grade or otherwise must depend on two things:

(1) the quality of the people themselves; and
(2) which is very important the mantle of their leadership.

Our leadership as we all have seen has proven the ability to mobilize the qualities in our population to a maximum of advantage. This, Tuan Speaker, we should not take for granted and we should always be grateful we have leaders who are prudent and pragmatic and have shaped Sarawak to be what she is today. We should appreciate this gift of leadership and should support fully the leaders for the future generation and for our beloved children, great grandchildren and Sarawakians in general.

It is when people are behind their government and not at odds with it that the best results are achieved. It is thus absolutely vital for us to preserve the stable economic, social and political conditions that we have now which will make possible long-term planning. We must always remember that the choice before us in Sarawak is either an orderly organized community enabling long-term planning for growth and development or a disintegrating society sinking into chaos, political propaganda and lies. It takes time and effort to build up an efficient organization to administer to the needs of a community. But it is sad that in the short while one can run things down; water, power, homes, roads, transportation, harbours, airports, schools, polytechnics, universities, teachers, industrial estates all require a climate of stability and security. Without them, planning for long-term production and profit is impossible.

Tuan Speaker, as a new Yang Berhormat for N.7 – Samariang, I am very lucky that my constituency has been blessed with generally good infrastructure including roads, bridges, drainage, schools, residential houses, commercial centres and more importantly as the heart of Sarawak political and administrative centre, that is the nerve centre of Sarawak if I may say.

I am sure that what we have today in Samariang is a direct consequence of years of prudent planning and execution of our leadership and the previous Yang Berhormat before me. My heartiest congratulations to Pehin Sri, all the Yang Berhormat before me and those directly and indirectly involved for such an excellent job done in Samariang.

For the benefit of those present here in this Dewan, Tuan Speaker, N.7 – Samariang extends from Taman Hussein to as far as Demak Laut and houses important landmarks such as Wisma Bapa Malaysia, the State Library, the State Mosque, Stadium Negeri and most importantly the Dewan Undangan Negeri where we sit here today. N.7 – Samariang comprises 21 predominantly Malay kampung and has a total population of approximately more than 30,000 people.

Tuan Speaker, my real time exposure from the campaign time and for the last few months has brought me to realize that there still exists disparity or contrast between the landmark areas and the kampungs in general, both in terms of infrastructure, thinking and livelihood of people. As the representative of the people, it is indeed my duty to constantly seek continuous improvement over time not, only in terms of basic infrastructure, but also the various aspects of live of the ordinary people in N.7 – Samariang in line with our leadership’s dream and vision.

Tuan Speaker, I would like to humbly take this opportunity in my maiden speech today to share my deep thoughts and how the gap between the landmark areas and the kampung could be further narrowed in the various aspects, namely:

(1) Basic Infrastructure;
(2) Education;
(3) Economy and Employment;
(4) Housing;
(5) Social and Religion;
(6) Safety, Security and Public Health; and
(7) Recreation.

For such a large area of coverage, I humbly propose that my planning be made more structured and measurable on the basis of various real time data and state planning blueprint.

Basic Infrastructure

Tuan Speaker, from the brief study carried out on N.7 – Samariang, despite the good infrastructure already in place for most areas, there are some areas that warrant urgent attention like the drainage problem we face in Jalan Astana, in Kampung Samariang Pinggir, Kampung Semerah Padi and a few other areas. In most of these problem areas, for example, the drains are mostly earthfilled and clogged. As a result, whenever it rains, these areas are flooded to almost one metre. However, I am thankful that most of the drainage projects proposed by us has been approved by the government. I urge the government vis-a-vis DBKU or JKR to expedite the implementation and construction of the approved projects and also the identification of other critical areas that require similar good drainage system. I would be really pleased to submit exact location to JKR or DBKU of these problem areas.

I am also pleased to inform here that the Water Board is close to resolving the water pressure problem faced by the people in Kampung Siol Kandis by agreeing just recently to provide water tanks to the areas and perhaps new pumps and water pipelines in the future. It is indeed my hope that this noble effort to improve the water pressure problems in part of my kawasan be continued.

Tuan Speaker and Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat of the Dewan, the heavy traffic flow and massive jam during peak hours, that is early morning, lunch and evening from Satok bridge to Matang or Gita roundabout and also roads from Samariang traffic light junction to Taman Sukma indicates two things, that Sarawakians are economically prosperous, that even office boys, office cleaners and school kids can now afford to buy Kancil or motorcycles and also houses.

Secondly, our main roads and bypass roads designed long time ago are now proven inadequate to handle this massive increase in vehicles in this area. The traffic jam in these locations are becoming like that in Jalan Sultan Ismail, Sungai Wang or Jalan Kuching in Kuala Lumpur by day. Whilst there could be immediate plans by government to construct a flyover or underground tunnel which I strongly suggest and deeply appreciate in these locations to mitigate the congestion, I humbly propose that the DBKU traffic wardens or traffic police to immediately extend their operating hours in directing traffic flow there in the morning and evening. From my personal experience when coming back from work, that is from my legal firm in Jalan Batu Tiga, for the last four years, I am usually stuck there on those roads for almost an hour a day. All it takes is only one car accident or breakdown and then my torment would be interminably extended for another hour or so.

Education

Tuan Speaker, N.7 – Samariang is blessed with good kindys, primary, secondary and boarding schools and I really hope that more schools will be built in the future in tandem with the growing population there. Whilst school infrastructure such as good buildings, sophisticated computer classes and libraries are generally in place, including trained and qualified teachers, a lot more need to be done to improve the performance of the schools in this constituency. In line with the Ninth Malaysia Plan’s focus on human capital development towards liberalization and developed state by 2020, it is imperative that N.7 – Samariang be driven towards achieving these aspirations vis-a-vis through emphasis on educational excellent and also beneficial co-curriculum activities in schools. Given a few more months, I should be able to assess comparable data on this issue and be able to chart ideas and measurable action plans to improve this situation such as inter-school learning within this constituency at state level or at national level. It is my strong belief that good schools like Kolej Abdillah or other schools have some successful formula that could be shared by other weaker schools.

Economy

Tuan Speaker, it is my concern that there are the unemployed or low-income groups like ibu-ibu tunggal or all this in my kawasan who are left with almost no income due to either death of their husband or abandonment and divorce. With their limited skills and money to start any decent job or business, they are practically left with little else but their kids. Children growing in this sort of poverty are left with little option but mostly as school dropouts if not involved in unhealthy social activities.

While our social welfare system and small business schemes have been commendable in providing aid to these less fortunate fellow Sarawakians, there is also a critical need for us to tackle this issue before it becomes a heavy burden to the state coffer. Unemployed housewives in most areas within the constituency that numbered to thousands have also given a notion of under-utilization of our human capital. Opportunity should be given to them to help contribute to their family economy without even being required to leave their homes. It is my proposal here for efforts to be intensified to formation of economic action council within N.7 – Samariang as a catalyst toward the economic development of these categories of people within the constituency.

This council is proposed to comprise intellectuals and heads of department or corporation living within my kawasan. Majority of these categories of people are not keen to participate directly in politics but they are very keen to contribute their ideas and resources for the economic development of their kampungs.

Tuan Speaker, within N.7 – Samariang there are hundreds of small time petty traders who are trying to make a living by selling fast food like burgers or cakes or many things and drinks along the roadside within the kampung areas and also the main roads. While I fully support the gruelling effort of Dewan Bandaraya Kuching Utara in keeping this prime area clean and order, I would humbly propose that the good council also make serious and creative effort to assist these small time entrepreneurs who are trying to earn an honest living from these small stall outlets. Decentralise deli markets such as those of Ramadan bazaar should be, for example, made available in many, if not, all the kampung areas all the year round, with more free courses as a package to licensing such entrepreneurs could eventually be given a decent and affordable place to continue their business.

Tuan Speaker, the recent crackdowns by DBKU on most stalls recently have caused uproar amongst these stall owners in my kawasan and for that matter in other constituencies in Kuching North. These small time businessmen and women are our fellow Sarawakians and are trying to make another RM200-RM300 income to support their family. I would therefore like to propose strongly and suggest to DBKU that for any enforcement exercise, please do keep their Yang Berhormat informed before any such actions are taken.

Housing

Tuan Speaker, I must also congratulate the leadership and the present government as to have made Samariang as one of the most popular places to live and work for most local folks and rural folks. This could be seen from not only the growing local population size but also from migration of rural Sarawakians to the constituency. The migration of rural folks, however, is not without obvious drawbacks of squatter population blooming in state land such as in Samariang Batu, Jalan Astana and Siol Kandis. While giving state land to these folks may not be feasible policy, the current pragmatic drive by the housing ministry and Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad towards rumah mesra rakyat and various other low cost housing schemes have been seen as one of the best efforts to manage this squatter issue. My deepest thank to the Minister of Housing for his good effort in helping us, the wakil rakyat, to look into this problem of housing and squatters.

Tuan Speaker, it is therefore my hope that N.7 – Samariang will remain a priority area for intensification in such schemes.


Social And Religion

Tuan Speaker, it is my humble thoughts that there are few factors that will shape up our communities of the future. Contemporary thinkers such as Edward De Bono once concluded that the three factors, media, education and religion are highly responsible to shape up the communities of the future that is our children, grandchildren and so forth.

What with the digital age of the internet satellite channels and complex audio visual gadgets, vis-a-vis DVDs, SMS, MMS, that we have today in our homes and are widely available to our kids, we will not be surprise with the advancement of their knowledge on the environment that we live in and also the outside world. This positive advancement and technology however, should not be taken lightly as there are also out there bad elements that comes as a package to this so called borderless world of the information age. We have seen a lot today that children are constantly bombarded with unhealthy elements such as violence, extremism and pornography through the seemingly harmless media as mentioned. While we are powerless in the practical sense to contain such elements we have little choice but to strengthen the other two arms that have direct impact on the shape of our future generation that is, education and religion.

While education is constantly being reviewed for suitability and implemented by the Federal Government and most probably are in the good hands, we are then left with one factor within our means to control, that is, religion. N. 7-Samariang constituency as been earlier informed is a predominantly Malay or Muslim area. I am pleased to say here that the leadership, the Ahli Yang Berhormat before me and various religious agencies have really done a good job maintaining the role of religion that is Islam in our case here, in majority of the people. Mosques and surau have been made available in all the kampungs and housing areas. Various religious functions and activities have been conducted year round in N.7-Samariang.

Tuan Speaker, it is indeed my hope that this noble effort be continued if not intensified as a means to strengthen the values and ways of life for ourselves and also our future generation community of the future.

Safety Security and Public Health

Tuan Speaker, I am also pleased to report that N. 7-Samariang is also well blessed with a BOMBA station, Rukun Tetangga, various private clinics and Normah Medical Centre but a Police Station. As the population expands in this constituency, there is a definite need to increase the numbers of these facilities. Mobile Police Station that could be move within the various areas such as those in Kuala Lumpur is hereby proposed to meet the increasing needs of security and safety for the people within this constituency. Such facility could certainly be an effective solution in crime prevention and eradication especially crimes at housebreaking, illegal racing, pick pockets etc.

Despite the availability of private clinics and private hospitals in Samariang, there are also that are affordable to the middle income group and high income groups, there is an obvious need for a government polyclinic to support the need of the growing kampung folks and the rural migration population. I hereby, proposed that a government polyclinic be set up in Samariang.
Recreation and Sports

Tuan Speaker, there is a saying that too much work and no play, make Jack a dull boy. I am pleased to inform that Samariang is equipped with such facility like no other in the state, that is, State Stadium, a beautiful and high tech State Library, numerous recreation parks and sports fields. I would like again to congratulate the leadership in the various ministries and government agencies involved in planning and developing such facilities available for the people within the constituency. I am pretty sure that this has been a catalyst in developing Sarawak’s talented game players and sportsmen. In my endeavour to continue this noble effort, I would also propose that a few more facilities be added within N.7-Samariang, such as, a Futsal Stadium, as it is now one of the most popular game for men and women of different ages. Right now, there is only one Futsal Stadium in Pending and it takes a week to book an hour match because the 8 courts are fully booked before the morning right to midnight. There is also an immediate need for public swimming pool, and I propose that a public swimming pool be given in Samariang.

Tuan Speaker, my speech today would not be complete if I do not talk on the subject which is close to my heart and I suppose close to the hearts of many men in this Dewan too, that is, women. (Laughter)

Tuan Speaker, di Malaysia, wanita merupakan 48.7% daripada jumlah penduduk dan merupakan modal insan yang penting dalam menjana pembangunan negara. Meskipun demikian, kajian Kementerian Wanita dan Pembangunan Keluarga dan Masyarakat, 2004 menunjukkan hanya 9.9% sahaja wanita menganggotai Lembaga Pengarah sektor korporat, 13.5% menduduki jawatan eksekutif misalnya Presiden, Naib Presiden, Pengarah Urusan, Ketua Eksekutif dan yang seumpamanya, hanya 10.1% dalam Dewan Rakyat. Sungguhpun jumlah wanita yang aktif menjana ekonomi telah meningkat, pertumbuhan wanita adalah dalam pekerjaan tingkat pertengahan dan tingkat rendah seperti kerja perkeranian dan pengeluaran. Walaupun lebih banyak wanita mula menceburkan diri dalam sektor profesional, sebahagian besar terlibat dalam profesyen kejururawatan dan pendidikan. Yang nyatanya, rata-rata purata pendapatan wanita yang bekerja dalam sektor swasta tidakpun dapat mengatasi pendapatan lelaki. Adalah diharapkan dengan sokongan kerajaan, semua yang saya sebut tadi dapat ditingkatkan.

Pembangunan wanita tidak pernah diketepikan dalam perancangan pembangunan negara. Di dalam Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan, peruntukkan yang diberikan untuk pembangunan wanita adalah sebanyak RM552 juta memperlihatkan peningkatan lebih daripada 100% berbanding dengan yang diperuntukkan dalam Rancangan Malaysia Kelapan, iaitu sebanyak RM258 juta. Penekanan terhadap pembangunan wanita dalam Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan merupakan usaha kearah merealisasikan harapan dan keperluan tersebut. Lima teras utama misi nasional dalam menjayakan Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan sewajarnya menjadi asas menggerakkan usaha untuk membangunkan potensi dan mengubah persepsi serta tanggapan ramai tentang peranan wanita.

Tuan Speaker, Dasar Keluarga Negara yang akan dibentuk dalam Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan diharapkan dapat terus membantu dalam pencapaian cemerlang wanita dalam kerjaya dan keluarga. Kejayaan dalam melahirkan dan membentuk anak-anak dan generasi yang cemerlang masih boleh dicapai tanpa melepaskan peluang untuk maju dalam kerjaya. Banyak contoh wanita yang berjaya dalam kerjaya juga berjaya membentuk generasi yang hebat. Saya rasa pihak kerajaan serta majikan boleh memberikan ruang untuk kemajuan wanita dengan mewujudkan waktu kerja flexible bagi sesetengah department dan juga membolehkan wanita bekerja dari rumah bagi sesetengah department. Kaedah ini dapat meningkatkan lagi penglibatan wanita berkeluarga dalam pasaran kerja.

Tuan Speaker, apa yang penting sekali ialah kejayaan penuh wanita baik dalam pembangunan negara mahupun penguasaan teknologi memerlukan sokongan politik. Tanpa sokongan politik, segala usaha para profesional dan ahli akademik serta badan pertubuhan wanita tidak akan menghasilkan sebarang impak.

Tuan Speaker, in conclusion, it is my hope that the leadership of Pehin Sri and the Barisan Nasional would continue to give utmost attention and priority to my constituency and also wanita and it is my hope also that the government would be able to take my cue from my various proposals, humbly presented, my noble and well intended effort and I wish will indeed make N. 7-Samariang as one of the best places to live in Sarawak also a model for achievement of Wawasan 2020 and a stronghold of the present benevolent government and leadership under the Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri and the Barisan Nasional Government. Insya-Allah.

With that I conclude, sekian dan terima kasih.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat for Kota Sentosa.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Thank you, Tuan Speaker. When we are talking about the politics of development, I will like to bring another phase which is quite new here, politics of forgetfulness, politicians forgetting what they have said...(Boos) Jangan kurang ajar.

Politicians having forgotten what they have said. Maybe years ago, some of them maybe months ago before the election. So, I fully support what Ahli Yang Berhormat for Pujut has said regarding the daily paid government servants. Daily paid government servants, their benefits which have been neglected, their welfare neglected over the years and I will like to bring to the attention of this House, regarding a press cutting of what Ahli Yang Berhormat for Bawang Assan has said in 1999, in the Sarawak Tribune, in a function organised by the PWD Daily Paid Workers’. He said; “But I must remind the union that not all the posts can be filled by the daily paid workers. In order to ensure that more daily paid workers can get promoted, the ministry will work out some formulas including reshuffling and creating new posts,” he explained. Well, they have come to see me last year. Since the statement has been made, nothing has been done and, in the cutting there, it was “s”, assures, assures PWD. The person who has brought me the cutting has written a “d”, assured. Its a past tense now and I would like to bring to the attention of this House about the discrepancy in the welfare of daily paid workers and monthly paid workers. Why they so eagerly seek to be confirmed to be monthly paid workers of the government. Why?

Under the daily paid scheme, they are not entitled to promotion. They are not entitled to government housing loan. Their parents are not entitled to free medical services from public hospitals during their term of employment. Four, when they are retired, they are not entitled to the medical services and their age of retirement is 55 instead of 56 and they do not enjoy pension scheme. Theirs is under EPF scheme. So, I believe these group, there are quite a substantial number of them, about 2,000 of them in PWD. (Interruption)

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Point of clarification, did the Member for Kota Sentosa say nothing has been done? Did you say that?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I was told by them since 1999. Not many of them has been converted into daily paid, if yes......(Interruption)

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): You are only given 45 minutes, I will give you (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Alright, I hope the Minister can give me clarification as to how many, has been, Honourable Minister, you will have the chance during the winding up (Interruption)

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): You said that nothing has been done, nothing has been done. (Laughter)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Yes and you can give me clarification. You want you can seek clarification but since you have reminded me, I have 45 minutes, I think I will leave your clarification for winding up speech. So, now...(Interruption)

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): No shooting statement, let me remind you please.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: You will have your chance of clarification, you will have your chance, during your winding up and I would like to know the figure now. How many of them are still under the daily paid scheme and how many of them for the last five years they have been retired as a daily paid worker? Can the government give them recognition so that they will enjoy the benefit accorded to the monthly paid workers?

Second point which I would like to raise is about the electricity tariff. The Public Utilities Minister before the election, this is a newspaper cutting, March this year, 28th, March this year, (In Mandarin) which means........(Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Translation?

Y. B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Oh yes, I will translate. SESCo has delivered a good news to the public. The electricity tariff will not be adjusted upward but in recent statement, Minister says, the same Minister, has indicated there may be some rise, some hike in electricity tariff, domestic electricity tariff also, and in the recent statement, the reason given by the Minister for increasing the electricity tariff was that because of the rise in international crude oil, and therefore, diesel prices has hiked all these. That’s why SESCo need to increase this tariff but in an earlier statement … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Yang Berhormat, maybe it’s more reliable if you base the premise of your argument on english newspapers because with the translation, the members will be talking at cross purposes on the varasity and the truthfulness of the statement.

Y B Encik Chong Chieng Jen: There may be some mistake...

Tuan Speaker: Less exchanges will be made if you rely on english newspaper because you know with mandarin the nuances may shift.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Thank you, thank you, Tuan Speaker. I mean the Minister explain in the earlier statement why those should not be any price hike, why these will not be any price hike because according to him the power supply, the electricity power supply in Sarawak, 60% of which is generated by gas, 26% by coal, only 5% by diesel and 10% by hydroelectricity generated. Therefore, the price hike in diesel or petrol will not have a very much, have a very great effect on the cost of SESCo but I just wonder why such a position was changed after the election and I hope and I sincerely hope that government will not increase the electricity tariff because we Sarawakians, our domestic, our consumer, we are paying the most expensive domestic electricity in the whole Malaysia. I can give you some figures. If you are paying, if you consume 400 kilowatt power per month, under the current rate you will be paying RM121, whereas in West Malaysia, TNB will only charge RM101.40, that is after the recent price hike in electricity tariff. Basically, for a normal household which consume about below 1000 kilowatt/hr per month, we are paying in the range of 15 to 20% more than our counterparts in West Malaysia. So since we are paying so high, so dearly for our electricity, domestic electricity I say, the government should not further increase the burden on the people and what more, what more, electricity generated by hydro power is the cheapest means of power generation in Sarawak. It is cheaper than LNG, it is cheaper than coal, it is cheaper than diesel power.

So with the construction of Bakun which according to an announcement made by our Prime Minister, would be completed sometime in 2007/2008. With the completion of the construction of Bakun, Bakun can generate 2,400 megawatts of electricity. 2,400 megawatts of electricity whereas in Sarawak at present we only need about 800 megawatts of electricity. We only need about 800 megawatts. So Bakun can generate three times the electricity power which we in Sarawak need and even the present capacity of SESCo which is about 1,000 megawatts capacity and given that hydro generation of electricity is the cheapest mode compared to the other three, we should, upon completion of the Bakun, we should enjoy a cheaper electricity tariff instead of higher. Although Bakun will be operated by independent power producer but the construction of the Bakun dam is at the expense of our environment. So Sarawakians should be given priority over the use of the power generated from the Bakun dam and instead I also would like to object here strongly against the construction of cable to transmit the electricity from Bakun to West Malaysia. I believe this is not an economically viable or not economically sensible move. The cable cost itself will cost about five billion whereas the construction of the dam is about nine billion. So where is the justification. There is no justification to lay cable across the South China Sea to supply our electricity to West Malaysia. It does not make any economical sense, it doesn’t. So I hope the government, because I am worried, I am worried because recently, previously the laying of cable from Bakun dam to West Malaysia has been dropped but recently there were announcement that they might re-install the whole programme. They will start the whole programme and start laying the cable. At the end who is going to pay the cost? Who is going to pay the cost? And there is another thing that I would like to mention. Since we have Bakun in the pipeline, we are going to enjoy hydro-generated power, electricity power in future, one or two years time.

Why does the government engage in a coal power, coal fire power plant in Mukah. What rationale is there to spend 800 million, 800 million. To raise a loan of 600 plus million ringgit Malaysia to construct coal power plant, while we all know that coal power plant would generate electricity more expensive than Bakun and Bakun, we know that it has the capacity to generate three times the power we need in Sarawak. Why does the government engage in the generation of a coal fire power plant, the construction of such plant in Mukah? Is this based on political reason? Are we going to pay, Sarawakians going to pay for it and what is the agreement, power purchase agreement entered between SESCo and the coal fire power plant in Mukah? What is the agreement? Because in West Malaysia, the lopsided agreement between the independent power plant and TNB has now caused a lot of trouble to the consumer, has now put a lot of trouble to the consumer, has now put a lot of heavy financial burden on the consumer in West Malaysia. That is why TNB has to increase its tariff, adding on financial burden to the consumer in West Malaysia because of the terms of the power purchase agreement which is lopsided, which is favourable only to the independent power plant.

Now, having decided to construct the coal fire power plant in Mukah, now what is the terms of the agreement? Is it going to be an agreement whereby the coal power plant revise upwards the price of electricity they pay as the price of electricity there they sell it to the government unilaterally like what is happening in West Malaysia so I hope the government, public utility department will have a serious talk and I also want an explanation why having Bakun dam in the pipeline is going to produce power in a few years time, why does the government engage in the construction of a coal fire power plant in Mukah. There is no logic, I can’t find any logic in it. It doesn’t make any economic sense.

The second and another point that I would like to raise, the other matter that I would like to raise is the issue about SACOFA. About SACOFA. SACOFA had been given, I believe, it is a 15-year, 15-year concession to monitor or construct or monitor the construction of monopole, telecommunication monopole, telecommunication power in the whole of Sarawak. Previously the job was done by individual telecommunication company to construct their own telecommunication tower or antennae to transmit the signal for their hand phone.

Now the government has appointed SACOFA to engage in this field, to be the only company licenced to construct telecommunication tower and affix antennae on the tower and all those telecommunication tower which previously has their own antennae on shophouses, on top of the roof of shophouses or their own tower, they have to now pay a licence fee to SACOFA. Some of them has to take down their antennae and rent it from SACOFA. Well I recognise that there is a need to regulate, to regulate the construction of telecommunication tower. I recognise that, there is a need, there is surely a need. But why does the government set up such a company to regulate and in the course of it has to raise a fund of 400 million? 400 million for SACOFA. SACOFA has to raise a fund of 400 million to finance the construction of such towers while the construction of such towers are previously undertaken by telecommunication companies themselves, which means the government is incurring, incurring unnecessary fund to construct the telecommunication tower and then rent it out, of course, you will have some financial return. But, the initial 400 million loan was raised by SACOFA which the government is a shareholder but my argument is that why does the government need to spend such money? Need to borrow 400 million when telecommunication tower can do the job. We just set up a department, regulate, set down the guidelines, ok if you want to construct, you have to comply to certain regulation, certain guideline, that will suffice. Is there anything behind the cupboard, inside the cupboard which we can’t see? Just now I say I recognise the need to regulate.

Since the setting up of SACOFA, it seems there is no regulation apply for SACOFA to construct their telecommunication tower. Whenever you see a car park, an empty car park, just go there and draw some line out and then start constructing the telecommunication monopole, the tower. We received a lot of complaints in Sekama, car parks were taken up, twenty, thirty car parks were taken up to construct the telecommunication tower with the shophouses just about 20, 30 feet away. There is no set of rules applicable. In Sekama, in Pending, in Matang, Jalan Song and Batu Kawah. All these places, car parks which are meant, meant for shophouses in that area were just taken up by SACOFA and construct a monopole.

I believe if we have property, if we have a house or shop house which we invest, none of us here would like to have a telecommunication tower right in front of our house.

Though the government said that, claims that the electro-magnetic wave may not harm, may not be harmful to the residents around. But is there any solid evidence to say it is not harmful? No, no. Just that scientist up to now cannot bring up proof, direct evidence, cannot adduce direct evidence to link electro magnet exposure to electro magnetic wave to cancer. Just that scientist now, at this stage still cannot prove but the risk is still there and we don’t want to subject ourselves to such risks.

And if we don’t, the saying goes: “Do not do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you”. So why are we subjecting our people to such inconveniences. I understand whenever a developer wants to develop a shophouse, some commercial estates for certain number of shophouse for each of shophouse certain number of car parks has to be set aside surrender to the councils. That is some guideline in the Local Council. For each shophouse there must be some number of car parks. If you don’t supply or construct or surrender such car parks, such number of car parks to the Local Council, for each car parks you have to pay the councils RM10,000 to RM15,000, for each car parks less than the number that is in the directive. You have to pay the council.

Now why does the government now allow a company like SACOFA just come along and grab 10-20 car parks to construct their telecommunication tower? It makes a mockery of the requirement that certain number of shophouses you need certain number of car parks. It makes a mockery. And the residents concerned in this shophouses, some in residential area, their concern are not heard, are not taken heed of by SACOFA. In Jalan Song, it is just about fifteen feet in front of the shop house.

Tuan Speaker, imagine if you have invested in that shophouse, in the shophouse, that is about 800,000, 900,000 and after two years later SACOFA come along and constructed a tele-communication monopoles in front of the shophouse. How would you feel? How would one feel? But why are we subjecting? Why is government subjecting such unfair treatment on our people?. Therefore, I urge, I urge the government before further construction of such tele-communication tower by SACOFA, draw some guidelines for houses, construction of shop houses, you have a setbacks rule, whereby the distance of your wall to your fence or boundary there must be half the height or half the length. There’s a setback rule applicable for houses.

But why is there is no such setback rules for telecommunication tower? If we can remember, previously 10, 20, 30 years ago high tension cable, there is no one suggested that it has any link to leukemia but subsequently scientist found out that those residents staying under high tension cable area has leukemia, has the higher chance of getting the leukemia, cancer of the blood. That’s why I said, that’s why I said, only at this stage scientist can’t prove the direct link between chances of getting cancer to exposure of electro magnetic wave because this is still relatively new.

And for western countries there are certain meters, certain 150 meters under this high tension cable whereby you cannot construct any houses. Can the government implement such rules, regulations relating to the setback? Setback of shophouses, houses to this tele communication tower. Do not subject our people to such inconvenience, such worry in every life.

Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. Encik Lee Kim Shin): Tuan Speaker, point of clarification. How about the use of handphone? Could you explain and try to co-relate also with this tower transmission? What is the finding on the use of the handphone?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: That too!

Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. Encik Lee Kim Shin): Ya. That’s right.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Your question is not clear.

Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. Encik Lee Kim Shin): Now, you are saying that scientist can prove some of the side effects of this transmission tower? How about the use of handphone?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Ya. Use of handphone actually I read one article from internet. The link between use of handphone to brain tumor was started. The first person who just suggested on the idea is lawyer, in a court, in the legal career but I don’t know, I read from internet.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: Can I have one clarification please. If you are saying that there is this electro magnetic wave when the tower are built near to the shophouses, what is the relation? What about towers that are built on top of shophouses? Are they having electro magnetic wave also? These are the things that you have been fighting for, is it? You said those that are on top of the building should be allowed? And those outside cannot be allowed?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Did I say that it should be allowed? Did I say that it was..I said that previously they are constructing on the top of the roof of the shophouse but I didn’t say that I supported that. No..No. What I said was to regulate, to regulate. Okay you want to regulate, let’s set up proper guidelines, proper guidelines to regulate. Not just set up a company and raise a 400 million loan for the company and the company just go around everywhere, wherever suitable at their convenience they set up, they construct the tele-communication tower. This is ridiculous. This is not regulating. This is not regulating. Furthermore, to answer your question, previously on top of shophouse there is only used by one telco company. There is one set of antenna. Now, after the construction of the telecommunication tower, all the telco companies must rent that tower from SACOFA so there will be a concentration of different electro magnetic wave.

So, this is my appeal to the government before further constructing tele communication tower, draw up a proper guideline. If you want to regulate, regulate it properly. Not on the pretext of regulating, allowing some companies to make huge profit at the expense of the people, at the worries of the people.

The another point which I will come to is the 1st Silicon, the 1st Silicon. Well, our Honourable Minister has the other day given some explanation to the 1st Silicon issue. I just like to quote this from Moodies, an international rating company. Their comment which is published in The Edge Asia, an authority in this field in the economic, the authority in business field, The Edge. It says this, the Moodies, it said in the statement on July, 21st that 1st Silicon was an unprofitable state-owned semi conductor manufacturer. Moodies said the rating affirmation recognize Sarawak’s high debt burden. Actually Moodies rated Sarawak’s government financial position to be good, to be good but this is what he says. Moodies say the rating affirmation recognized Sarawak high debt burden and related debt servicing requirements that are viable both to the debt obligation it will assume in connection with the merger and tools, other financial obligation it has incurred in recent years. Moodies believed that, that capping, that capping of the State future exposure to 1st Silicon and the substantial financial cushion provided by the Sarawak’s reserves support the State’s credible accredit quality in its current level. This statement shows that Sarawak Government maintain a higher credit standing, rating or Moodie gave Sarawak government the higher rating because he has now cap, that means put a maximum limit to its future exposure to 1st Silicon. That means that 1st Silicon is not a good investment. Therefore, when we cap our future exposure, financial exposure, our liability, we improve in our credibility.

And now I go further down. Key to the rating at affirmation is Moodies’ expectation that state’s exposure to 1st Silicon will be limited to arrangement announced in the merger arrangement under which Sarawak ownership’s stake in 1st Silicon will be reduced from nearly 100% to 35%. The reduction in stake ownership will transfer, management control over the company from the State to the new shareholders and should relief the State of the need to make additional equity injection that might otherwise be required over the medium term.

As part of the merger agreement, Sarawak will assume, will assume 1st Silicon outstanding debt through two newly created state’s own purpose vehicles. They assume that the existing debt of other state related companies, the further liabilities related to the merger all contribute to the state’s relatively alleviated debt burden.

So, Tuan Speaker, I’ll show this house how much has the state invested or raised fund to inject into 1st Silicon. In March 1999, 1st Silicon obtained a syndicated loan of USD200 million from export credit agency of the Federal Republic of Germany, that is March 1999.

May 2000, it obtained a syndicated loan of USD800 million. July 2000, it obtained a syndicated loan of USD 180 million. In August 2000, it obtained a loan of USD 59.5 million and in December 2000 it obtained a syndicated loan of USD93.7 million. In June 2001, it obtained a syndicated loan of USD250 million and in October 2002 another restructuring and raised a loan of USD640 million. December 2004, government raised the SUKUK Fund USD350 million. In total, in total USD1.5 billion plus which is about 6 billion.

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Tuan Speaker, can I make point of clarification. The Honourable Member for Kota Sentosa must understand the reason behind the fund raising exercise, as you know as a matter of policy, the state would only undertake to raise fund if and only it has the financial strength, capacity and resources to meet the obligation to the one holders on the timely basis and additionally we don’t need the prudent for the state to proceed with this fund raising if the rating meets the imminent investment great. You know, you have said that, Standard and Poor and Moody investors services had given the state very high rating. Standard and Poor gave an A while Moody investors services accorded a B, A, A, 1 ratings and this ratings are reflection of our state strong financial and credit standing when it is which it has sustained over the year. Anyway I will give you more in my winding up speech.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I know, I know, we have, we have, high ratings. This is because our state is rich in resources. But, even if our state is rich in resources, should we squander, just squander our money like that. I think, I’ll give you the chance, not that I am giving you the chance, you will have the chance during the reply, the winding up speech. My time is precious. So, and having invested so much a raising US$350 million, setting up the special purpose like vehicle. After the merger, we lose control of the company. From 100 percent to 35 percent, which means this company is literally control by Germans. So, where have all our money gone and all these are the money from the rakyat and the people are going to pay for it, one way or another. That is the point I am driving at. We have money, yes we have rich natural resources but it has to be spent prudently and from what is reported in Moody and from the history of the cost of production to revenue which is two times cost of production, two times or three times the revenue. It is a failure. Just admit it. This is a bad investment by the State Government … (Interruption).

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): I just remind you. You can say it is an investment by the government which has gone wrong, but, you cannot, but you cannot say that the state is squandering the money. You make the statement, did you?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Such a large amount. A few billion has been lost if you don’t call it squander, I would not know what to describe this squander is. A few billion of our money has been lost. Billion not millions, billions has been lost and over a time frame of five years, six years, Tuan Speaker and Yang Berhormat Menteri suggest, I say that, well, we have created some employment opportunities for few hundreds of our people. But if this billions of dollars can be put to proper use, more proper use, better investment, more jobs can be created. One billion can make one thousand people a millionaire. Six billion can make six thousand person millionaire, over five years only, five, six years and given that, now, the government has raised along US$350 million, the Sukuk fund. So, that the merger arrangement will go through and the State Government absorbing all the financial burden. For debts US$350 million we are paying, 5.7% percent interest, 5.7, that was your word…(Interruption)

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): I know, 225 equivalent to RM850 million, Sukuk loans.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: But the announcement here was said, announcement by the 1st Silicon US$350 million. Well, 5.7%.…(Interruption)

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): I would like to know where your source of information is.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I think the Hansard, but, never mind, never mind, never mind on that. But the point is that billion has been lost. A 5.7% interest yearly whether on 250 billion or 350 billion, is a lot of money. Every year we are paying tons of billion, that tons of million on the loans and all these are borne by Sarawakians, the rakyat … (Interruption)

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Another point of clarification.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, it is okay. I think, I think you can clarify …(Interruption)

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): The business is still going on. You cannot determine that it is going to be a company that has lost everything. We are still going on … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Tuan Speaker, I think the Minister is not … (Interruption)

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): One day when we made the billions… (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Standing Order, I think, Tuan Speaker can … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: You proceed. You have five minutes more.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: You see! You see! That is why I don’t allow interjection anymore … (Laughter)

Tuan Speaker: I give you one minute injury time… (Laughter)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Thank you, Tuan Speaker. Normally they give four minutes in World Cup.

Tuan Speaker: No, I calculated the excuse. One minute… (Laughter)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Okay, okay. To conclude on 1st Silicon issue. I will call this the prodigal son of Sarawak, the prodigal son of Sarawak. Well, I think for the government to cut loss, selling away 65% it is, it is a wise decision. Why not just sell, 90%. That will further improve your Moody’s rating, and, but, coming back to it, someone must be held accountable for it. This is the highest crime to waste the public fund, billions of public fund. Is there anyone being held accountable, we would like to know, and in the Moody’s report, which I just, I just quoted, it seems that the government is also, borrowing some US$800 million bond issue by Sarawak international which is guarantee by SGOs Capital Holdings, I want to know, what is this US$800 million bond the money has raised to be used. This is also a point of interest. I think a point of concern which every Sarawakian wants to know. If the government start borrowing millions and millions and millions, hundreds of million, billions of ringgit of USD, and, when it is lost no one is held accountable to it, I don’t think we should encourage such practice, accountability, this is stress over and over again by the Prime Minister, I think the state, State Government, department should also adopt such principle of accountability and quickly on the other two points which I would like to address is, one is Developers Sale and Purchase Agreement.

Now, under the present of developers, Housing Developers Ordinance, the sale and purchase, standard Sale and Purchase Agreement, prescribed in the Ordinance, do not have any, do not provide for any percentage of the purchase price being held back by the purchaser. Pending, issuance of document of title. So, the problem faced by the house purchasers in Sarawak, here, is that having to pay 100% of the purchase price, the title is not issue and they are left to the mercy of the developer whether to go and apply for issuance of individual document of title, and we told that, for the issuance of individual document of title that is quite a hefty premium to be paid. Under the standard S & P, Sale and Purchase Agreement, the purchaser would have to pay out, 100% of the purchase price upon issuance of certificate of completion by the architect not even occupation permit, I think that is not fair. Certificate of completion by architect, some of them was issued without the window being installed. So, I would suggest that the Attorney General Department or the Housing, Ministry of Housing quickly make an amendment to the schedule Sale and Purchase Agreement. To provide for 5% to be the last, the second last 5% to be paid upon issuance of OP, occupation permit, and the final 5% to be paid upon issuance of title, then, we can have some justice and fairness to the house buyer.
Tuan Speaker: Yang Berhormat, you have to make your closing remark.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Alright. My closing remark would be the last point, Tuan Speaker. It is the problem faced by my constituency. These are flash flood problem. Flash flood problem in 7th mile, Kota Sentosa, whenever there is rain, heavy rain for one hour or half an hour the roads are flooded. At times, even going to the water level rises to the shop, the ground floor of the shophouses. The problem rise with improper, insufficient study of irrigation, drainage and irrigation in the area, because it is such a rapidly developed area. The existing drainage system cannot cater for the number of sudden increase of the houses in the area. Therefore, the discharge of water, rainwater is not quick enough, so, resulting in flash flood problem. So, I hope, the Local Council or the Housing Ministry when approving development plans or even now, should make a thorough, thorough study of the irrigation system, drainage system. Irrigation and drainage system in all rapidly growing housing estates or area, so, that, the residence would not be facing such flash flood problem. Now, what they are suffering is that, two hours of rain, they have to move their goods onto the stools or table and these are the real problem faced by the people. So, I hope the Ministry can come out quickly, come out with a plan, how to, an overall master plan, how to tackle this problem, how the drain must be constructed, what is the level, how wide, all these must be done urgently given the area, Kota Sentosa area is being developed in the fast phase. With that I, conclude my speech.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Balai Ringin. Before you start, Honourable Member, can I have a show of hands, how many Members want to speak this evening. Two more, two more, under Standing Order 9 (1) sitting goes beyond 6:30 pm. Please proceed.

Y.B. Encik Snowdan Lawan: Tuan Speaker, terlebih dahulu saya ingin mengucapkan terima kasih kerana diberi peluang untuk bersama-sama dengan Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat yang lain di Dewan yang mulia ini untuk mengucapkan setinggi-tinggi terima kasih kepada Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak, Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Muhammad Salahuddin yang telah merasmikan Pembukaan Persidangan Penggal Pertama Dewan Undangan Negeri ini. Terima kasih juga diucapkan di atas ucapan dan nasihat beliau kepada Dewan yang mulia ini tentang beberapa perkara yang akan menjadi panduan bagi kita untuk membangunkan Negeri Sarawak, Bumi Kenyalang yang kita cintai ini.

His Excellency, in his opening address among others, has touched on the socio-economic transformation experienced in the state as well as the importance of preserving unity, harmony and political stability among our people.

Tuan Speaker, His Excellency also reminded us of our responsibilities as elected representatives of the people. As a newly elected member of this august House, it is a timely reminder to me to always stay focus on what I have to do for the people, the constituency and our beloved State of Sarawak especially when we are entering an exciting era with the implementation of the Ninth Malaysia Plan, Vision 2020 and above all the second phase of the State’s Politics of Development right within our midst.

Tuan Speaker, the tremendous progress achieved in our State of Sarawak as conveyed in the address of Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri is made possible through the excellent leadership of our beloved Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri, Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud. This success story of ours should further inspire everyone to contribute and participate actively in developing our beloved State of Sarawak.

State General Election 2006

Tuan Speaker, my heartiest congratulations to Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud for leading the Barisan Nasional to yet another successful victory in the recent State General Election and my personal thanks to his goodself for having the confidence to nominate me to represent the Barisan Nasional in the new constituency of Balai Ringin. My congratulations also go to all elected members of this august House. I believe we all have a heavy responsibility to see that our beloved Bumi Kenyalang will continue to forge ahead in development and attain a developed status together with the rest of the other states in Malaysia.

Human Capital and Human Resource Development

Tuan Speaker, since taking over the helm of government, Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri and his government recognize the importance of investing in human capital and thus adopt human resource approach as the basis and impetus of the state’s overall development. For example, the emergence of various IPTA (Public Higher Institution of Learning) such as UNIMAS, UiTM, Kuching Politeknik and Swinburne University Sarawak; and IPTS (Private Higher Institution of Learning) such as Inti College, Curtin University Miri, United College Sarawak and others shows how serious and, if I may say, how successful the state has gone in developing our human capital. The involvement of Jabatan KEMAS, Jabatan Pertanian, Jabatan Kesihatan and others in imparting knowledge to create awareness on various issues to enhance good attitude and practise among the rural people is commendable. The involvement of Yayasan Sarawak in granting scholarships and study loans to enable deserving students to study locally and overseas to acquire new knowledge and skills is also commendable. This speaks volumes of Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri’s far-sightedness and wisdom in the aspects of human capital development.

Sarawak As a Fast Developing State

Tuan Speaker, with Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri’s proven leadership and his deep convictions, Sarawak has evolved from a lesser known ‘hornbill state’ compared to other Malaysian states, to a fast developing entity with advancement in all aspects of development. Sarawak is now one of the fastest growing states in the country. This can be gauged, among others, by:

(a) Our per capita nominal GDP of Sarawak rose 2.8 times from RM7,467 in 1990 to RM21,260 in 2005. This compares well with Malaysia’s per capita nominal GDP of RM17,687 in 2005.

(b) On employment, the number of people employed rose by 31.5% from 698,900 persons in 1990 to 919,100 persons in 2005, showing that we have been able to create jobs for our people.

(c) The unemployment rate in the state fell sharply from 9.9% in 1990 to 3.8% in 2005. This in no doubt attributed to the efforts of the state government in development and promoting economic growth.

Balanced Development In All Sectors Of The Economy

Tuan Speaker, we have a situation that while the urban areas as in Samajaya, Pending and Bako industrial areas benefited from industrial growth, the rural areas have also their fair share of growth and development as seen in the RGSs. The rural sector continues to get the special attention of the government. Generally speaking, there is a balanced development in all sectors. This is to ensure that no one is deliberately left out in the development process unless they chose to. And neither is progress achieved at the expense of anyone at all. We have made significant headway in moving the economy up the value chain through the investment made by high-tech industries. On the other hand, the modernization and commercialization of our agricultural sector such as the oil palm manufacturing industries and timber processing industries are progressing while the traditional small holding agricultural sector is also not being overlooked but simultaneously being transformed to increase their efficiency and productivity.

Private Investment

Tuan Speaker, above all, the accelerated public sector investment on the state is not done at the expense of the private sector as the latter plays an increasingly effective and dynamic role in the timber industry and agro based activities. And now they are showing increasing interest in the tourist market. Mind you, the private sector is not left entirely on their own as their activities are done with government’s assistance through the provision of research and development and training facilities. The timber companies and plantation companies are big timers but the private tourism players are generally small and medium size. In an age of active competition especially in areas where we have to compete with other countries for a share of the market, our private companies will have to be sufficiently large and here, I would like to suggest that our tourism players-travel agents, tour operators, restaurants, and other amalgamate themselves to be effective in the global scenario.

Improvement in Quality of Life

Tuan Speaker, as long as I can recall, life among the people of Sarawak has improved with time. With a pragmatic, appropriate and acceptable approach to development as advocated by our beloved Yang Amat Berhormat Chief Minister’s Politics of Development, we can confidently look forward to a remarkably transformed State of Sarawak. The politics of development, which requires the full participation of the people, the government and the political leaders, has indeed created dramatic waves in uplifting the quality of life of the people in Sarawak. The State Government’s plan in charting our economic development in the next 15 years until 2020 was clearly spelt out in the Sarawak Perspective Plan for the Ninth Malaysian Plan that was table in this august House on 20th April, 2006. Thus, the second wave of our politics of development will definitely propel the state into a vibrant advanced stage of transformation, sweeping away any negativity and obstacles. I can obviously visualize Sarawak in a fully developed stage of development with its physical, social and economic transformation far beyond the expectations and imagination of many, especially the skeptics.

Cultural Resilience in the Wake of Rapid Development

Tuan Speaker, we in Sarawak indeed have an identity of our own. Sarawakians have always been known to be hospitable and friendly yet aggressively excel in academic performance, technology, sciences and other disciplines both within Malaysia and the global scenario. The beauty of our people is that, though progressing materialistically, we have not sacrificed our basic human, cultural and social values. In many ways, we are more fortunate and privileged than most other developed and developing countries is that despite our material progress, our people have not foregone their spiritual and emotional stability.

Strong State-Federal Government Relationship

Tuan Speaker, at this juncture it is also appropriate to record our appreciation to the Federal Government for their co-operation and sensitivity towards the needs and aspirations of the people of Sarawak. It stands on record that ever since Sarawak was part of Malaysia, our state has always been accorded reasonable priority in our development initiatives. The seed of excellent State-Federal relationship was shown by none other than our beloved Yang Amat Berhormat Chief Minister and nurtured over the years by his diplomacy and excellent stewardship. And at the political level, relationship between the Semenanjung Barisan Nasional parties and our State Barisan Nasional components is very good compared to previous years. This was seen in the last state election when we were given much support from our Barisan Nasional colleagues from Semenanjung and Sabah. We are also grateful to the Federal Government for the reasonably large chunk of development allocation under the Ninth Malaysia Plan. This is a manifestation of the confidence of the Federal Government in the ability and wisdom of our State Government and state leadership to perform and deliver.

Urban Migration

Tuan Speaker, tracing the growth of our manufacturing sector, the food industry, construction, housing and hotel industry, all in the town areas I cannot but notice the role of our rural population in assisting to provide the much needed manpower. In fact, some sectors or industries would have to cease operation during major festive season because of the balik kampung break undertaken by their staff. As a representative of a rural constituency, I am proud that our rural constituents do contribute significantly to the development activities in the urban areas. With that, I hereby, I wish to appeal to all company managements to always take care of their workers’ welfare, rewards and wages.

Tuan Speaker, as we all are aware, normally people from the rural areas come to the towns and cities to seek employment and economic opportunities. In doing so, these rural migrants will be initially met by a totally different and an unfamiliar environment in the urban areas. In this respect, I urge the relevant authorities should consider some forms of mechanism to assist these rural migrants in their transition to participate in the urban set up. This will minimize the chance of these migrants to fall into insurmountable problems that could lead them to compromise their values such as patriotism, gratitude, integrity, and so forth human values which are the foundation of a truly developed state. It is important to note that, if the people have a correct mindset and a proper appreciative perspective, then they will be really grateful with what the Barisan Nasional Government has done. As a result, they will find nothing attractive in what the other parties has to offer.

Electricity

Tuan Speaker, now I would like to touch on matters affecting my constituency, Balai Ringin. Personally, I would like to record my appreciation to Yang Amat Berhormat Timbalan Perdana Menteri for officiating at a function in Lachau Bazaar on 19th May, 2006 and his assurance that electricity supply would be extended to areas in Balai Ringin constituency which still do not have this facility. I am sure that the relevant authorities will follow up on this matter. On this, I do not doubt and in anticipation of their implementation, I thank them in advance.

Tuan Speaker, actually in this august House on 12th December, 2003, it was mentioned that electricity supply would be extended from Selepong until Balai Ringin Bazaar. So far, only the stretch from Selepong to Ran has been completed. I hope that the supply of electricity from Ran to Balai Ringin Bazaar will be expedited soon. So also is the extension of electricity supply to residents of Simpang Simunjan and along Simpang Punda-Simunjan Road.

Request for Rural Growth Centre (RGC)

The concept of Rural Growth Centres (RGCs) has aroused enthusiastic response from the people of Balai Ringin and they are excitingly looking forward to the possibility of participating and benefiting from it. As each Rural Growth Centre will be a settlement of at least 5,000 people with an overall potential to ensure its viability and sustainability as growth centre, I propose that the area around Lachau Bazaar be suitably chosen because of its strategic locality. This proposed growth centre will benefit people from both constituencies of Balai Ringin and Bukit Begunan and as the saying goes and I do not meant it literally "killing two birds with one stone". The areas within this growth centre indeed have vast potential for economic growth.

Request for Oil Palm Plantation for Kedumpai Polling District

Tuan Speaker, development of large scale agriculture has always been in the hearts and minds of rural constituents and it is always a cherished dream of theirs. To many commercialized agriculture is one of the very few options for them to ensure their gateway to progress and advancement. And indeed, Tuan Speaker, in spite of this, some people are anti-development in their approach with nothing else better to advocate for have deliberately "pour cold water" dampening the peoples' enthusiasm to participate in a venture that can possibly release them from the bondage of poverty.

At this juncture, I would like to convey that the people of Kedumpai Polling District have approached me proposing that an oil palm plantation be developed in their area. They requested for assistance on how to go about it. I am very touched by the initiative taken by the people to respond to development efforts of the government and with this positive mindset prevailing among our people, I am optimistic that under the present state leadership, Sarawak will be a fully developed state well ahead of the target schedule.

Request for Infrastructure

Tuan Speaker, another subject I want to bring up is the construction of a bridge over Batang Seterap to improve accessibility to Pantu Bazaar and open up the hinterland area on the other side of the river for development. The way I look at it, this bridge is the "missing link" in bringing about development to the affected areas and will deprive the opposition of an issue to harp on as they used to every election. I understand that the Honourable Minister for Infrastucture has given a reply and I would like to thank him for the reply and I would like to draw the attention that I hope the construction of the bridge can be given priority under the Ninth Malaysia Plan. I think he was mentioning the costing to be built was about RM10 million.

So likewise, the extension of the construction and completion of Jalan Kepayang/Kedumpai feeder road from Kampung Kedumpai to Kampung Sungai Indai and Kampung Mentu will similarly stimulate development efforts. So also it is the upgrading of gravel roads in Kampung Ensebang Plaie and Melikin.

Concluding Remarks

To conclude, Tuan Speaker, last but not least, I would like to take this time to re-emphasize the desirable needs of residents living in the vicinity of the trunk road from Balai Ringin Bazaar to Abok are in dire need of treated water supply for their families.

Therefore, Tuan Speaker, with these comments, I fully support the Motion of Appreciation to Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri.

Sekian, terima kasih.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Daro.

Y.B. Encik Murni bin Suhaili: Terima kasih, Tuan Speaker.

Tuan Speaker, terima kasih kerana memberi peluang di Dewan yang mulia untuk mengambil bahagian dalam perbahasan Usul Penghargaan di atas Ucapan Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak pada pembukaan Persidangan Penggal Pertama Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak yang keenam belas pada 24 Julai 2006.

Saya mengambil peluang ini untuk mengucapkan setinggi-tinggi penghargaan kepada Tuan Yang Terutama di atas Ucapan yang amat bernas, disertai dengan panduan serta arah tuju kepimpinan negeri. Saya yakin Ucapan Tuan Yang Terutama juga menyemarakkan semangat kita untuk menyumbang terus menerus, dengan cara yang terbaik, membantu memperkukuhkan jentera Pentadbiran Kerajaan agar segala bidang pembangunan yang tersenarai dalam Ucapan Tuan Yang Terutama mencapai matlamatnya. Dengan demikian, kehidupan rakyat Bumi Kenyalang akan bertambah baik, ceria, harmoni dan sejahtera.
Tuan Speaker, sekalipun bertaraf orang baru di Dewan mulai ini, saya sentiasa mengikuti kemajuan negeri ini dari banyak segi, politik, sekonomi mahupun sosial semasa bertugas sebagai pegawai kerajaan. Dari itu, saya boleh menyimpulkan bahawa selama berada di bawah naungan pemerintahaan Tuan Yang Terutama, Bumi Kenyalang telah menikmati kesejahteraan, pembangunan yang menyerlah serta menyeluruh dan kestabilan yang berterusan. Rakyat sedar betapa aroma kemajuan serta pembangunan yang diwarisi ini perlu dipertahankan.

Perpaduan dan Keharmonian Rakyat

Tuan Speaker, perpaduan adalah asas kepada semua kemajuan yang dinikmati oleh masyarakat kita. Perpaduan juga yang menyumbang kepada keharmonian serta kestabilan negeri dan negara kita. Bagi saya, perpaduan dalam kontek pengertian kita di Sarawak tidak cuma dihadkan kepada perpaduan kaum semata-mata. Istilah perpaduan harus merangkumi perpaduan serta keharmonian keluarga. Keluarga yang bermasalah akan mendatangkan kesan negatif ke atas perpaduan masyarakat. Di sinilah letaknya keprihatinan serta kebijaksanaan Tuan Yang Terutama kita. Tuan Yang Terutama telah dengan jelas mengajak rakyat bersatu dan mengajak masyarakat mengukuhkan institusi kekeluargaan yang sedia ada.

Kedua-duanya dilakukan melalui agenda sosial negeri di bawah kendalian Kementerian Pembangunan Sosial dan Urbanisasi Sarawak dengan bantuan pelbagai agensi serta pertubuhan yang berkaitan. Saya beranggapan teguran tersebut jelas ditujukan kepada kita semua dan juga kepada pihak-pihak yang terlibat secara langsung atau tidak langsung yang dalam pelaksanaan tugas yang murni ini. Agensi-agensi atau pertubuhan-pertubuhan berkaitan perlu serius, aktif, kreatif dan dinamik dalam melaksanakan tugas dan tanggungjawab tersebut. Tugas-tugas begini perlu dilakukan tanpa membataskannya pada atau semasa menyambut acara-acara tertentu sahaja. Agensi-agensi kerajaan yagn bertanggungjawab perlu bertindak sebagai mentor kepada pertubuhan-pertubuhan yang menggerakkan pelbagai aktiviti perpaduan, berteraskan matlamat yang jelas serta yang mampu meninggalkan impak yang menyeluruh serta berkekalan.

Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan

Tuan Speaker, negeri kita negeri bertuah. Pemimpin kita berjiwa besar. Mereka mempunyai visi dan misi mantap tentang hala tuju pembangunan negeri tercinta ini. Mereka mempunyai acuan dan cara tersendiri untuk memastikan segala yang telah dirancangkan itu tercapai.

Pengenalan serta perlaksanaan rancangan demi rancangan pembangunan Malaysia, ringkasnya Rancangan Malaysia, yang disusun secara rapi serta dibahas secara terperinci dan mendalam, telah berjaya membawa Malaysia amnya dan Sarawak khasnya, mencapai tahap kemajuan yang amat ketara serta yang kita semua banggakan pada hari ini.

Pada tahun ini, Rancangan Malaysia, edisi kesembilannya, akan kita laksanakan. Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan ini, bukan sahaja akan menjana pembangunan yang berterusan, bahkan juga akan bertindak melindungi masyarakat dan negeri kita dalam menghadapi cabaran dunia yang kian rumit serta mencabar, berikutan tercetusnya ledakan serta perkembangan teknologi maklumat dan kesan globalisasi yang sukar kita bendung pada hari ini.

Kenyataan ini telah juga ditekankan oleh Tuan Yang Terutama dalam Ucapan beliau. Konsep, intipati dan kaedah perlaksanaan Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan perlu disampaikan sejelas-jelasnya kepada rakyat. Inilah tugas dan tanggungjawab kita semua di Dewan yang mulai ini. Demikian juga, semua agensi kerajaan yang berpentingan dalam pelaksanaan Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan wajar memastikan program dan projek yang dijanji tanggungjawab mereka dijelaskan kepada rakyat secara mudah dan terperinci supaya tidak berlaku salah tafsir di kalangan mereka.

Selain itu, penerangan ini juga bertujuan untuk mengelakkan fakta tentang Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan ini diputarbelitkan oleh pihak-pihak yang mudah mengambil kesempatan atas kejahilan rakyat.


Tuan Speaker, N.37—Daro sebenarnya telah mencipta sejarah dalam konteks pilihanraya negeri Sarawak pada kali ini. Sejarah dicipta di Daro apabila bukan saja kerusi Dewan Undangan Negeri itu merupakan kerusi baru, bahkan juga kerusi baru itu dimenangi tanpa bertanding oleh calon wakil rakyat dari Parti PBB, Barisan Nasional dengan kemengan tanpa bertanding ini saya amat berterima kasih kepada semua penyokong Barisan Nasional di N.37—Daro.

Tuan Speaker, bercakap tentang keperluan untuk penduduk di Kawasan N.37—Daro, saya terlebih dahulu mengucapkan terima kasih kerana diberi peluang untuk mengemukakan permohonan ini. Pada masa ini, saya beranggapan keperluan utama penduduk di kawasan saya adalah dari segi pemilikan infrastruktur khasnya jalan raya yang sempurna. Sesetengah jalan raya di kawasan ini masih berada dalam keadaan asalnya, iaitu belum diturap sejak pembinaannya.

Dalam hal ini, saya merujuk kepada Jalan Tanjung Jol-Nangar-Daro, panjangnya sembilan kilometer. Sejak 1993 dan sehingga kini, jalan berkenaan hanya berpasir dan berbatu, selain sering menimbulkan masalah kepada para pengguna terutama pada musim tengkujuh. Permohonan untuk menurapkan jalan berkenaan oleh penduduk di situ telah beberapa kali disampaikan kepada pihak-pihak yang berkaitan, namun sampai sekarang belum menjadi kenyataan. Saya berharap kali ini, agensi yang berkaitan akan mengutamakan permohonan tersebut. Saya beranggapan jalan tersebut penting bagi menjalankan aktiviti-aktiviti ekonomi penduduk di situ. Saya benar-benar berharap jalan tersebut dapat diturap secepat mungkin.

Tuan Speaker, seterusnya saya memohon kepada agensi yang berkaitan, untuk membina sebuah wharf ataupun dermaga baru di Pekan Daro. Pada tahun 70an wharf yang sedia ada sekarang pernah menyaksikan sebuah kapal pelarian Vietnam, yang penuh sesak dengan penumpangnya, berlabuh di situ. Kini wharf berkenaan sudah tidak berfungsi kerana terdampar di darat, bukan lagi di tebing sungai seperti dulu, akibat pemendapan pantai. Wharf khas untuk bot ekspres yang terletak di tebing sungai berdepan pasar Daro pula mengambil alih tugas tersebut. Wharf ini serta para penumpang bot ekspres serta tongkang sering menghadapi masalah apabila air surut. Pada masa ini bot-bot ekspres mahupun tongkang yang membawa penumpang dan kargo terpaksa berlabuh di muara Sungai Daro menunggu sehingga air pasang sebelum berlabuh di wharf berkenaan. Kejadian ini jelas menimbul kesulitan kepada penumpang dan peniaga. Pada masa yang sama kos membawa penumpang dan barangan dari luar ke Daro melalui jalan darat adalah tinggi. Oleh itu, penduduk Daro merasakan bahawa segala kesulitan yang dihadapi dapat diatasi dengan adanya dermaga baru itu. Lokasi yang sesuai cadangan saya bagi dermaga baru ini ialah di Tanjung Samong berhampiran muara Sungai Tebaang Kecil, yang terletak kira-kira sepuluh minit perjalanan, melalui darat dari Daro. Sungai di situ dalam dan amat sesuai untuk pembinaan dermaga yang akan menampung fungsi sebagai wharf bagi bot ekspres dan tongkang.

Tuan Speaker, bidang pelancongan menjanjikan masa depan yang cerah untuk negeri Sarawak. Perkara ini telah juga dijelaskan dalam ucapan Tuan Yang Terutama. Selain menambah pendapatan negeri dan rakyat, pelancongan menyediakan peluang pekerjaan kepada penduduk setempat, selain berupaya menarik pelabur, sekaligus, dari kalangan sektor swasta untuk memajukan industri pelancongan tempatan. Dalam hal ini, N.37 - Daro turut memiliki kelebihan yang tersendiri serta berpotensi besar untuk dimajukan sebagai pusat tarikan pelancongan yang popular. Kawasan Paya Bakau Air Tawar di Pasin, satu-satunya kawasan Paya Bakau Air Tawar di Sarawak, dan mungkin juga di dunia, kaya dengan flora dan faunanya yang tersendiri, udang dan buaya, serta menjadikan kawasan ini sesuai dimajukan sebagai pusat ekotourism yang menarik. Yang diperlukan cuma kelulusan daripada agensi yang berkaitan, penyediaan infrastruktur yang sempurna, penglibatan pemaju pelancongan dan sebagainya. Saya berharap kementerian yang berkaitan akan mengambil langkah-langkah yang difikirkan sesuai untuk merealisasikan cadangan tersebut.

Di Daro sendiri terdapat satu terusan yang bersejarah iaitu Terusan Ekmen, yang menghubungkan Pekan Matu dan Daro, yang boleh dimajukan sebagai kawasan yang menempatkan aktiviti-aktiviti pelancongan seperti pengembaraan sungai, bird watching, safari sungai dan lain-lain. Pelancong-pelancong juga boleh dibawa melihat dan merasai sendiri proses pembuatan minyak se-Q.

Manakala, educational tourism boleh berpusat di Pulau Tun Ahmad Zaidi di muara Sungai Daro. Pekan Daro sendiri dengan mercu tanda ikan terubuknya berupaya menarik pelancong dari luar ke situ. Sehubungan dengan cadangan-cadangan berkaitan, Program homestay boleh dibentuk untuk menampung keperluan pelancong-pelancong yang berkunjung.

Tuan Speaker, selain daripada keperluan yang telah dinyatakan tadi, saya memohon pertimbangan pihak-pihak yang berkaitan untuk menyediakan perkhidmatan lain yang sangat-sangat diperlukan di N.37—Daro, terutama oleh penduduk beberapa perkampungan berhampiran Pekan Daro. Di antara keperluan-keperluan itu, ialah sebuah bank komersial di Pekan Daro. Pada masa ini perkhidmatan seumpama itu hanya disediakan oleh Bank Pertanian yang bergerak dari Sarikei dan beroperasi di Daro secara berkala. Khidmat begini tidak lagi sesuai pada hari ini di Daro yang kini semakin berkembang, selari dengan kemajuan yang berlaku di Bahagian Mukah. Seiring dengan perkembangan Pekan Daro dan perluasan kampung-kampung berhampiran, keperluan terhadap khidmat bomba amat dirasai. Saya berharap agensi berkaitan dapat menimbang untuk mewujudkan sebuah balai bomba untuk menampung keperluan-keperluan tersebut.

Tuan Speaker, N.37—Daro adalah sebuah kawasan pertanian. Tanahnya boleh dimanfaatkan untuk penanaman pelbagai jenis tanaman, termasuklah kelapa sawit. Saya ingin mencadangkan agar sebuah kawasan yang luas di daerah Daro dimajukan dengan skim penanaman kelapa sawit. Sehubungan dengan itu LCDA dan Felcra dialu-alukan untuk melakukan kajian feasibiliti tentang kesesuaian penanaman kelapa sawit di situ. Kehadiran ladang-ladang kelapa sawit di daerah lain berhampiran telah juga mendorong penduduk Daro untuk ikut serta dalam skim seumpama itu. Malah pemilik-pemilik tanah terbiar berhampiran dengan kawasan yang telah dikenalpasti itu juga menyatakan kesanggupan untuk menyertai skim tersebut. Saya yakin pengenalan skim kelapa sawit di kawasan Daro bukan sahaja akan menjana peluang-peluang baru dan tambahan, bahkan mampu menambah pendapatan penduduk di situ, khasnya para petani. Malah secara umum skim begini mampu merancakkan serta menyemarakkan aktiviti-aktiviti ekonomi di kawasan N.37—Daro.

Untuk mengakhiri ucapan saya, dengan ini, saya menyokong usul penghargaan atas ucapan Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri. Terima kasih.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat, dengan ucapan daripada Yang Berhormat Daro maka berakhirlah sidang kita pada hari ini. Sehingga kita berjumpa lagi pada esok jam 9:00 pagi.

(Mesyuarat ditangguhkan pada jam 6:48 petang)
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Mesyuarat DUN Sarawak 26 Julai 2006
Date: Jul 30th, 2006 4:56:13 am - Subscribe
Mood: hella


[Tuan Speaker mempengerusikan Mesyuarat]

Tuan Speaker: Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat, I would like to make the following announcement. Pursuant to Standing Order 69(1), I have appointed the following Honourable Members to be members of the Standing Orders and Selection Committee for this session:

Y.A.B. Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib bin Mahmud;
Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam;
Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang;
Y.B. Dato Sri Dr. James Jemut anak Masing;
and I as Speaker shall be the Chairman of the Committee

PERTANYAAN-PERTANYAAN BAGI JAWAPAN LISAN

RUBBER SMALL HOLDER SCHEME

(54) Y.B. Encik Mong anak Dagang asked the Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Modernization of Agriculture: Under RMK9 whether the government has any plan to introduce rubber small holder scheme. If yes, whether there is any specific area in the state that has been designated for this purpose.

OIL PALM AND RUBBER MINI ESTATES

(59) Y.B. Encik Roland Sagah Wee Inn asked the Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Modernization of Agriculture: Under the Ninth Malaysia Plan there are allocations for Oil Palm and Rubber Mini Estates, what are the criteria for setting up of these mini estates, who can apply, how and to whom do they apply for the setting up of such mini estate using government assistance:

BANTUAN TERHADAP PEKEBUN KECIL GETAH

(70) Y.B. Dr. Abdul Rahman Ismail bertanya kepada Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Permodenan Pertanian: Apakah ada rancangan Kerajaan Negeri untuk membantu pekekun-pekebun kecil getah di seluruh negeri untuk menanam getah kahwin di kebun-kebun perseorangan dalam Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan?

SUBSIDY SCHEME

(87) Y.B. Encik Joseph Mauh anak Ikeh asked the Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Modernization of Agriculture: Whether there are any plan by State Government under the Ninth Malaysia Plan to provide subsidy scheme to the rural farmers to plant oil palm and rubber planting scheme (RPS) in view of the increasing in price and the great demand for oil palm and rubber in the present global market.

Menteri Muda Pertanian (Organisasi Petani dan Koperasi) (Y.B. Datuk Peter Nyarok anak Entrie): Tuan Speaker, saya ingin menjawab soalan No. (54) daripada Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Bukit Begunan serentak dengan soalan-soalan No. (59), No. (70) dan (87) daripada Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Tarat…(Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Tunggu dulu., (59)?

Menteri Muda Pertanian (Organisasi Petani dan Koperasi) (Y.B. Datuk Peter Nyarok anak Entrie): (70) dan (87).

Tuan Speaker: (87).

Menteri Muda Pertanian (Organisasi Petani dan Koperasi) (Y.B. Datuk Peter Nyarok anak Entrie): Daripada Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Tarat, Bukit Kota dan Tamin.

Tuan Speaker, for the information of the Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat for Tarat, Bukit Begunan, Tamin dan Bukit Kota, under the Ninth Malaysia Plan the government will continue to provide assistance to small holders to plant rubber. Planting of rubber will be done under two approaches, both of which emphasize on the group planting, namely mini-estates and block planting. Under the mini-estate approach, the minimum of each mini-estate is about 100 hectares. Sri Aman, Betong and Sarikei Divisions are earmarked for mini-estates. Block planting involving a minimum of 20 hectares per block will be implemented in other divisions.

All small holders who are head of the households having title and NCR lands are eligible to apply. Application forms are available at the agriculture offices in the districts. Their applications are to be forwarded to the Department of Agriculture. The approval will be subject to land status, soil suitability and availability of fund.

For the information of Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat for Tamin and Tarat, under the Ninth Malaysia Plan no new areas will be assisted by Department of Agriculture for small holder oil palm planting except for the Eighth Malaysia Plan continuation programme. However, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) through a unit called TUNAS (Tunjuk Ajar dan Nasihat Sawit) is providing free seedlings as well as technical and agronomic services to small holders who participate in the assistance of quality oil palm seedling scheme. Successful participants may also apply for soft loan from Bank Pertanian Malaysia for the purpose of buying fertilizer and other agri-chemicals.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat for Tamin.

Y.B. Encik Joseph Mauh anak Ikeh: (Supplementary Question) Thank you, Tuan Speaker. I just come to understand that there are various types of rubber clone in Malaysia or in Sarawak. Now, can the Honourable Minister tell this august House what is the latest clone that can produce a lot of latex? Thank you very much.

Menteri Muda Pertanian (Organisasi Petani dan Koperasi) (Y.B. Datuk Peter Nyarok anak Entrie): Yes, it is a new clone being done by Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia and this is already implemented in some areas. The description is the trees are rather tall and produce a lot of latex so I can’t exactly remember the name of the clone.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pemodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): Yang Berhormat Tuan Speaker.

Tuan Speaker: Yes, Deputy Chief Minister.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pemodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): It is called LTC Series 2000.

Tuan Speaker: That is the name. Ahli Yang Berhormat for Tarat.

Y.B. Encik Roland Sagah Wee Inn: (Supplementary Question) The Honourable Minister mentioned that MPOB will provide the technical, the tunjuk ajar and nasihat for planting of oil palm and that a soft loan may be obtained from Bank Pertanian Malaysia. What are the criteria to apply for this loan?

Menteri Muda Pertanian (Organisasi Petani dan Koperasi) (Y.B. Datuk Peter Nyarok anak Entrie): I think anybody can apply from Bank Pertanian. I think the normal rate is as usual for Bank Pertanian and the seedlings are provided by the Ministry of Plantation Services and Commodity and the MPOB were asked to manage these seedlings that are provided for the small holder farmers. I understand that this year they will give about 10 million and the process of applications from various small holders are going on.

Y.B. Encik Roland Sagah Wee Inn: Tuan Speaker, what I am driving at is whether Bank Pertanian would give loan with security or without security?

Menteri Muda Pertanian (Organisasi Petani dan Koperasi) (Y.B. Datuk Peter Nyarok anak Entrie): Normally the loan, if I am not mistaken, used to have collateral. It is either in the form of land or in the form of somebody guarantee.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Kemena.

Y.B. Dr. Stephen Rundi Utom: Tuan Speaker, thank you very much. Regarding the question by Honourable Member for Tarat, on the same subject, I want to know how many planters have received these facilities, loan in Sarawak. And how many have been successful.

Menteri Muda Pertanian (Organisasi Petani dan Koperasi) (Y.B. Datuk Peter Nyarok anak Entrie): You mean the loan from Bank Pertanian, is it?

Tuan Speaker: How many have given loan and how many are successful? Okay.

Menteri Muda Pertanian (Organisasi Petani dan Koperasi) (Y.B. Datuk Peter Nyarok anak Entrie): I think I am not sure, I don’t have the answer now.

Tuan Speaker: Any more supplementary question? Honourable Member for Bukit Kota.

Y.B. Dr. Abdul Rahman bin Ismail: Tuan Speaker, soalan tambahan. Bolehkah Yang Berhormat Menteri menyatakan berapakah peruntukan penanaman getah bagi Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan dan adakah ianya diagih-agihkan sama rata ke seluruh bahagian di Sarawak?

Menteri Muda Pertanian (Organisasi Petani dan Koperasi) (Y.B. Datuk Peter Nyarok anak Entrie): You mean for the … (Interruption)

Y.B. Dr. Abdul Rahman bin Ismail: Penanaman getah. Peruntukan bagi Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan.

Tuan Speaker: Tanaman getah.

Menteri Muda Pertanian (Organisasi Petani dan Koperasi) (Y.B. Datuk Peter Nyarok anak Entrie): We are still finalizing on how much peruntukan because we also request from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, so our PS is still waiting for how much to be given to Sarawak under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

Y.B. Encik Gabriel Adit anak Demong: Last one.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Ngemah.

Y.B. Encik Gabriel Adit anak Demong: Given the great interest in all these rubber and oil palm, can we have the ministry arrange a dialogue with all those authorities so that we can get the real information not the, you know, hear say information, the real people to come, the Ministry, the Agriculture, Federal Ministry of Agriculture so that we know right to the very detail. Can we do that?

Menteri Muda Pertanian Organisasi Petani dan Koperasi) (Y.B. Datuk Peter Nyarok anak Entrie): Yes. I will make sure that our Permanent Secretary in the Department of Agriculture with the Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat who are interested in this.

LAKU WATER PIPE

(55) Y.B. Encik Chiew Chiu Sing asked the Minister for Public Utilities: The measures that would be taken by LAKU to overcome the low pipe water pressure as experienced by the home owners of the residential estates like Taman Hilltop and Taman Pine Avenue at the Nyigu and Sibiew roads as well as other areas in Bintulu. Many cannot get water coming in from the LAKU water pipe line each day from 5pm-9pm.

Menteri Muda Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Encik Sylvester Entri anak Muran): Tuan Speaker, untuk makluman Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Kidurong, kawasan yang dinyatakan iaitu Taman Hilltop dan Pine Avenue terletak di kawasan tanah tinggi. Apabila pelan retikulasi air dikemukakan untuk kelulusan, pihak pemaju telah dinasihati mengenai tekanan air yang rendah yang disebabkan oleh kawasan yang tinggi. Pihak pemaju kawasan tersebut juga dinasihati untuk membekalkan tangki simpanan air supaya pengguna dapat memperolehi air di waktu tekanan air yang terlalu rendah untuk menyalur air ke rumah mereka. Di dalam jangka masa pendek dan terdekat, pihak pemaju telah mengambil tindakan untuk membekal tangki penyimpanan air individu ke setiap rumah, manakala pihak berkuasa akan melaksanakan pelan-pelan untuk menambahbaik tekanan air. Walaubagaimanapun, pihak pemaju gagal membekal tangki penyimpanan air ke sebahagian pengguna dan menyebabkan pengguna-pengguna tersebut tidak ada bekalan air pada waktu puncak. Antara pelan-pelan untuk menambahbaik tekanan air di kawasan tersebut ialah:

(1) Memasang paip-paip air utama 1,000 mm sepanjang 4.4 km daripada loji perawatan bekalan air ke takungan Kemena yang dicadangkan. Tender untuk pemasangan ini telah ditawarkan. Kerja-kerja ini dijangka akan bermula pada September 2006 dan akan siap pada Julai 2007.

(2) Memasang paip-paip air utama 150 mm yang akan bercabang dari paip-paip utama 1,000 mm yang disebut tadi di sepanjang Jalan Sibiew ke kawasan yang terlibat. Kerja-kerja ini dijangka bermula pada 2007 dan dijadual siap dilaksanakan pada hujung tahun 2007. Dengan perlaksanaannya, pelan paip-paip air utama tersebut tadi, tekanan air di kawasan yang terlibat akan pulih.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Saribas.

Y.B. Dr. Haji Wahbi bin Haji Junaidi: Saya juga ingin nak tahu. Adakah Yang Berhormat Menteri Muda dapat beritahu di Dewan ini berapakah kos menambahbaik tekanan-tekanan air yang rendah di Bintulu yang telah disebutkan tadi?

Menteri Muda Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Encik Sylvester Entri anak Muran): Tuan Speaker, jumlah untuk pemasangan paip-paip di kawasan tersebut adalah RM3.7 juta.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Palawan.

Y.B. Encik Vincent Goh Chung Siong: Honourable Minister, may I know what is the production of Bintulu Water Treatment Plant?

Menteri Muda Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Encik Sylvester Entri anak Muran): Pengeluaran air daripada Water Treatment Plant di Bintulu ialah kapasitinya adalah 177 mld dan setakat ini Bintulu Water Treatment Plant telah pun mengeluarkan 92 mld dan consumption masyarakat di Bintulu setakat ini ialah 90 mld. Ini bermakna the production of water in Bintulu Treatment Plant is sufficient to cater for the population of Bintulu. Hanya masa peak hours saja. Terima kasih.

PEMBANGUNAN TANAH NCR

(56) Y.B. Encik Wong anak Judat bertanya kepada Menteri Kemajuan Tanah: Sama ada kerajaan bercadang untuk membangunkan tanah NCR di kawasan Meluan/Julau.

Menteri Muda Kemajuan Tanah (Y.B. Encik Francis Harden anak Hollis): Tuan Speaker, pada persidangan Dewan yang mulia yang kelima belas yang lalu, saya telah pun memberi jawapan kepada pertanyaan yang hampir sama daripada Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Meluan. Adalah menjadi hasrat kerajaan untuk membangunkan Tanah Hak Adat Bumiputera di seluruh pelusuk Negeri Sarawak secara komersial berdasarkan kebolehlaksanaannya.

Untuk Kawasan Meluan/Julau, kementerian saya telah pun menerima lima permohonan, dimana satu daripadanya adalah tidak lengkap memandangkan ia tidak disertakan dengan peta lokaliti dan senarai nama pemilik-pemilik tanah yang berminat dalam projek ini. Pemohon tersebut telahpun disarankan untuk mengemukakan maklumat yang diperlukan tetapi tidak memberi maklumbalas yang dikehendaki. Satu lagi permohonan tidak dapat dipertimbangkan oleh kerana ia terletak dalam lingkungan kawasan yang telah diwartakan sebagai Kawasan Tadahan Air Julau. Tiga permohonan yang lain merupakan permohonan yang bertindih dan dua daripada kawasan yang dimohonnya telahpun dipinda. Ketiga-tiga permohonan tersebut masih diproses oleh Kementerian Kemajuan Tanah … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Tamin.

Y.B. Encik Joseph Mauh anak Ikeh: Terima kasih, Tuan Speaker. Saya ingin bertanya kepada Yang Berhormat apakah perancangan masa depan kementerian bagi untuk mencapai sasaran supaya dapat mencepatkan target untuk pembangunan kelapa sawit di tanah NCR dan bagaimanakah hasil kelapa sawit ditanam dengan menggunakan NCR concept seperti di kawasan Kanowit dan di kawasan tempat-tempat yang lain … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Tamin, soalan Yang Berhormat (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Joseph Mauh anak Ikeh: Adakah kementerian memuaskan?

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat, soalan ini dituju dan ditumpu kepada kawasan Meluan/Julau. Jadi soalan tambahan boleh berkaitan dengan kawasan tersebut.

Y.B. Encik Joseph Mauh anak Ikeh: Terima kasih, Tuan Speaker.

Tuan Speaker: Sila, Yang Berhormat Menteri.

Menteri Muda Kemajuan Tanah (Y.B. Encik Francis Harden anak Hollis): Untuk menjawab soalan tambahan oleh Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Tamin, lima permohonan yang diterima oleh Kementerian Kemajuan Tanah setakat ini untuk kawasan tersebut ialah permohonan yang dikemukakan satu ialah, dua permohonan adalah diterima dan ketiga yang masih dalam proses. Jadi tentang program-program untuk seluruh Sarawak untuk NCR Land Development, Kementerian Kemajuan Tanah telah menjalankan banyak program seperti taklimat, kursus kepada NCR Land Development participant untuk mencapai target 400,000 hektar pada tahun 2010.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Kemena.

Y.B. Dr. Stephen Rundi anak Utom: Tuan Speaker, memandangkan soalan ini telahpun dikemukakan di Dewan ini beberapa tahun yang lalu, dan ini dah kali kedua barangkali dijawab, apakah tindakan susulan Kementerian, adakah pihak pemohon telah dimaklumkan, apakah status permohonan mereka atau sebaliknya?

Menteri Muda Kemajuan Tanah (Y.B. Encik Francis Harden anak Hollis): Untuk menjawab soalan tambahan yang kedua, Tuan Speaker, permohonan yang diterima ialah 110 permohonan dan 41 permohonan telah dilulus dan yang masih dalam proses ialah banyak permohonan yang belum di… (Interruption)

Y.B. Dr. Stephen Rundi anak Utom: (Supplementary Question) (Inaudible) Ahli Yang Berhormat for Meluan, the applications of that particular area, whether the applicants have been informed … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Soalan itu hanya tertumpu kepada kawasan tersebut maka soalan tambahan hanya ditimbulkan berkaitan dengan kawasan tersebut.

Menteri Muda Kemajuan Tanah (Y.B. Encik Francis Harden anak Hollis): Untuk menjawab soalan Ahli Yang Berhormat tadi, lima permohonan yang diterima oleh kementerian saya setakat ini adalah merujuk kepada:

(1) Permohonan yang dikemukakan oleh Encik Leo Jana Etin pada 4 Oktober 1994 bagi kawasan Julau/Kanowit/Entabai/Sibu/Pakan/Engkamop/Wak Road. Pemohon telah dinasihatkan supaya mengemukakan semula permohonan pada 13 Oktober 1994 besertakan peta lokaliti dan senarai nama pemilik-pemilik tanah yang berminat. Kementerian tidak mendapat maklumbalas daripada pemohon sehingga kini.
(2) Jadi yang kedua, permohonan yang dikemukakan oleh Encik Ambrose Gramong anak Jilan, Dr. Ambrose Labang dan Puan Bernadine anak Liang pada 21 November 1997, 7 September 2000 dan 28 November 2003 yang rata-rata merangkumi kawasan Mador / Strass / Lasi / Sepitoh/ Balut/ Sangkung Bua/Merurun/Bilat-Matop. Kawasan tersebut didapati terletak dalam kawasan Tadahan Air Julau.
(3) Permohonan yang dikemukakan oleh Penghulu Belu anak Latih pada 7 November 2005 dan 9 Jun 2006 yang bagi kawasan Merurun, Beluan, Julau dengan keluasan kadar 40,000 hektar;
(4) Permohonan yang dikemukakan oleh Penghulu Lawrence Atuh pada 29 September 2005 dan 7 Jun 2006 bagi kawasan KJD Road dengan keluasan kasar 25,000 hektar; dan
(5) Permohonan yang dikemukakan oleh Penghulu Junid pada 24 Januari 2006 dan Jun 2006 untuk kawasan Sungai Julau, Sungai Piloh, Sungai Jed dengan keluasan kasar 5,000 hektar.

Kementerian Kemajuan Tanah adalah dalam proses menentusahkan status tanah NCR di kawasan-kawasan yang dipohon dengan pihak Jabatan Tanah dan Survei untuk menentukan sama ada ianya terletak dalam kawasan tadahan air, provisional list, hutan simpanan dan sebagainya.


OIL AND GAS ROYALTIES

(57) Y.B. Encik Voon Lee Shan asked the Chief Minister and Minister for Finance: On the issue of oil and gas royalties:

(a) State the reasons why the State Government accepted 5% oil and gas royalties in the 1970s?
(b) How often since the 1970’s has the State Government requested the Federal Government to review the said rate?
(c) What was the production of gas and petrol in the state for each year from 1974 to 2005?

OIL AND GAS REVENUE

(76) Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho asked the Chief Minister and Minister for Finance: Given that Sarawak is the major contributor of oil and gas revenue to the Federal Government, and given that Sarawak lags the Peninsular grossly in infrastructure and services, does the State Government consider any one or more of the following:-

(a) Re-negotiate with the Federal Government to return control of oil and gas reserves to the states:
(b) Re-negotiate with the Federal Government to increase the oil royalty payable to Sarawak;
(c) Re-negotiate with the Federal Government to impose an excess petroleum and gas profit tax and Petronas;
(d) Increase allocation for development and recurrent expenditures to Sarawak for infrastructure, low cost housing, etc?

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Tuan Speaker, I would like to answer question (57) for Ahli Yang Berhormat from Padungan and question (76) from Ahli Yang Berhormat for Batu Lintang together.

Tuan Speaker: No, Batu Lintang is (57).

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Question (57) from Batu Lintang and Question (76) from Padungan together because they are similar questions.

Tuan Speaker: Yes.

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Tuan Speaker, in response to questions (57) and (76) on matters relating to oil and gas royalties, I would like to inform this august House that by virtue of Section (2) of the Petroleum Development Act, 1974, the entire ownership in and the exclusive rights, powers, liberty and privileges of exploring, exploiting, winning and obtaining petroleum whether lying on shore or off shore of Malaysia is vested in Petronas.

Initially, Tuan Speaker, the State of Sarawak disputed the Act on the basis that it has the right over the continental shore beyond the 12-mile limit which was under the State. However, as a compromise, the previous government agreed to take ½ of the 10% royalty under the original Petroleum Act on the basis that it will get the royalty over land and the continental shore and, therefore, until and unless the said Act is repealed and Parliament re-vest the petroleum and gas resources in the State, the question of re-negotiation does not arise.

Pursuing to Section (4) of the Petroleum Development Act 1974, the State Government, the Federal Government and Petronas, therefore, had entered into an agreement on 27 March 1975 in regard to the payment of royalty of the state. The present State Government of Sarawak is bound by the terms of that agreement which was signed between the then government of Sarawak and Petronas and the Federal Government. Notwithstanding, the agreement which renders for 5% royalty payment on oil and gas found on shore and off shore within the boundaries of Sarawak. The State Government had frequent discussions, both formal and informal with the Federal Government and Petronas on the possibility of increasing the royalty rates even during the time when Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was Finance Minister. So far, the state’s proposal to consider the increase in royalty does not yield any favourable outcome. However, the state government will continue to engage the Federal Government and Petronas in such discussions. The State Barisan Nasional Government had always been working closely with the Federal Government for more allocation for development in the state especially for infrastructure development, rural and agriculture development, public utilities and education. Since the Fifth Malaysia Plan, total development allocation to the state have increased substantially. For example, under Fifth Malaysia Plan – total allocation for the state from the Federal Government is RM2.053 billion, Sixth Malaysia Plan – RM3.097 billion, Seventh Malaysia Plan – RM6.444 billion, Eighth Malaysia Plan – RM11.825 billion. Ninth Malaysia Plan which is the present plan – RM15.108 billion. In fact, Sarawak is one of the highest recipients of development allocation compared with other States in Malaysia. In the Eighth Malaysia Plan and Ninth Malaysia Plan, the State Government will continue to pursue for more allocation from the Federal government to further stimulate the economic development in the state and in order to narrow the development gap between our state and that of Peninsular Malaysia. In fact, the Prime Minister had given such assurance that the Federal Government will put more emphasis on this in the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

As for the production of gas and petrol in the state, the available figures are for the year 2000 till 2004 and there are as follows:

Petroleum and crude oil
2000 barrels per day 139,000
2001 barrels per day 126,000
2002 barrels per day 118,000
2003 barrels per day 132,000
2004 barrels per day 128,000

And, therefore, on average, production over the past five years, it is something like 128,600 barrels per day. Even though there is substantial increase in the crude oil prices, the production is maintained in line with the policy of sustainable extraction of our natural resources. Production of condensed of course is the natural gas liquid found together with non-associated gas, colourless and lighter than crude oil.

Production of Condensed
2000 barrels per day 59,000
2001 barrels per day 58,000
2002 barrels per day 66,000
2003 barrels per day 81,000
2004 barrels per day 98,000

Thank you.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat for Padungan.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: (Supplementary question) Tuan Speaker, based on the principle of ownership of the continental shelf by a journey region, Sabah and Sarawak could claim the ownership before the incorporation of Malaysia in 1963. The status quo could be maintained in so far as Malaysian Constitution is silent on the matter.

Therefore, the claim of ownership by the Federal Government maybe construed as an annexation. Do you agree with me?

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): For the information of Ahli Yang Berhormat for Padungan, the Petroleum Development Act of 1974 had come into effect and, therefore, the present state government had to abide by this Petroleum Development Act 1974 which had been agreed upon between the state government, the federal government and Petronas.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Kota Sentosa.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: (Supplementary question) We appreciate the effort of the state government to negotiate for the increment of the royalty since 1976 after the passing of the Act. However, it seems that the internal negotiation for the increment of the royalty does not seem to have any effect. Does not seem to increase our royalty. So what I suggest is I will bring this matter in the Parliament and will the State Barisan Nasional Member of Parliament be supporting my call in the Parliament for an increase in the state – the 5% to 10%. You are the Cabinet here, you can direct the MPs of the Barisan Nasional to raise this matter up in the Parliament. Will the State Barisan Nasional support my call for the increment of the 5% royalty to 10% in Parliament? Thank you.

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): For the information of Ahli Yang Berhormat for Kota Sentosa, your voice will not be heard because Members of Parliament from Barisan Nasional will bring the matters in the Parliament. Wait until you do so.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Kedup. No, two supplementary questions had been asked. Alright, ok. Ahli Yang Berhormat for Batu Lintang.

Y.B. Encik Voon Lee Shan: (Supplementary question) May I please, Tuan Speaker, I have one supplementary question here, can the Minister give the dates as to when meetings, representations or negotiations made by the state government to the Federal Government since 1974 and who represented the State Government in these meetings or negotiations and what was the assurances, if any, given by the Federal Government?

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): As I have said, Tuan Speaker, for the information of Ahli Yang Berhormat for Batu Lintang, the State Government, the State Barisan Nasional Government had repeatedly negotiated with the Federal Government, both formal and informal and if you want the detail, if you want the date and so on, I think there are on so many occasions, as I have said and we will continue to bring the matter up for the consideration of the Federal Government and Petronas to increase the royalty. But as I have said, so far, no favourable outcome.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: Tuan Speaker …

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat for Bukit Assek

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: (Supplementary question) Tuan Speaker, actually can the Honourable Minister highlight or enlighten us as the basis, the compromise, the basis for compromising to accept half of the 10% ?

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): The negotiation was between the then Chief Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia and therefore that was the agreement reached on March actually on 27th March 1975 and in fact the respective governments were not informed of this.

IMPROVEMENT OF ROAD AT KEDUP

(5cool.gif Y.B. Encik Frederick Bayoi anak Manggie asked the Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communication:

(a) When is the Terbat/Mapu road in my Constituency of N.19 – Kedup be improved, upgraded and tar-sealed?
(b) What will be the total cost for the upgrading and tar-sealing of the road?

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Di): The correction will not change my answer anyway. I’ll carry on.

Tuan Speaker, I wish to inform Ahli Yang Berhormat for Kedup that Terbat/Mapu Road is one of the spur road of Jalan Terbat/Pengkalan Amo, Tebedu. The construction of Jalan Terbat/Pengkalan Amo, Tebedu is carried out in phases. It commenced from Tebedu and has been completed up to Daha Mawang while another stretch from Daha Mawang to Kampung Pisut and to Kampung Teragu is currently under construction and progress is about 40% and is expected to be completed by March 2007.

The next phase of the project is to continue the road from Teragu to Terbat which involves upgrading of the existing road for the sections from Teragu to Kejabu and to Mapu and from Teragu to Terbat of total length of 8.3 kilometer.

Currently, the design and tender document of this stretch of road has been completed and compensation for land affected by the road is underway, is on going. Commencement of this phase of the project would only be carried out upon the completion of the stretch of road from Daha Mawang to Kampung Dagu and subject to availability of fund approved for the projects under the Ninth Malaysian Plan. The second part of the question, the estimated construction cost for this phase of project i.e. from Teragu to Terbat is RM18 million.

IMPLEMENTATION OF RUMAH MESRA

(60) Y.B. Encik Aidan Wing asked the Minister for Housing: Kindly enlighten on the progress of implementation of “Rumah Mesra” concept in Sarawak.

LATARBELAKANG RUMAH MESRA RAKYAT (RMR)

(82) Y.B. Encik Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah bertanya kepada Menteri Perumahan: Berapa buahkah Rumah Mesra Rakyat (RMR) telah dibina di Sarawak setakat ini? Kenapakah perlaksanaan projek ini di Sarawak jauh berkurangan dengan perlaksanaan di negeri-negeri lain di Malaysia? Apakah criteria pemohon-pemohon untuk dapat memiliki Rumah Mesra Rakyat ini?

Menteri Perumahan (Y.B. Dato Sri Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Bin Tun Abang Haji Openg): Tuan Speaker, izinkan saya menjawab soalan 60 dan soalan 82 daripada Ahli Yang Berhormat Asajaya serentak.

Tuan Speaker: Soalan 60 dan 82. Okay.

Menteri Perumahan (Y.B. Dato Sri Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Bin Tun Abang Haji Openg): Tuan Speaker, sebagai latarbekalang. Program Rumah Mesra Rakyat merupakan program baru yang diperkenalkan oleh Kementerian Perumahan Sarawak dalam menyediakan rumah yang lebih selesa dan kondusif kepada golongan berpendapatan rendah di negeri Sarawak. Program Rumah Mesra Rakyat telah diperkenalkan di Negeri Sarawak pada pertengahan tahun 2005 dan diadaptasi daripada Program Rumah Mesra Rakyat yang telah dilaksanakan di Semenanjung Malaysia.

Pendekatan Perlaksanaan

Modus Operandi Program RMR bagi Negeri Sarawak boleh dibahagikan kepada dua iaitu:

(i) Program RMR untuk Skim Individu; dan
(ii) Program RMR untuk Skim Pembesaran Kampung



Program RMR untuk Skim Individu

Di bawah Program RMR Skim Individu, permohonan boleh dibuat oleh pemohon-pemohon yang mempunyai tanah individu bergeran di mana-mana bahagian di Negeri Sarawak. Geran tanah akan dijadikan sekuriti, gadaian ataupun kaveat pinjaman Rumah Mesra Rakyat.

Program RMR untuk Skim Pembesaran Kampung

Di bawah Program RMR bagi Skim Pembesaran Kampung, HDC akan membina Rumah Mesra Rakyat di kawasan yang telah dikenalpasti untuk program Skim Pembesaran Kampung oleh Jabatan Tanah dan Survei

STATUS PELAKSANAAN

Program Rumah Rakyat (RMR) Skim Individu

Setakat ini HDC telah menerima 474 permohonan program RMR Skim Individu di seluruh Sarawak. Daripada 299 permohonan telah dimaju ke Ibu Pejabat SPNB iaitu Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad bagi tujuan kelulusan manakala 175 permohonan telah ditolak kerana tidak menepati kriteria-kriteria yang telah ditetapkan.

Daripada 299 permohonan yang telah dimajukan ke Ibu Pejabat SPNB bagi tujuan kelulusan, 32 permohonan telah diluluskan dengan 10 permohonan telah dikeluarkan surat inden kelulusan dan kerja-kerja pembinaan sedang dilaksanakan. Untuk yang lain ketika ini kita masih lagi menunggu kelulusan daripada SPNB.

Program Rumah Mesra Rakyat (RMR) Skim Pembesaran Kampung

Bagi program RMR Skim Pembesaran Kampung, HDC dijangka akan membina 195 unit Rumah Mesra Rakyat pada tahun 2006. Pecahan unit bagi Program RMR Skim Pembesaran Kampung yang dilaksanakan HDC pada tahun 2006 adalah seperti berikut:

Bil. Nama Projek Jumlah Unit
1. Skim Pembesaran Kampung Bako Fasa II, Kuching 165
2. Skim Pembesaran Kampung Patanak, Mukah 30
Jumlah 195

Empat unit contoh telah dibina masing-masing iaitu dua di Skim Pembesaran Kampung Bako Fasa 11, Kuching dan Skim Pembesaran Kampung Petanak, Mukah.

Dalam Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan, kita telah mencadangkan kawasan Semop dan Bekenu dalam kawasan RGC yang akan dibangunkan.



Program Rumah Mesra Rakyat (RMR) Skim Individu

Tuan Speaker, kenapa perlaksanaan projek di Sarawak jauh berkurangan berbanding perlaksanaan di negeri-negeri lain di Malaysia. Untuk menjawabnya, perlu dimaklumkan bahawa Program Rumah Mesra Rakyat sebelum ini hanya dilaksanakan di Semenanjung Malaysia dan merupakan program yang baru bertapak di Negeri Sarawak.

Jika dilihat kepada permohonan yang diterima oleh HDC bagi Program RMR Skim Individu, setakat ini 462 permohonan telah diproses dengan 287 permohonan memenuhi kriteria dan 32 permohonan telah dikeluarkan inden kelulusan dan kerja-kerja permbinaan sedang dilaksanakan.

Masalah kelewatan kelulusan adalah disebabkan oleh beberapa perkara iaitu:

(1) Kelulusan akhir permohonan yang dibuat oleh pihak SPNB di peringkat Ibu Pejabat, Kuala Lumpur;
(2) Kegagalan pihak pemohon untuk mengemukakan geran tanah pada borang permohonan;
(3) Tapak tanah yang dicadangkan untuk membina Rumah Mesra Rakyat berstatus Temporary Occupation Licence (TOL) dan tanah NCR yang tidak mempunyai geran; dan
(4) Pemohon yang melampaui kelayakan seperti pendapatan yang melebihi RM1,000.00 sebulan.

Program Rumah Mesra Rakyat (RMR) Skim Pembesaran Kampung

Di bawah Program Rumah Mesra Rakyat di Skim Pembesaran Kampung Bako Fasa II, Kuching dan Skim Pembesaran Kampung Petanak, Mukah, HDC dan Jabatan Tanah dan Survei adalah di peringkat akhir perbincangan berhubung pemberian milikan tanah sama ada kepada allottee seperti yang diamalkan oleh pihak Jabatan Tanah dan Survei di Skim Penempatan Semula dengan bayaran premium dibuat oleh pihak allottee ataupun milikan beri kepada HDC dengan bayaran premium dibuat oleh HDC dan allottee membayar ansuran kepada HDC secara bulanan.

Milikan tanah akan dipindakan kepada allottee selepas bayaran tanah dan rumah dilangsaikan oleh pihak allottee.

KRITERIA-KRITERIA PERMOHONAN RUMAH MESRA RAKYAT (PMR)

Program Rumah Mesra Rakyat (PMR) Skim Individu

Pemohon hendaklah:

(1) Warganegara Malaysia;
(2) Berumur di antara 18 tahun sehingga 65 tahun. Pemohon yang berumur di antara 45 tahun hingga 65 tahun memerlukan pemohon kedua yang berumur di antara 18 tahun hingga 30 tahun;
(3) Pendapatan kasar isi rumah tidak melebihi RM1,000.00 sebulan;
(4) Berkahwin atau ibu/bapa tunggal yang mempunyai tanggungan. Istilah tanggungan termasuk anak, ibu, bapa, mertua, ipar atau saudara-mara yang terdekat yang tinggal bersama pemohon;

(5). Tidak mempunyai rumah sendiri ataupun mempunyai rumah yang usang/tidak sempurna;
(6) Mempunyai tanah yang sesuai dan bergeran serta tiada cagaran di atasnya. Sebagai sekuriti geran asal akan dicagar ataupun di kaveat kepada HDC;
(7) Tanah tersebut perlulah milik sendiri ataupun saudara mara yang terdekat;
(cool.gif Permohonan hendaklah dibuat melalui wakil rakyat kawasan.

Program Rumah Mesra Rakyat (PMR) Skim Pembesaran Kampung

Untuk Rumah Mesra Rakyat Pembesaran Kampung:

(1) Warganegara Malaysia;
(2) Berumur di antara 18 tahun sehingga 65 tahun. Dan pemohon yang berumur di antara 45 tahun hingga 65 tahun memerlukan pemohon kedua yang berumur di antara 18 tahun hingga 30 tahun;
(3) Pendapatan kasar isi rumah tidak melebihi RM1,000.00 sebulan;
(4) Berkahwin atau ibu/bapa tunggal yang mempunyai tanggungan;
(5) Permohonan mestilah berdaftar dengan Jabatan Tanah dan Survei;

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Saribas.

Y.B. Dr. Haji Wahbi bin Haji Junaidi: (Soalan tambahan) Tuan Speaker, Terima kasih. Memandangkan di kebanyakan kampung-kampung tradisional di luar bandar tidak mempunyai geran tanah mereka juga ingin benar untuk mendapat rumah mesra ini. Apakah diberi kelonggaran sedikit khusus untuk kita di Negeri Sarawak ini?

Menteri Perumahan (Y.B. Dato Sri Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Abang Haji Openg): Ya, sudah menjadi pendekatan Kerajaan kalau boleh si pemohon itu mempunyai geran tanah dan kita ada dua dasar. Satunya pembesaran kampung di mana pihak Jabatan Tanah dan Survei telah mengenal pasti satu kawasan untuk penempatan semula ataupun pembesaran kampung dan mereka akan diberi tanah yang selalu kita beri TOL dan apa yang kita hendak laksanakan ialah satu mekanisma di mana kita akan membayar premium bagi pihak yang mempunyai tanah tersebut dan mereka akan membayar secara ansuran. Kepada kampung tradisional kita ada resettlement exercise. Apabila mereka ada mempunyai geran tanah, kita dapat laksanakan dengan sebaik mungkin.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Asajaya

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: (Soalan Tambahan) Terima kasih Tuan Speaker. Satu daripada pra-syarat untuk memohon Rumah Mesra Rakyat adalah permohonannya perlu dibuat melalui wakil rakyat. Saya pun kurang pasti sama ada wakil rakyat di sini adalah Ahli Parlimen ataupun Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri. Tetapi saya rasa inilah saya percaya yang telah menyebabkan ramai pemohon-pemohon datang ke pejabat saya meminta borang permohonan. Saya rasa bagaimana hendak meringankan masalah ini dan saya mencadangkan agar permohonan ini dapat dibuat ataupun borangnya boleh diambil daripada kementerian ataupun pejabat HDC dan disokong oleh wakil rakyat dan jangan dibuat pra-syaratnya permohonan dibuat melalui wakil rakyat kerana wakil rakyat tidak mempunyai borang-borang Rumah Mesra Rakyat di pejabat kami kecuali kami dibekalkan oleh kementerian. Terima kasih.

Menteri Perumahan (Y.B Dato Sri Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Abang Haji Openg): Untuk menjawab Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Asajaya, memang sudah menjadi prosedur kita bahawa borang akan dikeluarkan oleh Kementerian melalui HDC ataupun SPNB dan kita ada satu Jawatankuasa yang mengkordinasikannya. Hanya kita hendakkan satu sokongan daripada wakil rakyat di kawasan tersebut yang mengesahkan bahawa mereka tidak mempunyai tanah ataupun mempunyai tanah di kawasan yang telah dipohonkan. Terima kasih.

FUEL AND GAS PRICE

(61) Y.B Cik Violet Yong Wui Wui asked the Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Infrastructure Development and Communications:

2 State whether the State Government has done any economic and social; impact assessment study on the effects of fuel and gas price hike of February, 2006?
3 State the steps taken by the State Government to alleviate the problems of the population in urban, suburban and rural areas as a result of the fuel and gas price hike?
4 Whether the allocation of RM220 million federal funds saved from the fuel subsidy is adequate to the State of Sarawak? Why?

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Tuan Speaker, in fact the correct description, Tuan Speaker, is actually reduced fuel and gas subsidy by the government instead and should not be negatively portrayed as fuel and gas price hike of February, 2006 as worded by Ahli Yang Berhormat for Pending as appeared in part (a) of question number 61 of this Order Paper because the enactment of subsidy is still there. It is just reduced fuel and gas subsidy. It is not to be negatively portrayed as I said as a price hike of gas and fuel technically.

I wish to give explanation here. I wish to inform Ahli Yang Berhormat for Pending that the State Government has not formally commissioned any consultant to conduct a study to assess the economic and social impact of the effect of fuel and gas hike of February 2006. I still, as a gentleman, I would like to use your phrase also. Because for reason at the moment the price of crude oil has not stabilized. It shoots up from USD63 per barrel in February 2006 to today hovering around about USD78 per barrel. Anyway, instead, I have, since February 2006, that is immediately as we received news of the reduced price subsidy for gas and fuel from the Federal Government, I have, since February 2006, traveled throughout Sarawak, discussed with cabinet colleagues and representatives of the affected areas throughout Sarawak especially so bringing my Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Infrastructure and Communications to discuss in detail with the Residents especially in the affected parts – Limbang, Miri, Bintulu, Sibu, Sarikei, Mukah and all the like, to find out from the administration because the Residents are in charge of each Division, they know best through their District offices what are the effects on the population in their respective Division and instructed them to identify where are the priority crucial areas which need prior attention.

These we have done immediately and periodically I reported over to the Cabinet and discussions at the Cabinet. As a result of that, I have written several letters over to the Federal Ministers, copied over to the Prime Minister and the Minister in the Economic Planning Unit and also Minister of Transport who is the co-ordinating Ministry regarding this matter at federal level and we have various feedbacks and very detailed reports from the Residents and still coming because as you can appreciate those really remote areas are inaccessible and at times even aeroplane cannot fly because of the inclement weather. It is very hard to get reports from the rural areas. You can appreciate the problem but the State Government and through my Ministry, we have in the letters that I have written, pointed out to the Federal Government that in Sarawak, there are problem like transportation of fuel to remote areas which are not accessible by road; and

Question part (b), recommendation to improve the timber roads used or disused timber roads in the rural areas in order to provide accessibility to transport fuel and essential commodities, not only fuel but essential commodities to supply the schools, clinics and government areas as well as the rural population because these are equally as vital as fuel and gas to the rural population.

Question part (c), to help finance public transport including buses, lorries, outboard operators, fishermen, including the transportation of essential commodities.

Tuan Speaker, I wish to assure Ahli Yang Berhormat for Pending that the State Government is fully aware of the problem of the fuel hike has imposed on the people in urban as well as in the rural areas, suburban and rural areas. The fuel hike is a global problem which affects everybody, nobody is being spared. The State Government observes with great concern our rising cost precious as it reduces profitability and thus the cost of living in Sarawak. Even current development and the global oil market which is shortage of refined oil and its high demand, we in Sarawak must be fully prepared to further increase, be prepared for further increase in fuel prices in the coming years because we are not isolated from all the globalized effects. Whether we like it or not, it will seem therefore, that the only rationale we out of this dilemma for our businesses and our people is to increase the overall efficiency of our state economy in order to keep down the pace of price increase.

As the price of fuel increases, we should try to safe on the use of fuel by using more efficient machinery and by making better use of our resources to generate the same volume of output. We should also strive to add more value to our output with the use of more creative and innovative ideas and methods to produce more refined products. We should be more integrated in our operation and reduce wastage.

When the fuel hike was made earlier this year, the global price of fuel was USD63 per barrel. Today, the global oil price is hovering between USD77-USD78 per barrel. I forgot today, what is the price but anyway it doesn’t change so much, which is a further increase of more than 22%. We can take really that the Federal Government has told the people that there will be no further increases, at least for the rest of this year.

For the information of Ahli Yang Berhormat in this august House, the Federal Government as effective from June 2006, still provide subsidies at retailing outlets to the consumers as follows. That is why I call it reduced in the subsidies because subsidies are still here.

2 RM12.72 of subsidy for 14kg cylinder LPG (liquefied petroleum gas)
3 RM0.338 per litre for petrol RON 97. This is the type of fuel.
4 RM0.307 per litre for petrol RON 92
5 RM0.609 per litre for diesel
6 RM0.792 per litre for diesel to commercial vehicles in the transport industry
7 RM1.24 per litre for diesel to fishermen; and
8 RM0.96 per litre for diesel to passenger boats

In seeking to alleviate the problem of the people, the State Government has made several proposals to the Federal Government for Sarawak, especially for urban as well for rural population. The State Government suggested to the Federal Government that about 10% of the anticipated savings estimated about RM4.4 billion while the crude oil price was only RM63 per barrel then, should be allocated for building good public transport system in urban centers and in the rural areas of Sarawak.

For the rural areas, the State Government has also proposed to the Federal Government that fuel price in the rural areas should be about equal within those in the urban areas by using this requested fund to undertake the necessary transportation. However, this proposal has not been accepted because of the further unexpected price of the crude oil shot up to reach today USD78 per barrel now. That is the original mathematical calculation on the original saving based on crude oil price of USD63 per barrel in February 2006 has almost wiped out the anticipated savings because of this increase of USD63 per barrel to the unexpected USD77-USD78 per barrel today. And I don’t think anybody can predict that it will come down and nobody can predict what ceiling will it reach because it is still climbing. Anyway, please do not blame us in the government for that. And the State Government will continue to lobby for the Federal Government for assistance to our people concerning the fuel price.

Until now Sarawak has received only RM10 million from the Federal Government. This will be used to address priority agenda to transport fuel in an essential commodities to the remote in assessable areas of Bario, Ba’ Kelalan and Long Lelang, I said priority which has no road access. Very unreliable road access and we feel this is the best way can do, we will not stop asking from Federal Government in whatever way that we can get assistance from Federal Government because we really care for our people. I think with this explanation, your question, Ahli Yang Berhormat for Pending, (a), (b) and (c) have been fully answered. In fact, what was put in question (c), RM220 Million in fact the State Government has proposed higher than that, RM400 million actually. Thank you.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat for Padungan.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Tuan Speaker. Why are we continuing to fool ourselves that we are talking about subsidies when Sarawak is an oil producing State and somebody is walking all the way laughing to the bank with 70 Billion Dollars in profit this year alone, Petronas I mean. Why, why can’t the State Government do something about this? Bribery of our resources. We are talking about oil producing state and we are crying out.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Tuan Speaker, the answer was given by my colleague, the Honourable Finance Minister II just now regarding the State position on this. And we are in the Federation. There are rules to democracy and if Ahli Yang Berhormat is not satisfied with it, well you can make noise … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Withdraw from the Federation?

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri. (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Sorry?

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Withdraw from the Federation? … (Boos and Applause)

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Is that your proposal? Is that your proposal?… (Interruption)

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: Tuan Speaker, can I … (Interruption)

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Is that Keadilan proposal? … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: If Sarawak cannot check its just right, then it should withdraw.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Tuan Speaker, please note that … (Interruption)

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: We are not supposed to use seditious words down here.

Tuan Speaker: Yes

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: Is the … Tuan Speaker … (Interruption)

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Tuan Speaker, Ahli Yang Berhormat for Padungan, and we said that we are within the Federation and within the Federation, there are certain rules and covenants that we must keep. I leave my question with regards to the supplementary just now is beyond me, what I ask, he is entitled for his opinion. Let him be entitled to his opinion.

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Tuan Speaker.

Tuan Speaker: Minister for Finance to reply.

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Because the Deputy Minister, said, that the answer was partially, the question was partially answered for me. We are not here to defend Petronas. I think we cannot deny that, Petronas is making huge profit. We also cannot deny that Petronas is also contributing to the Federal and State coffers. Petronas does business in about 40 countries in the world. Revolving close to 40 percent of their revenue from worldwide operations not from Sarawak alone. (Applause) Can I also bring the attention to Ahli Yang Berhormat for Padungan, Petronas also pay corporate and income tax to the government. It also pays annual dividends and duties for the crude oil for export. On top of that, Petronas also pay royalties to both the State and Federal Governments. The company’s contribution to the national coffers amounted to RM25.3 billion for the period 2003 and 2004 and close to RM30 billion for the period of 2004 – 2005. And of course, as you know the government then in turn will use some of this revenue to subsidise petrol and diesel prices and this directly benefits consumers and the rest, of course, is used to fund government expenses, particularly development projects. Thank you.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Are we supposed to be very happy … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: I will allow only one more Supplementary question.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Tuan Speaker, the floor is still mine.

Tuan Speaker:: (Laughter) Yes. In the heat of the exchanges, yes, it is yours.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Thank you.

Tuan Speaker: Now, will all Honourable Members cool down.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar ( Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Just now we hear in this House, Ahli Yang Berhormat for Pending, his views about the Federation… (Interruption)
Tuan Speaker: No, no, no it is Padungan.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Padungan, sorry, sorry, sorry… (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: I know I am handsome, but I am not petite.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar ( Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Sorry, sorry, sorry.

Tuan Speaker: (Laughter) It is Padungan.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Human beings can have a slip of the tongue, like Ahli Yang Berhormat for Kota Sentosa, when he swears in here, he swears that he is a Member of Parliament … (Laughter). Sorry, I apologise to Ahli Yang Berhormat for Pending, now to Ahli Yang Berhormat for Padungan … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Now, let me explain. For so many years Padungan has been represented by the fairer sex… (Laughter)

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Thank you.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Just five years.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): I would like Ahli Yang Berhormat for Padungan to tell this House, because he makes a remark just now about withdrawing from the Federation. Is this Keadilan stand? Please, reinform the House, please.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: I will be very happy Tuan Speaker. This is my personal stand and I believe this is a stand of every Sarawakian who believes that their money is being taken by the government … (Interruption).

Barisan Nasional Backbenchers: No, no, no. (collectively)

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: That was my answer.

Tuan Speaker: Okay.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: He asked for my answer and I am giving it very, very coolly.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: Point of order, Point of order. It is not true, Tuan Speaker … (Interruption)
Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): I think you are … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Member for Padungan, you speak for yourself and for your party. Don’t speak for the others… (Laughter). Just speak for yourself and for your party.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Tuan Speaker, I speak for the people of Sarawak.

Barisan Nasional Backbenchers: No, no … (Collectively), we are also elected by the people of Sarawak …..…

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: Point of order, point of order

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Because all the other Y.Bs, 61 Y.Bs have not dared to stand up for the people of Sarawak.

Barisan Nasional Backbenchers: No, no … it is not true.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: When they are receiving 70 billion?

Tuan Speaker: Ok. Sit down. It is creating disorder. It has created disorder. You have made your point.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Sorry.

Tuan Speaker: Is this the second Supplementary?

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Ya.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Bukit Assek, you stood just now? You forfeit to Kota Sentosa?

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Yes.

Tuan Speaker: Okay. Honourable Member for Kota Sentosa.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I appreciate what the Minister said that we have to start saving. We have to start saving our fuel, in light of the increasing crude oil prices internationally. So, but I believe we should lead by example and being political leaders we also should lead by example. By, we driving … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: No argument, no argument.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Ya, I know.

Tuan Speaker: You put forward your question.

Y.B. Encik Chong Ching Jen: I am putting a suggestion. Whether the Ministry, the Minister will agree that we should start driving less, smaller c.c. car, like maybe Kancil or.. rather than … (Interruption)

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: Point of order, Point of Order, Tuan Speaker … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Rather than, rather than… (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Point of Order, Ya.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Tuan Speaker, the floor is still mine… (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No. It is mine now, it is mine now. I am asking the question… (Interruption)

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): The floor is still mine… (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Your question? Put forward your question.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Yes. My question is whether the Minister will agree with me to lead by example by driving, for Ministers to drive smaller c.c car, like Kancil or Perodua or even Proton rather than Mercedes.

Tuan Speaker: Alright, okay. Honourable Deputy Chief Minister. That is the question.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Tuan Speaker, I know, Ahli for Kota Sentosa want to score political mileage…(Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Sangkaan jahat

Tuan Speaker: Let the Minister answer.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Please, please. Let me explain. Let me explain. State Sarawak Government explore all ways including, even though I have not mentioned just now, the possibility of setting up bio-diesel plant from environmentally source, from environmentally and very safe product from oil palm which is produced from native customer right joint venture plantations which give good return for the land owners especially our rural people for which Ahli Yang Berhormat for Padungan assumes that he is the Chief Minister of Sarawak in his remark just now because he speaks for the people of Sarawak. Please you are only elected in Padungan, you know. There are 71 seats here … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Just say yes or no only. Yes or no only…(Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Because you ask me. Who do I speak for? And I speak for … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Order, order, order, order.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): So, alright, I have nothing to stop if Ahli Yang Berhormat for Kota Sentosa can walk, whether frontward for backward, from his house over here if he does not want to keep up with tempo of development. There is certain things, I believe he flies in the aeroplane instead of using ‘kayuh’ from Kuching over to Kuala Lumpur… (Laughter and Applause). Are we to be obsolete of the modernity and also there are dignities also in the government, kah? Because of the prosperity, because of the standard of living and also, kah? These are the tempo of the day and we cannot be oblivious to this change. I come from very rural area, you must remember, which none of you have been to, you know… (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: I have been to many, many rural areas … (Interruption)

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): I challenge!

Y.B. Encik Voon Lee Shan: I was with ‘rumah panjai’. Enti ba Layar nemu aku, ba Betong nemu aku. Ari Sri Aman nemu aku. Aku sekolah ba Sri Aman. Aku nemu jako Iban … (Interruption).

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Batu Lintang, Member for Batu Lintang, sit down, sit down.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): The floor is mine … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Translation, translation.

Tuan Speaker: Let the Minister answer the supplementary question.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: I have been to “rumah panjai” and I slept with them, and I have eaten with them.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Padungan, sit down.
Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar ( Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Ya, Okay. So, these are, I cannot be expected to use my ‘cawat’ in the town, for which, none even long house, you want to ridicule long house and say ‘cawat’ … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: I am just saying this with full of respect because it is still part of our traditional uniform.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): It is not. You are outdated! … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Sorry. Traditional attire.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Padungan. Sit down. Let the Minister answer. No interruption. It is a reply.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): Alright. So, Tuan Speaker, Ahli Yang Berhormat for Padungan has not answered my question. He stand … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Your question has been answered. The alternative source of bio-fuel. That answered it. It is addressing to Padungan.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar ( Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): None answered my question. What is your stand, Keadilan stand?

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: You are asking me question. I will be very happy to answer if you allow me to have the floor… (Interruption)

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan dan Menteri Pembangunan Luar Bandar (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang): On the Federation. You said just now, you said that you want to withdraw from Malaysia. Please, unless you are a man of your word, either you withdraw your remark, you got the choice, you state it to the Speaker. Thank you.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: Point of Order, Tuan Speaker.

Tuan Speaker: Okay. Question time is up.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: Tuan Speaker, can I make a clarification of a serious remark that has been given by the Honourable Member for Padungan? Under the Standing Order, no interferences or suggestion of to withdraw out of the Federation should be allowed to be said out and it is stated inside the Standing Order. These kinds of words are treasonable word. (Applause). Under Order 30 … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Under Standing Order 32 (10), it shall be out of order to use:

(a) Treasonable words;
(b) Seditious words;
(c) Words which are likely to promote feelings of ill-will or hostility between different communities in the State, or infringe the Constitution of the State of Sarawak or the Sedition Act, 1948.

Member for Padungan, I draw your attention to this. Do you still stand by, by what you said that you would like to withdraw from the Federation of Malaysia. Yes or no?

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Tuan Speaker, everybody is assuming that I am talking about the Federation of Malaysia, aren’t you. I did not say that. (Boos). I said withdraw from the Federation.

Tuan Speaker: Which other Federation do you mean?

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: I am an advisor of the Federation of the Malaysian Electrical Dealers Association. (Boos).

Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: There are so many federations. Don’t twist your words.

Tuan Speaker: Sarawak is not a member of the … (Interruption).

Menteri Perumahan (Y.B. Dato Sri Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Bin Tun Abang Haji Openg): Tuan Speaker, this is a very serious matter about the withdrawal. I think I have to make your stand here.

Tuan Speaker: Alright, the remarks made by the Honourable Member for Padungan was clear, it was very clear, I leave it to the Honourable Minister whether to proceed with the other provisions of the Standing Order because it is clear under Standing Order 32 (10), what I read out just now, it shall be out of order to use –

(a) Treasonable words;
(b) Seditious words;
(c) Words which are likely to promote feelings of ill-will or hostility between different communities in the State, or infringe the Constitution of the State of Sarawak or the Sedition Act, 1948.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Tuan Speaker, if my usage of the word “Federation” causes offence, I withdraw it. (Applause)

Tuan Speaker: You cannot just withdraw the word “Federation”. You have to withdraw the words, you use the words “withdraw from the Federation”. Do you withdraw those words “withdraw from the Federation.”

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: I withdraw those words “withdraw from the Federation”.

Tuan Speaker: Alright. (Applause) Question time is up and supplementary questions are up.

USUL PENGHARGAAN ATAS UCAPAN
T.Y.T. YANG DI-PERTUA NEGERI

[Perbahasan Bermula]

Tuan Speaker: Ahli-Ahi Yang Berhormat, the motion is this Dewan resolved to express its appreciation to Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri for his gracious address to this august House on the 24th day of July, 2006. Ahli bagi Tasik Biru, Yang Berhormat Encik Peter Nansian Nguse will move the motion.

Y.B. Encik Peter Nansian Nguse: Tuan Speaker, thank you for giving this honour to move the motion of appreciation to the Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri’s address made in this august House on the 24th July, 2006 on the occasion of the opening of the Sixteenth Dewan Undangan Negeri session.

Terlebih dahulu, saya dengan hormatnya merakamkan setinggi-tinggi penghargaan terima kasih kepada Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak di atas nasihat yang penuh memerangsangkan dan menjadi panduan hidup yang sangat berguna sepertimana yang terkandung dalam ucapan Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri.

As we all know, Tuan Speaker, we are indeed most fortunate to have such a caring, loving and humble Head of State who travels the length and breadth of the state and knows his people and our country very well. In fact, he is a symbol of stability, harmony, unity, peace and progress for our beloved state.

Tuan Speaker, saya mengucapkan terima kasih kepada Tuan Yang Terutama yang telah mengingatkan Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat sekalian bahawa tanggungjawab rakyat diamanahkan oleh rakyat amat besar maknanya. Sebagai Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat, kita memainkan peranan penting sebagai agen perubahan dan menyampai pembangunan kepada rakyat. Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat harus memastikan kerjasama antara kaum terus dikekalkan dengan keharmonian rakyat yang berbilang kaum dan budaya di Sarawak.

Tuan Speaker, kesejahteraan sebuah negeri bukan sahaja bergantung kepada keharmonian dan perpaduan rakyatnya. Isu-isu keselamatan juga amat penting dalam memastikan kestabilan sosial dan politik. Sepertimana Kawasan N.2—Tasik Biru berdekatan dengan sempadan Indonesia and mempunyai pintu masuk rasmi dan terdapat banyak jalan tikus yang boleh menyebabkan ancaman keselamatan negeri.

State Elections 2006

Tuan Speaker, it is most deserving and fitting that our beloved Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri congratulated our beloved Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri to have led the Barisan Nasional to a sounding victory in the last State General Elections. Undeniably, the victory is a true testimony of the Barisan Nasional excellent past track record that has brought about progress, stability, security, harmony, and peace to our country and to ensure hope for our bright future for our future generations.

However, let us never forget that all these can never happen without the exemplary leaders and for us, we must count ourselves lucky to have lived and served during the tenure of this leadership over the last 25 years. Because such excellent leaders come far in between and this exemplary leader is none other than our beloved Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri. He is the chief architect, our chief planner, innovator and master financial management for our beloved state.

As a result of his brilliance, we enjoyed escalated and unprecedented economic growth, financial stability and resilience for the state over the last 25 years, his leadership as a Ketua Menteri. Indeed, the unprecedented development has created and provided us with the first wave of modern development for the state. Thus, we need and I stress, we need and want and least necessary for him to continue to lead us to set the pace to achieve the second wave of another unprecedented growth, development and prosperity for Sarawak for the good of the rakyat and our beloved country.

Going back to the sweet victory by Barisan Nasional in the last State General Elections, we must also thank the rakyat or voters for having made the right choice, I said, the right choice and not taking chances to determine the destiny. Giving Barisan Nasional a majority of 87% is in fact most gratifying and by no means an easy feat to achieve. Thus, ours was not a victory of politicians but of the people.

The people took the trust and gave it to us. They must have been proud of having elected us as we are to serve them. We won because we are Barisan Nasional, because we have the courage to change ourselves and discipline to take hard decisions while remained united and the size of our victory put a special responsibility on us to be a government of high performance and hard choices, not popular for one time but remembered for all time. Not just a better government but one of the great, progressive reforming government of our history. So let us be known that losing a few seats shall not dampen our spirit but on the contrary, strengthen our resolve even more.

Tuan Speaker, a change of political leadership in the early 1980s brought about renewed sense of urgency and introduction of new development approaches and strategies. A new approach was required if Sarawak was to progress in tandem with the rest of the nation and the necessary foundation for progress has to be put in place. Since then, the government has embarked on a new development paradigm which places total development covering all sectors, economic, social-cultural, political, human, environmental apart from the physical development. The new development philosophy is encapsulated under the concept of politics of development in which amongst others, politic is subservient to development by Amat Yang Berhormat Pehin Sri Ketua Menteri.

In further recognition of the forces of globalization, the progressiveness of IT, trade globalization in a fast modulus world are now realities that we have to contend with in our development planning process. It has been timely too that Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri Ketua Menteri mentioned that in view of the new realities that we faced, we have to re-look at our planning strategies. In his words, change is inevitable. With change comes opportunities in terms employment and income for the people. The state recognizes that our work force is getting mobile and their newly acquired work scale will further enhance their mobility. In the process, we will not anticipate that this interaction will bring about greater equality among the stakeholders as a result of the government development efforts. The acronym, COME encapsulates the new development challenges of our people.

Tuan Speaker, since the early 1980s, our state has witnessed tremendous development which come about as a result of the politics of development as espoused by our beloved Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri Ketua Menteri Sarawak unlike the period prior to the ascendancy of the present Ketua Menteri where threats from underground communist movements were real and coupled with political in-fighting among the various political parties.

The hierarchy principle of politics of development has allowed us to work towards development and improving the welfare of our people in a united and focus manner by not allowing our political and social-cultural differences get into the way of development, Sarawak under the abled leadership of our Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri has managed to focus more on development projects and progress which brought benefit to the people of Sarawak, particularly those in the rural areas.

We also recognize that the State Government has provided funds for development of basic infrastructures such as roads and bridges, water and electricity supply to the various Malaysian Plans including the Ninth Malaysia Plan covering the period 2006-2010. To ensure that the people are able to capitalize on the facilities and opportunities that are found in the local economy and elsewhere, the people themselves must take positive steps to improve their own individual capabilities beyond what the government can do for them. That is why the State Government has put greater emphasis on education and training and on the development of our vast human capital.

Tuan Speaker, rapid progress has also been made in the eradication of poverty in the state. The incident of poverty as an indicator of poverty has been reduced sharply from 21% in 1990 to as low as 5.8% in the year 2002. Even as a result of a change in definition where the poverty line income or PLI has been revised to the level of RM765 from RM600, the incident of poverty being revised to 7.5% for the year 2004 still showed a commendable achievement for the state.

We recognize the rise in PLI being the result of higher cost of living in the nation. Nonetheless, I am sure the state will continue to help the lower section of our society with programmes to reduce the incident poverty particularly those in the rural areas as well among the urban poor.

New Sectors

Tuan Speaker, as a dynamic concept the politics of development takes cognition of the implication of the new economy by taking into account the component of the new reality. Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri Ketua Menteri has reiterated the need to develop our capacity to identify, pursue and transform opportunities into real business realities. To achieve this target, additional investment will be made in enhancing the existing knowledge and the skills of our workforce and the infrastructure for knowledge and innovation. As we prepare for the future, we foresee among the key areas that the State will accord importance include the following sectors which I hope be given adequate fund for the development in the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

Agriculture and Food Industries

Modernisation and commercialization of the agriculture sector need to be intensified in food processing activities, deep sea fishing and aquaculture development, plantation development especially for oil palm, sago and forestry and the introduction of new crops such as herbs and spices, horticulture and seed production. I would urge the Ministry of Modernisation and Commercialisation of Agriculture encourage active private sector participation through joint-ventures.

Manufacturing

In manufacturing and with the emphasis being given to hi-tech, bio-tech as well as the capital intensive industries, I would urge the relevant ministries, departments and agencies to aggressively attract foreign direct investment or FDIs, or the private finance initiatives or the PFIs, in addition to existing resource based processing such as natural gas, wood-based, petro-chemical industries, promotion of high end electronics such as the wafer fabrication and final wood-based products especially pulp and paper should be intensified. SMIs and SMEs are developed to complement our efforts in promoting bigger industries.

Tourism

We have also developed our growing tourism industry that takes advantage of our natural environment. We recognized the tourism industry has helped to spur the growth of the services sector that ranged from transport and communication, restaurants and hotels, to commerce and other services. From the eco tourism focus, we can now look forward to M.I.C.E or MICE. We are looking forward to see the immediate implementation of the convention centre in Kuching with the setting up of the Sarawak Convention Bureau. I urge the Bureau to start assist in placing and booking conventions to be held in Kuching. A growing lucrative tourism market that Sarawak has decided to tap into is a target marketing world of MICE which stands for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions. Through this market segment, the State hopes to attract the well organized groups of high spending tourists to Sarawak. According to figures quoted by the SPU, the MICE market throughout the world is huge, reportedly at about USD300 billion annually.

The State Government has developed market intelligence and data base system on these markets and planned in advance effective strategies for tapping into these markets through specialized agency of the government. The Sarawak Convention Bureau which the State Government has already established will promote Sarawak as an exotic and competitive MICE destination in this region. Critical to exploiting this market is our ability to liaise directly with the various organizations through which the MICE tourists plan their activities. Equally important, of course, is to maintain customer relationship and service through these organizations.
It has been proven that the establishment of hotels, meetings and event venues, professional conference organizers, professional events and exhibition organizers, domestic air and ground transportation, eaters outlets and restaurants, just to mention a few, can open up opportunities in the MICE market.

Human Resource Development or HRD

Tuan Speaker, I recognize that the State has taken initiative in developing our human resource where the thrust has been to enhance the capabilities of our human capital through more effective HRD programmes which of course with emphasis on technical and skill training to increase and sustain the state’s competitiveness. I am pleased that the focus now is on skill training with the establishment of the Sarawak’s Skill Development Centre, a construction training institute under CIDB and an engineering institute, an entrepreneur and managerial skill development with youth as the prime target. In line with the objective of developing knowledge and IT based society, I would suggest that more resource centres are established throughout the State.

On nominal GDP, the income generated with the State economy measured in current prices amounted to RM49.16 billion in 2005, presenting an increase of 3.9 times more than that of RM12.47 billion in the year 1990. Our per capital nominal GDP of Sarawak rose 2.8 times from RM7,467 in 1990 to RM21,260 in the year 2005. This compare well with Malaysia’s per capital nominal GDP of RM17,687 in 2005. The progressive development in Sarawak has, therefore, certainly enabled us to attain such achievements. This has to be attributed to sound policies and principles of politics of development under the exemplary leader of our beloved Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri.

Focus on the State’s Ninth Malaysia Plan

Tuan Speaker, the Ninth Malaysia Plan covering the period 2006 to 2010 marks the beginning of the second phase of the politics of development which is in tandem with the national Vision 2020. After having completed the first 15 years from 1991 to 2005, I fully support that the State should now move on to the next phase of the Plan from 2006 to 2020. I am confident that with the infrastructures and facilities in place, our economy is now ready for the next wave of development. Beyond providing the infrastructure to improve the quality of life of the people, a lot of attention has also been given towards preserving, enhancing the goodwill and harmony among the various ethnic groups. This is the utmost priority to us as without unity and harmony, no meaningful development can take place. That is why I believe that the development of social infrastructure as an important component of our development agenda. In every Division, the State Government has built Dewan Suarah or Civic Centres, Civic Halls, Sports Complexes and Cultural Foundations to facilitate greater interaction among the people. Like a confluence of rivers this inter-mingling of meeting of ideas, cultures and values is both enriching and empowering. I would urge that we continually remind ourselves of the concept profounded by our Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri in early 1980s and it is still all the more relevant today.



Speeding up of Growth in Rural Areas

Tuan Speaker, I am pleased that the State’s strategy for developing the Sarawak economy is also to speed up the growth of the rural areas. The vastness of the rural areas of the State where the future potential of Sarawak economy lies, represents great opportunities available to us to develop the State. The rural areas are naturally our development focus to quickly spread the benefits of development to our people as well as to bring about renewed growth in traditional sectors. We must speed up the growth of the rural areas to specific development plans and programmes.

Rural Growth Centres

The State Government has managed to focus on our own development efforts in the first 15 years by marshalling the economic potential to be integrated at rural level so as to induce critical mass. This approach has enabled us to funnel economic activities towards secondary towns and then the smaller centres which can be planned as rural growth centres or RGCs.

Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri Ketua Menteri in his speech on the Ninth Malaysia Plan: The Sarawak Perspective has identified Rural Growth Centres or RGCs as a third tier of regional development. Hence, the Rural Growth Centres is seen as a major development strategy in the rural areas being closest to the rakyat. Each Rural Growth Centres will be a settlement or community of a viable size of at least 5,000 people so that all the basic amenities such as water, electricity, roads, schools and public health services and sufficient economic activities can be provided to the people as a unified economic community of their own.

The Rural Growth Centres physical development plans, therefore, need to be prepared on the basis of economic development integrated with the overall potential to ensure their viability and sustainability as growth centres. Talking about Rural Growth Centres, I would urge the government to implement the Rural Growth Centres for the Stungkor area that has been approved by our beloved Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri on the 5th May, 2006 during this Ninth Malaysia Plan.

Rural Development

Tuan Speaker, I also stand here to support the … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat, how much longer have you got to go?

Y.B. Encik Peter Nansian Ngusie: Just about 10 minutes.

Tuan Speaker: We have a short break. Sitting resumes at 11:30 a.m.

Y.B. Encik Peter Nansian Ngusie: Okay.

(Mesyuarat ditangguhkan pada jam 11:12 pagi)


(Mesyuarat dimulakan pada jam 11:50 pagi)

[Tuan Speaker mempengerusikan Mesyuarat]

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Tasik Biru.

Y.B. Encik Peter Nansian Ngusie: Tuan Speaker, I also stand here to support this Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri endorsement of the government’s programme for rural development in Sarawak.

Rural Development

The rural population of Sarawak easily comprises more than 50% of its total population, while the rural land mass easily comprises at least 80% or over 80% of its land mass. Therefore, any development of the state cannot ignore the issue of development of the rural areas.

Now, I would like to touch on the development of rural areas in the Kuching Division which I feel can be conceptualized as part of the development of the greater Kuching metropolis. Kuching city is growing very rapidly. This can be seen by rapid development of residential, commercial and industrial properties in and around the city. Kuching is slowly but surely extending its reach towards what used to be rural areas that surrounded it, for example Batu Kawah which used to be in the outskirt of Kuching is now, for all intent and purpose, part of Kuching. With the good roads and communication infrastructure that we have now, I know that some people commute daily from as far as Lundu to work in Kuching. Of course, there are many people who also commute from Bau and Serian everyday to the city. I propose that the development of Bau and Lundu and that of the adjacent areas be coordinated and synchronized with the development of the Kuching metropolis to ensure maximum and optimum benefits to these areas and their people. Bau and Lundu can be viewed as the suburban of Kuching and be considered as part of the greater Kuching metropolis. These suburbs as I described them can be developed as the hinterland of Kuching city. They provide the city with agricultural, residential, recreational, tourism facilities and supplies, for example, Siburan, Beratok and Tapah have developed their own rich roles in support of Kuching city as the primary market gardeners for Kuching. Likewise, Lundu or Sematan can be developed and promoted as integrated tourism destination for the city folks from Kuching. I also feel that the Rambungan and Sempadi areas have great potentials to be developed as similar tourist destination for the greater Kuching metropolis.

The State Government may also want to consider transferring and moving some government offices and its station to the Bau District to help relief congestion in the city. With the formatted integrated development of Kuching city and its surrounding areas as part of greater Kuching, I believe that it will bring about a holistic, orderly, sustainable and equitable development.

Knowledge-Based Society

Tuan Speaker, our beloved Tuan Yang Terutama mentioned the need for the state to face the increasing challenges brought about the development and spread the Information and Communication Technology or ICT and the effects of globalization. Development of a knowledge-based society or a k-society is part of the second wave development proposed by our Yang Amat Berhormat Chief Minister to enable the state to meet these challenges. I fully agree that the state does not have any choice but to work towards a k-society for us to continue to prosper in the more globalized, liberal and open future. This k-society vision was stated very clearly by our Yang Amat Berhormat Chief Minister even in the early 2000 who wanted Sarawak attain the status before 2020.

Our Yang Amat Berhormat Chief Minister mentioned: “Sarawak must brace for the post industrial era and be able to come to grip with the opportunities and challenges even as the state hasten its current phase of development to achieve k-society at end of the year 2020.” This was reported in The Sarawak Tribune on 9th October, 2003. Another statement attributed to our Yang Amat Berhormat Chief Minister as reported in The Borneo Post on 22nd May, 2003; “Ketua Menteri’s birthday wish - To see Sarawak attain k-based economy well before year 2020.” These are just two examples of the far-sighted vision of our Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri for the next stage of development for the state.

What does it take to develop into a k-based society? As mentioned by our Yang Amat Berhormat Chief Minister, the base of a k-society is a k-economy and a k-community. First, the state economy must develop and evolve from the current industrial and production era into an economy that is based on acquisition, creation, development, exploitation and sharing of knowledge. This is part of our Yang Amat Berhormat Chief Minister’s second wave of development and move to service high technology and bio-technology industries that produces economic products and various ways on the exploitation of knowledge. Businesses too must adopt and must use ICT in the k-economy.

The other component of k-society is no less important. The k-economy must be supported by a progressive and knowledgeable community or k-community in order to complete our transformation into a k-society. This means that the mental and cultural transformation of our people to value modern knowledge and tools and to acquire and to exploit knowledge and to become progressive communities. K-economy also requires access to information and communication technology or ICT to access to information and knowledge and to use in their daily activities and processes. As more and more services both from the government and private sector and as more and more information are published online, it is critical that the public in the state have access to the ICT tools to enable them to access the services, information and to transform into progressive and k-communities.

I am very happy to know that both the Federal and the State Governments through various agencies and programmes addressing and expediting the transformation of public into k-community. The State Ministry of Rural Development has been very active in its rural ICT training programmes and has donated ICT equipment to rural schools. Other state agencies such as the Chief Minister’s Department, Sarawak State Library, Sarawak Information System Sdn. Bhd. (SAINS), SACOFA and NGOs such as AZAM has also undertake public ICT promotion and literacy programmes and trainings and provide free computers, internet facilities in rural districts and sub-districts offices. I also understand that the Federal Government through its agencies such as the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Energy, Water and Communication and Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) have programmes and projects to extend communications and internet access throughout the state.

These include the SchoolNet project, universal service provision or USP program to provide telephone and internet access to the rural clinics and libraries and the USP program by MCMC to provide telephone lines to under-served areas in the state. I fully support these programs and am confident that we will achieve our Yang Amat Berhormat Chief Minister’s vision of a k-society by 2020, if these programs are fully implemented. Our state with its small population, challenging geography and spread-out population settlements is at a disadvantage in the development and spread of telecommunication and ICT facilities compared to other states in the country. According to the Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications, in June 2006, the ownership of personal computers (PCs) in Sarawak is only 9.6% compared to 19.6% for the nation. According to the MCMC in June 2006, the fixed telephone lines penetration rates in the state is 11.4%, while the national level is 16.5%. Dial-up internet penetration rate for Sarawak is 6.7% compared to 13.7% for the nation.

The above figures, shows that while there is still a long way to go before we can have pervasive ICT and internet access, we are already making inroad in this area. I urge that the Federal Government provide more funding to extend basic telecommunication services to rural areas in the state. I also propose that the government considers implementing more facilities to provide free or at low cost computer and internet facilities to areas and communities that do not have or that cannot afford these facilities.

Talking about educational facilities for the rural areas, may I also urge the government to implement SMK Singai, Bau during the Ninth Malaysia Plan as the three other secondary schools in this district are now already very congested and not very conducive for learning. I have suggested the site for this proposed project and it is hoped that the government approved the site to pave the way for the project to be implemented as soon as possible.

Civil Service and Delivery System

Tuan Speaker, I support the State Government’s serious effort to improve the delivery system of the State Public Service. As mentioned by the Tuan Yang Terutama, the State Government has introduced and implemented appropriate systems and procedures to ensure that the Ninth Malaysia Plan programs and projects are implemented efficiently and productively in Sarawak.

I would also like to comment on the Government Delivery System for daily government activities, not necessarily part of the Ninth Malaysia Plan. The State Government’s approach of improving its work system through quality and process improvements combined with the use of ICT tools is very clear and very logical. I understand that the state has developed and implemented over two hundred ICT applications and has expanded its ICT network to reach almost every state government offices throughout the state. I know that this effort have tremendously improved the efficiency of work processes and systems and the public service.

Coupled with this, I also understand that the state has set a target to be a fully electronic government by the year 2009 with major services being offered online. This means that all State Government services will be available anytime, anywhere there is internet access. Of course, most of the government services, such as bill delivery and payment, scholarships applications and payments, job recruitments and local authority services are already available online now. I believe, that under the current leadership in the state and the current leaders and officers that we have in the State Public Service, the state will continue to lead in improving and in providing quality services to the people of Sarawak despite our difficult geography, terrain and very scattered population settlements.

Tuan Speaker, before I conclude, let me reiterate once again the importance and imperative need for us to prepare ourselves in our development effort as we enter into the next phase of the development which our beloved Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri coined as the second wave of politics of development.

In essence, Tuan Speaker, we are moving from primary and secondary sectors to the tertiary, quaternary and quinery sectors of economic development of our state to ensure a bright future for this beloved country of ours.

And this, Tuan Speaker, is the hallmark of the credible and responsible Barisan Nasional Government and our leaders, both at the Federal and State level. Thus, Tuan Speaker, this Dewan resolves to express its appreciation to Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri for his address to this august Dewan on the 24th July, 2006. Thank you.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Lambir.

Y.B. Encik Aidan Wing: Tuan Speaker, terima kasih kerana memberi peluang kepada saya untuk menyokong satu usul yang telah dicadangkan oleh Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Tasik Biru bahawa Dewan yang mulia ini bersidang dan membuat keputusan untuk merakamkan setinggi-tinggi penghargaan serta terima kasih kita kepada Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri atas Perasmian Pembukaan Penggal Pertama Dewan Undangan Negeri Yang Ke-enam Belas dan juga atas ucapan Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri semasa perasmian persidangan kita pada hari Isnin, 24 Julai 2006 yang lalu.

Tuan Speaker, Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri in his address has shown his caring touch and genuine concern about the welfare, wellbeing and wellness of the rakyat in this state. Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri is truly a leader who has always been close to the people, exemplified by his regular visits to the various parts of the state, especially the remote, rural, interior as well as the coastal areas. Having travelled far and wide throughout the state, he knows the needs of the people very well. We, the rakyat are most grateful to you, Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri.

Racial Harmony and Political Stability

Tuan Speaker, in his address to this august House, Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri has graciously touched on matters pertaining to social unity and harmony, internal security and the social agenda prevail in the state amidst the fast pace of economic growth that has helped to transform the state economy. Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri has also touched on the state’s economic development, human capital development, rural development, efficient utilization of energy, improvement in quality of life and effective delivery system. All these factors are very relevant and most timely for us to consider and to take heed as we continue to embark on our journey toward Vision 2020.

In turn, Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri has reminded us on the roles that we can play to attain, maintain and sustain this desired state of progress in Sarawak. As elected representative of the rakyat, we are duty bound to appreciate this reminder to keep us all on track in our deliberation in this august House.

Tuan Speaker, we must acknowledge and appreciate the fact that racial harmony and political stability has been the hallmark of Sarawak’s vigorous, robust and sustained growth and development thus far. As rightly mentioned by Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri, racial harmony and political stability that have been achieved over the years must be nurtured, nourished, maintained and guarded at all times by all parties including the opposition members of this august House to ensure that planned development could proceed smoothly. This is also to ensure that the threshold of development, peace and harmony that we enjoyed now will be sustained and more importantly continued to be enjoyed by the future generations of our state.

Roles and Responsibilities

Tuan Speaker, Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri has also rightly reminded all Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat of their roles and responsibilities to ensure that the bedrock for the state development, namely, social unity, harmony and political stability are always maintained and safe guarded in delivering development project to the rakyat under the Ninth Malaysia Plan. In this regard, Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri has correctly reiterated and given timely advice for all Members of this august House to focus on their responsibilities to serve the rakyat.

The advice for all Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat in this august House is to forge ahead and focus on how best to further develop Sarawak, taking into consideration the internal and external challenges faced by our state.

Politic of Development and the New Reality

Tuan Speaker, the progress, prosperity and development that our beloved state, Sarawak, has achieved thus far is the result of the political stability, farsightedness, pragmatic and visionary leadership of the government under the stewardship of none other than the Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri Ketua Menteri over the past twenty years. It is common knowledge that Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri Ketua Menteri has been the economic and development planner, architect and the guiding force that has steered the state in achieving the current level of developments, which is a pride of the rakyat. Indeed, the threshold of development that we have achieved so far is already on par with or if not better than other developed states in this country.

Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri Ketua Menteri has had an illustrious political career at both the State and Federal levels since the formation of Malaysia. I think on 22 July, he has achieved a service of 43 years. I think this is indeed a record. I am very proud of this leadership. (Applause) With his vast experiences and in-depth knowledge about the state from all angles including geography, history and economy as well as his well thought, our development philosophy has laid down the pillars for a peaceful, progressive and prosperous Sarawak.

The ideas and philosophy enshrined in the politics of development was mooted and propagated by Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri Ketua Menteri. The execution of the ideas and philosophy has resulted in the rapid, steady and orderly economic growth and development transcending the region, division, district and sub-district to the village and kampong levels throughout the state. All strata of society covering the various ethnic groups have also benefited from this development.

Tuan Speaker, even today, in this august House, we are very proud to see their representation. Let us not forget the road, the bridges that we use, the school where we send our children to seek their education, the facilities and amenities that lead to enhancement our quality of life are the result of the systematic and pragmatic development planning which are the main trust of politic of development.

Tuan Speaker, on the other side of development other than economic benefit and physical assets, we must also acknowledge and not forget the culture, the custom, the tradition of various ethnic group in the state. Apart from the Hari Raya, Chinese New Year, Christmas, Deepavali celebrations, we also have the Gawai Dayak and the Kaul celebrations. We have carefully nurtured, acknowledge, this aspect of the state wealth and heritage through the pursuant and implementation of the state social agenda. Do not compute Malaysia like our GDP, our export earning, our poverty eradication indicators. Let us not forget that the acquired or indirect contribution of our custom and tradition and the strengthening of our values towards the growth and development of our state. We must all be proud of the fact that we are able to capitalize all our diversity and culture, custom, festival, local cuisine, I guess umai maybe, or something else and celebration to promote and achieve greater racial harmony. All these celebrations, festivals, such as the recent traditional national level Gawai Dayak will also promote harmony, tolerance, unity and stability in the state.

Tuan Speaker, the economic development thrust of the state has always been to promote and achieve a balance development between the urban and rural areas. The implementation of large scale commercial projects on NCR land and rural growth centres throughout the state are done with the expressed objectives of bridging the gap between the urban and rural areas. To expedite this process, Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri has advised all Members of this august House, including Members of the Opposition, to play their role as a catalyst of development.

Tuan Speaker, I must also highlight the fact that security and safety has great impact on the development in the state. In this respect, the Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri has rightly touched on the subject in his address. It is, therefore, the responsibility of each and every one of us to safeguard the security of this state at all costs so that development programmes could be implemented smoothly.

Tuan Speaker, the challenges ahead. Second wave of politic of development. We should not be complacent with our economic achievement and we should not take for granted the political stability and social harmony that we have now. On the other hand, we should strive harder to strengthen the social harmony, peace and stability in the state towards better and greater economic growth and development especially under the Ninth Malaysia Plan. The challenges before us are numerous but with our current visionary political leadership and racial harmony among our multi-racial communities the challenges will be surmountable.

Tuan Speaker, taking into consideration the various challenges faced by the state including exogenous factors such as globalization and trade liberalization, Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri Ketua Menteri has also timely introduced the new reality and the second wave of the politics of development. The guiding principles encapsulated in this new reality are our ability to tackle challenges, identify and seize opportunity, accelerate mobility and achieve equality. All these principles will lay down the framework for us to move ahead steadily and orderly towards achieving a developed state status before the year 2020.

Tuan Speaker, the Ninth Malaysia Plan marked the beginning of the second wave of the politics of development. Therefore, in his address, Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri has also touched on the need for us to implement development projects based on the five strategic thrusts under the Ninth Malaysia Plan for achieving the national mission.

At the state level the government has outlined six development strategies to ensure faster growth in the state’s economy and to achieve a progressive society founded on high quality human capital and good quality of life. In this regard, concerted efforts of all stakeholders, particularly Honourable Members of this august House are required to realize and ensure that development can be implemented as planned and will benefit the rakyat.

Tuan Speaker, to execute the six development strategies for the Ninth Malaysia Plan at the state level which are consistent with the five strategic thrusts of the Federal Government, it is incumbent upon all Members of this august House to provide constructive ideas, practical proposals and strategies in their deliberations in the next few days in this Dewan sitting. It is now appropriate for me to mention that our focus should be on how to overcome the big challenges ahead. Nonetheless, it is vital for all Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat to be mindful of the fact that racial harmony and solidarity among our multi-cultural communities is paramount in discharging their roles and responsibilities as the representatives of the rakyat.

Tuan Speaker, I wish to focus my debate on the role and contribution of the agriculture sector in the state’s economy – its modernization and commercialization and especially in the Agropolis concept for the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

Tuan Speaker, I wish to touch on those portions of Tuan Yang Terutama’s address that concerns agriculture, especially the development of the agriculture sector in Sarawak. I fully agree with the contention that the agriculture sector offers tremendous potential as a source of revenue for the state and the country. Indeed the government, at both and state and federal levels, have given greater emphasis in the Ninth Malaysia Plan on the role of agriculture in developing the economy. At the national level, agriculture has been identified as the third, if not among the top three, engines of growth for the country. In Sarawak, with our huge rural constituencies, vast land resources and conducive investment climate, agriculture should rightly be accorded the highest priority in our efforts to bring development to the rural areas.

Tuan Speaker, before I proceed further, I would like to provide some context to what I am about to say by referring to the text of Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri’s speech during the special sitting of the august House held on 20th April this year. In his speech which outlines the Ninth Malaysia Plan Perspective for Sarawak, the Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri made references to the thrusts for achieving the national vision as promulgated by Yang Amat Berhormat Perdana Menteri Malaysia, and the six development strategies for the state in the Ninth Malaysia Plan. I might add here that the national thrusts and our state development strategies do share important commonalities. In as far as the development of the agriculture sector is concerned, it is relevant to note three pertinent thrusts. The first of those is the need to move the economy up the value chain; the second is the need to raise the capacity for knowledge and innovation and in the process nurturing a “first class mentality”; and a third thrust is the need to strengthen the institutional and implementation capacity. These selected three thrusts to achieve the national vision are also reflected in the six development strategies which were elucidated by Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri during the April sitting of this august House.

Tuan Speaker, I wish now to share my thoughts on three aspects of the development strategies that have been identified for adoption by the state in the Ninth Malaysia Plan, in as far as they relate to the development of the agriculture sector. They relate to the development of human capital, improvement in research and development capabilities and the adoption of the Agropolis concept approach in developing commercial agriculture in Sarawak.

I will touch firstly on the development of human capital. Tuan Speaker, I agree that we must train our young people to be of world class quality so that they can be competitive, marketable and can be global workers. Even if they do not intent to partake in the international labour market, their competitiveness will surely translate into improved competitiveness of the state and national economy. The challenge for us here is to produce knowledgeable and skilled workers who are specifically suited to job markets created by the demands of the changing environment. What does this mean for us in Sarawak? The first step is, of course, to identify the potential agriculture industries of the future and to make them the focus of our training initiatives. We must focus on a few key industries and direct our limited resources towards those, and not try to handle all and sundry. After identifying the key industries, we then need to come up with our training and modules for different categories of workers. We must, however, place great emphasis on the quality of the training provided. The trainers and the resource persons must be highly qualified in their respective fields, and if such persons are not available locally, we must find ways of securing their services, including outsourcing from outside the country. In the longer term, we have to develop our own in-house or in-country expertise by sending our master trainers to relevant institutions or organizations to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills.

Mechanisms must be in place to enable those trainers to regularly update themselves on the latest technology and systems. In addition to developing competent trainers, we must also provide proper training facilities. Training in the formal setting of an institution is, however, only one aspect of upgrading the skills and knowledge of agriculture workers and farmers. For the masses of rural farmers, we have to consider other approaches that are able to reach a much larger clientele group more efficiently and effectively. In this regard, the more non-formal approaches such as agriculture extension and farm-level technology transfer programmes are more appropriate. Given the importance of developing our human capital in the agriculture sector, I therefore wish to urge the Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture to set in place an effective programme for providing our agriculture workers and farmers with the necessary skills and knowledge to support the development of a vibrant agriculture sector.

Tuan Speaker, I shall now proceed to the subject of research and development in the field of agriculture. I agree with Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri that the rapid convergence of technologies is now creating new fields of study and exploration, including new frontiers such as those presented by biotechnology, biodiversity, automation, sustainable agriculture, organic and natural farming, agricultural waste utilization, among others. In addition to convention agriculture research and development fields, we should be exploring the potential of all these new areas and when the opportunity arises, to exploit these new technologies for the benefit of our farmers and the economy. New technology, however, knows no borders and research institutions all over the world are involved in one way or another in these new fields. With our limited resources, it is not possible for us to rely entirely on home-grown technology to progress. Our research people must therefore learn to be adept in the art of technology prospecting, establishing linkages with renowned research institutions and organizations, and collaborating with suitable partners in research. It is only through this process that the development of new technology could be speeded up.

Tuan Speaker, there are several institutions that are involved in agriculture research of various kinds in Sarawak. We have the Agriculture Department, MARDI, CRAUN, and UNIMAS to name a few. Each of these institutions undoubtedly would have their strengths and limitations as well as their own priority research areas. Given the diverse interests and players, I am suggesting that the Sarawak Government should form a coordinating body which can identify and recommend priority research areas as well as to facilitate harnessing the resources of these institutions in a systematic manner to support the development of the agriculture sector.

Tuan Speaker, permit me to touch on a subject that is central to the development to commercial agriculture in Sarawak, especially on the adoption of the Agropolis concept approach. Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri has indicated in his speech during the April sitting of this august House that the Agropolis concept has been adopted as an approach for engaging entrepreneurs and the private sector to invest in commercial agriculture and downstream activities. I also understand that the Agropolis concept is a new enabling mechanism that aims to integrate and coordinate the development in the commercial agriculture and food industries in the state. The concept emphasizes value activities in the upstream and downstream activity levels, smart partnership and investment, application of high technology, and bringing together key players in the agro-industry supply chain.
From the limited information that I am able to gather on the Agropolis concept, I am convinced that the Agropolis can be a real catalyst in facilitating the greater participation and investment of private sector in commercial agriculture and food industries. For this I wish to offer my highest compliment to Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri for coming up with the idea. We all know that the smallholders and small entrepreneurs on their own, cannot bring about the accelerated pace of development that we expect from the agriculture sector. Hence we need to harness the resources of the private sector in spear heading the development of commercial agriculture in the state.

Tuan Speaker, there are many potential investors out there who are very keen to go into commercial agriculture projects, be those may be in the upstream or downstream activities. Quite often however, they are at loss as to where to start. There is a myriad of agencies that provide information which are critical in business and investment decision-making. While those of the bigger players may be able to rely on their own sources of information, many will have to rely on government agencies to provide such information. In their decision-making, potential investors may need access to a variety of information relating to industry statistics, marketing, government incentives, government policy, land bank, production technology, quality standards, international trade regulations on specific products, cost of production, state of support industries, transportation and handling, just to name a few. At present, a potential investor needs to run around to several agencies in order to obtain those types of information. I would like, therefore, to suggest that as part of the Agropolis set up, the government should set up a dedicated center where a potential investor could have access to all those information.

The purpose of such a center is to provide the potential investor with a least the basic information to enable them to develop their idea further. If there is a need for a very specific and detail information, the center should then refer to investors, the investor to the relevant sources. One can also imagine that such a center to have online connection with the website of relevant agencies to facilitate further queries and consultation.

I sincerely believe that such a business information center would be able to serve the needs of both the large investor as well as small entrepreneur in pursuing investment in the agriculture sector.

Tuan Speaker, I have covered in broad and general term the big issues raised in the speech of Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri under development ideas that can bring impact to us in the future. I have also touched on the development area that has been profounded by Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri Ketua Menteri, as our leader and development architect over the years through his politics of development. I have specially focused my speech at the modernization and commercialization of agriculture in the state through this agropolis concept.

Before I conclude, I wish, therefore, to put up two suggestions for considerations which not only cover the need of my constituency, Lambir but also the larger need of greater Miri Resort City.

First, is the development of tourism along the Miri/Bakam/Bekenu/Niah Coastal areas. With the completion of the coastal road, we already have a first class infrastructure in place to enable us to visit the many attractive places for tourism development. I would urge the Ministry of Tourism and Sarawak Tourism Board to study the whole area and plan its development. When developed, the area can be like the Kota Kinabalu tourism belt or tourism area or like the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Cairn of Queensland in Australia. These developments I believe will bring about new employment, new opportunities for Miri, for Lambir, for Bekenu and all its hinterland and this of course, will complement the greater Mulu, our world heritage.

Tuan Speaker, the second proposal is to explore the modernization, commercialization and intensification of agriculture development through Agropolis concept in parallel with the coastal tourism belt of the Miri/Bakam/Bekenu and Niah area. We can explore market gardening, horticulture and floriculture which will compliment the development of tourism especially in the northern part of Sarawak.

Tuan Speaker, these two big proposals will add values to our present economic activities and I hope they can be studied within the Ninth Malaysia Plan. Tuan Speaker, with the above, first, I would like to say a big “Thank You” to you for your indulgence. I therefore beg to second the motion of appreciation to Tuan Yang Terutama Yang Di-Pertua Negeri’s address in this august House on the 24th July, 2006, which has been proposed by Ahli Yang Berhormat for Tasik Biru.

Sekian, terima kasih.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat, we have a lunch break. Sitting resumes at 2:00 p.m.

(Mesyuarat ditangguhkan pada jam 12:35 petamg)

(Mesyuarat dimulakan pada jam 2.21 petang)

[Tuan Speaker mempengerusikan mesyuarat]

Tuan Speaker: Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat, the question is that the Motion in the name of the Honourable Member for Tasik Biru, Yang Berhormat Encik Peter Nansian Nguse be approved. Before I call upon Honourable Members to debate on the TYT Yang di-Pertua Negeri’s address, I would like to inform that three days have been set aside for Honourable Members who are not members of the Cabinet to debate on the TYT’s address, that is, from today, 26th July till 28th July, 2006. Specific time, specific time limit under Standing Order 31(cool.gif may be imposed if there are too many members wishing to speak on the last day, that is, Friday, 28th July, 2006. The replies by the Ministers will be on 31st July to 2nd August, 2006. Any Honourable Member wishes to speak. Ahli Yang Berhormat for Batu Kawah.

Y.B. Encik Tan Joo Phoi: Tuan Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity given to me to speak in this august House. First and foremost, I would like to address my motion of appreciation in support of TYT’s policy’s speech during the opening of this august House, on the 24th July 2006. I must congratulate all those who have won in the last State election, especially my colleagues in the Barisan Nasional. My utmost thanks to the state leadership under Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud and all the leaders in the Barisan Nasional component parties for having the trust on me to represent the government in Batu Kawah. The victory means that Sarawak politics are stable once again and continuity is maintained. I must also mention that the defeat of my colleagues also provides an opportunity to ponder on the past and to look forward to a better future. History has proven that there is no invention of success without failure or mistakes. Setbacks are actually giving time for us to identify the weaknesses and to capitalize on the strength to go even further than the last success.

Tuan Speaker, my Batu Kawah area may not be big. The constituency is a mixture of urban and sub-urban areas as well as kampung from Landeh, Batu Kitang to Sinar Budi and Rantau Panjang. The decision of the voters in my constituency to vote for Barisan Nasional has been the right choice. I must thank them and I promise my best service to them. Based on the resources available, their hope for progress in their kampung, housing estates and commercial areas will be fulfilled. Being an elected member of the Dewan Undangan Negeri for the first time, I pledge the best service possible. I shall work closely with the voters to ensure that projects implemented are really what the public want and also benefit everyone.

Tuan Speaker, land issue is a hot topic and I would like to highlight my views and observations for this topic. Sarawak is blessed with abundance of resources of impertinent land where currently we have a population of approximately 2.2 million residing over 124,449.5 per sq kilometers of land mast or 17.68 person per sq kilometers compared with the national average of more than 80 person per sq kilomenters. In terms of population density, West Malaysia is almost ten times that of Sarawak. In West Malaysia, most of the land in the built-up areas are free-hold land. For example in the Klang Valley covering the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, there are definitely more free-hold properties than lease-hold properties for a built-up area. The lease-hold properties in West Malaysia are mainly of 99-year lease compared to Sarawak’s 60-year lease. However, in recent years, I am happy to note that the state government has recognized the 60-year lease is too short by granting alienation of state land for mixed development on 99-year lease-hold. And the notables are the Bandar Semariang project and Zecon project next to the High Court Complex in Petra Jaya, Kuching. The Pulau Lee Wah project in Sibu and also some development in Miri. It is the fervent hope of the people that the government will issue the 99-year lease-hold for all the new leases and also in the extension of renewal of expired leases in the future.

A recent development in the banking industry is that due to the escalating cost of housing and with a view to assist the government to alleviate the housing woes, particularly in the highly urbanized areas in the city, the banks are exploring the possibility of giving out long tenure loans to be paid over two generations. Longer loan tenure will translate into lower monthly repayment which makes houses more affordable to the urban dwellers. These loans can only be granted if the lease-hold properties use as a collateral have a corresponding and expiry lease spanning over the tenure of the repayment period. With the 60 years issue, few properties in Sarawak will be able to be financed on the proposed tenure loans and hence Sarawakian in general will not benefit from the scheme. It is pertinent to note that the cost of housing in Sarawak urban area has gone up by leaps and bounds especially in the state capital of Kuching where the prices of houses have sky-rocketed over the last ten years. I remember that as recent as 1992, a semi-detached house in the good suburbs in Kuching such as the popular Tabuan Jaya area was sold at RM160,000. Today, a similar semi-detached house in the same area fetches more than RM400,000.

It is not uncommon to see intermediate houses selling over RM300,000. The salary of a fixed income earner in Kuching certainly has not gone up by even 30% over the same period. Therefore, housing in Kuching is becoming a real problem for the fixed income earners.

The State Government has done a great deal by building a lot of low cost houses now branded as HDC Houses by our Honourable Minister for Housing, Y.B. Dato Sri Abang Zohari bin Tun Haji Openg for the lower income group. But the group of people who are earning income marginally above the limit of eligible for HDC houses are the ones who are the victims of the housing rules. The people who fall under this group are not entitled to apply for HDC houses and at the same time they cannot afford to buy houses developed by private developers.

The long tenure loan will come in handy for this group of people and I appeal to the State Government to consider 99-year leasehold or even freehold for build up properties in order to benefit the urban masses. This is reasonable in the light that as I said in the beginning of my speech, Sarawak is blessed with plenty of land for its people.

Tuan Speaker, I would to touch on the extension of the leasehold. Currently, the Land and Survey Department only consider application for extension on leasors worth less than five years of expired lease. This practice is considered necessary by the authority as five years is regarded by the department as the time close enough to the expiry date for the government to assess the planning requirement of any particular area.

Many have expressed grievances over this practice. One point which we all must come to term with is that no right minded government in the world, will tell its people in the build up residential suburb such as Kenyalang Park in Kuching that the leasehold will not be extended because the government need the land for certain public purposes.

If this is done, it will turn the residents into squatters overnight come 31st of December, 2015 and will result in an extremely unfair situation when many of the residents have spent 30 years of their saving paying for their houses and are now told that they have lost their houses and they have to leave. Compare with this the situation where the State Government had in the past been handing out land titles or build houses to resettle squatters on the state land.

Below there are two scenarios which will illustrate the gravity or the seriousness of the problems create by this practice.

Scenario number one: Mr. A, aged 62 a retired hawker bought his single storey terrace house in Kenyalang Park in the 1960s and has been staying there ever since. He has three sons of which two are married with two grandchildren each. All are staying with him. The house has three bedrooms. One occupied by Mr. A and his wife. The other two rooms are occupied by Mr. A’s married sons and their respective spouses and kids. Mr. A’s youngest son 23, who is not married has to sleep on a mattress in the living room and he has been doing that for the past five years since his second brother got married.
The family would love to move into a bigger house as it is very too tight in a house with eleven inside a build up area of a little more than 600 sq feet. The anxiety is growing by the day as the eldest grandchildren of Mr. A is now fifteen and she is staying in the same room with the parents and on the same bed with the brother who is thirteen years old.

Mr. A’s eldest son, 37 and his youngest now run the family vegetable store at the nearby Kenyalang Market. Mr. A’s second son works as a security guard. The only way out for Mr. A is to sell his Kenyalang house and use the proceed as the deposit to get a bigger house but he cannot sell the house because no bank would finance the purchaser as the leasehold has only 90 years to run. Mr. A is stuck in his Kenyalang house at least for the next 90 years feeling frustrated and not knowing what to do.

Mr. B and his son are feeling helpless and blame the government for not allowing the leasehold to be extended further.

The two scenarios are typical of what is happening at Kenyalang Park and other residential estates in Sarawak where the leasehold properties have its expiry date drawing near but not near enough to the five years limit laid down by the Land and Survey Department as the inconvenient date for the application for extension of the leasehold. The properties are still be not marketable and not bankable.

In West Malaysia, where the National Land Code is applicable as 228 provides that the registered proprietor got a statutory rights to apply for extension of leasehold at any time before the expiry of the leasehold.

I would like to further describe the scenario two. Mr. B, a retired civil servant and pensioner bought his Kenyalang house at the same time as Mr. A. Mr. B is luckier. He has only one son and he has fully repaid his Borneo Housing loan ten years ago. Mr. B’s son is bright the proven himself to be a successful salesperson. Mr. B’s son feels that he is ready to come out on his own and needs about RM50,000 as a start up capital. Even though Mr. B is supportive of the idea, he has no saving on his managed salary while in the civil service and his gratuity received during the retirement was spent on the two son’s wedding and the wife’s medical bill when her kidney failed to function two years ago.

The only way is for Mr. B to use his colonial house as a security to raise a loan for his son. Mr. B and his son have called every bank in Kuching and none of them would lend them money citing short leasehold as the reason. Since it is unlikely that the government would not extend the house leasehold for a build up residential estate, I venture to propose that application for extension should be entertained by the Land and Survey Department at any time.

Tuan Speaker, I would like now to touch on the premium chargeable on extension. It is noted that there is a guideline issued by the Land and Survey Department in 1994 which indicated that the rate of premium for the re-alienation of land is in the region ranging from 40% to 60% of the market value of the vacant land of the subject property.

I understand that the government is still studying in depth the rate of premium to be imposed for the extension of titled land. The government must take into consideration in particular, the case of residential houses, where, the majority of the people worked for their whole life just to purchase one house. By the time they finished repaying their loan they would be retired and the government cannot expect them to be able to afford to pay a lot.

In West Malaysia, most states charge 0.25% of the market value of the vacant land per year on lease extended. In the case of Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, the premium for the extension is only 6.25% of the market value of the vacant land pro rata the number of years to be extended.

Why? We may have to consider collections of premium for extension as a source of income for the government in time to come. The amount raised would not be much compared to the cases where the government alienated huge parcels of land for oil palm plantations to corporate sectors who can afford to pay. Therefore under the circumstance, I humbly propose that the premium chargeable should be less than 10% of the market value of the vacant land and is to be paid over ten years.

Tuan Speaker, as the Chairman of Majlis Perbandaran Padawan (MPP) I will touch not only on my constituency but also the MPP area. Like my constituency the area of MPP is big, even bigger than the Kuching City Council and the Sibu Municipal Council both in terms of areas and population, worth over 300,000 person staying in over 47,000 properties in our area, MPP needs attention in terms of funds and planning.

During the Eighth Malaysian Plan, MPP has spent all the RM23 million allocated by the government. This is against the RM60 million to RM98 million each allocated in the same plan to our big brothers, MBKS and DBKU and to the other urban centres in Sarawak.

Tuan Speaker, like my Batu Kawah Constituency, the MPP area is a mixture of development. Commercial areas are found at Matang Jaya and Batu Kawah New Township. The traditional areas are at Sungai Maong Besar that is 3rd Mile Bazaar, Kota Sentosa, Kota Padawan, Siburan, Beratok and Tapah Village.

It must be noted that the focus of development in Kuching is now on the outskirt of the city. Land is scarce in the City. Obviously expansion goes to the land in the outskirt along the Jalan Matang and Jalan Batu Kawa including the link road where Taman Malihah is located. Another area focus is the Kuching-Serian Road.

As a sign of progress in Sarawak, MPP approved more than 10,000 units of new residential and commercial different houses in the MPP last year. For one year we approved more than 10,000 units of new residential and commercial houses. And during the same year, more than 3,000 new houses were completed. The fast pace of development by the private sector in the MPP area must be noted and MPP has no choice but to upgrade the services and infrastructure in its area of jurisdiction.

Why? The MPP revenue is increasing, the rate of urbanization is also fast coupled with the rising expectation of the rakyat. Trieneken service now reached Kampung Ana Rais in the East and Kampung Telaga Air in the West. Request for street lightings also come from the villages nowadays.
As the fund allocated is not enough to maintain the infrastructures and provide services to the people extra fund are needed not only to build community halls and sport complexes but also to put more gardens in open spaces in the housing estates. MPP does not have big tamans like those found in other urban areas. Last year, we embarked on a new slogan that is “Good Living in the Suburb” to guide MPP and the public towards better services and creating a sense of belonging and pride among the public.

Through the slogan, MPP is bringing together the staff and members of the public in effort to create good living. Improved cleanliness, beautification, additional amenities and safety are recorded in areas where good living effort has taken place. Communities and MPP have joined hands to improve the living conditions in housing estates. Through such efforts, every ringgit that MPP has is stretched to have the most impact on the life of the rate payers.

Tuan Speaker from my own sources of fund, MPP is also embarking on landscaping projects. The 3rd Mile Flyover with landscape and turn into the Padawan Getaway to mark the entry point into the MPP area. The Batu Kawah road will also be landscaped in the next few months. Kota Sentosa and Kota Padawan will also benefit from this landscaping project. With the little fund available, we have started landscaping at the 4 ½ Mile Traffic Junction and will be turned into the Ceramic Crossing or “Persimpangan Seramik”. Sarawak Pottery has been popular and still a must visit for tourist especially from Semenanjung Malaysia.

We have a plan to make the place a clean and beautiful ceramic center for tourist and the locals alike. Once completed, the place will be well organized and attractive. We hope that it will complement the tourism attractions in Sarawak. We will get our operators there including our very own biggest ceramic firm to join hands in this cause. If possible, we built the biggest Sarawak Pottery and also the best sign board made of ceramics and tiles in the country in this growth work’s area.

Tuan Speaker, some of the MPP areas are located in low lying areas including wetlands. The area around Jalan Arang and Batu Kawah for example is one such area. There are drainage problems in the area and many of the drains need maintenance and upgrading. May I suggest that in the future, development of wetlands where possible be avoided. This is to avoid flooding that leads to expensive maintenance and problems to the rakyat staying in those areas. Road maintenance and upgrading is also another expensive area not only in Sarawak but also in MPP area. In this august House, I beg to ask for RM 62.5 million for implementations in the current plan. If this is too late, I hope that the attention be given during the mid-term review so that more funds are allocated to MPP areas in the years to come.

On the issue that the assessment in Sarawak is the highest in Malaysia, it is not true. I would like to clarify here because the percentage of the assessment is not the criteria to determine the amount of assessment to be paid. It is the Annual Ratable Value that determines the amount of the assessment to be paid. And in the case of Sarawak, the ARV or the Annual Ratable Value has not been revised since 1966; therefore, the ARV is still low for Sarawak. Even though the percentage of the assessment is high, the assessment paid is still very low. To conclude my maiden speech in this Dewan, Tuan Speaker, I would like to contribute to the development not only in Batu Kawah area but also in MPP area. I also hope that I can contribute to the development of Sarawak as a whole. We have a vision to be the leading and model local authority in the state. I hope that whatever projects we embark on now can be modest for others. On the tenth anniversary year of the elevation of MPP to a municipality, I hope our vision will be a reality in not too long a time. It has also been fifty years since the formation of KRDC, which also fall this year. It has been half a century of the development. The next half-century will surely be different for MPP.

Tuan Speaker, I wish you all the best in the proceeding of the Dewan and may Sarawak progress as the developed state before 2020. Terima kasih.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Tamin. Honourable Members, I am now giving chances to those who will deliver their maiden speeches. Honourable Member for Tamin.

Y.B. Encik Joseph Mauh anak Ikeh: Tuan Speaker, terima kasih, Tuan Speaker kerana memberi peluang kepada saya turut serta dengan rakan seperjuangan di Dewan yang mulia ini untuk membahaskan usul terima kasih Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak, Tun Datuk Patinggi Haji Salahuddin pada Isnin, 24 Julai 2006 yang lepas.

Tuan Speaker, before delivering my maiden speech for the motion of thanks to the Tuan Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak on his advice in his policy speech at the opening of this august House, his kind advice should be remembered by all the rakyat of Sarawak. I would also like to congratulate all the Sarawak Barisan Nasional ADUN victory in the recent concluded State Election. Secondly, I want to put on my record of thanks to voters of N.52 - Tamin for electing me to sit in this august House. I will try my best to my ability to serve my kawasan N.52 - Tamin and also to serve my country and my nation as a whole.

Sekali lagi saya menyatakan di sini bahawa kita di Negeri Sarawak sangat bernasib baik kerana kepimpinan Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri Pehin Sri Taib telah terbukti memacu Sarawak kepada era baru dalam gelombang kedua bagi memastikan objektif Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan akan tercapai.

Tuan Speaker, saya menganggap Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri Sarawak, Pehin Sri Taib sebagai arkitek pemodenan Negeri Sarawak dalam merealisasikan dasar politik pembangunannya dan perjuangannya membawa Sarawak kepada sebuah negeri yang maju dan dapat dicontohi oleh negeri-negeri lain di Malaysia dari segi pembangunan dan perpaduan antara kaum.

Tuan Speaker, now I beg to move to touch on five main issues that I believe is very significant and very important to the policy speech by Tuan Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak during the opening of this august House on the 24th July, 2006. First, Tuan Speaker, I would like to touch on importance of unity among the diverse of races, religions, cultures of Malaysian or Sarawakian community that we are able to live together in peace and harmony. This is because of the good government of Barisan National who had a good track record dan Barisan Nasional adalah kerajaan yang mempunyai tradisi untuk membela rakyat tidak kira keturunan, bangsa, agama dan kebudayaan. Ini keunikan kerajaan Barisan Nasional sebuah kerajaan yang dapat menjadi contoh kepada kerajaan lain-lain di dunia.

Tuan Speaker, political stability which is the basis for the development for a state like Sarawak should be protected and defended by all of us including the opposition members of this august House so that all development plans can be successfully implemented especially the Ninth Malaysia Plan and the Vision 2020 can be achieved.

Human Capital

Now, I beg to move to the human capital. Tuan Speaker, sejak awal dekad tahun 90an, falsafah pembangunan menekankan aspek sosio-ekonomi yang lebih menjurus pembangunan modal insan atau sumber manusia mula dianggap sebagai salah satu elemen penting dalam pembangunan. Manusia bukan lagi dianggap sebagai makluk ekonomi tetapi juga modal insan yang menjanakan sosio-politik dan kebudayaan.

Tuan Speaker, Ampi Yassin, seorang ahli ekonomi dan penerima anugerah nobel pada tahun 1998 membukukan landasan teorikal pembangunan yang berpaut harus mengambil kira pembangunan modal insan agar keupayaan produktiviti manusia dapat digilap.

Tuan Speaker, pembangunan modal insan itulah dapat menentukan pertumbuhan ekonomi yang mampan dalam pelaksanaan Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan yang berlandaskan lima teras utama misi nasional bertaut pada falsafah pembangunan modal insan sebagai elemen ekonomi dalam pembangunan negara. Modal insan atau human capital, it is common knowledge that human capital is one of the most crucial assets for achieving sustainable economic development. More sectors today are still depending heavily on productive workforce even though machine, computers have replaced some of the tasks that used to be performed by human. Unfortunately, where the high percentage of unemployment and many of them are university graduates, this is a waste of human capital on whom the government had spent large amount of money to educate them. I urge the government to take bold and systematic efforts in fully utilising those workforce. I suggest the government should make joint effort with the private sector in absorbing this workforce.

Tuan Speaker, the third, I would like to touch on the roles of our youth. In line with the development of human capital that I have touched earlier, we must recognize the roles of our youth. Statistic shows majority of our population consist of the young people. Youth of today are the adults of tomorrow. Even while in their youthful age, they are playing many important roles in our society:

(a) They are our future leaders;
(b) they are productive workforce;
(c) they are our thinkers;
(d) they are our inventors; and
(e) they are our money makers etc.

Those roles spelt how important they are to our society. Their quality today will determine their performance for tomorrow. Responsible youths of today will be good productive adult citizens of tomorrow. I, therefore, urge the government to provide opportunities for our youth especially those coming from rural areas to be trained and equipped with entrepreneur skills. Both the public and private sectors are not be able to absorb all our marketable workforce but with the entrepreneur skills that they have acquired they can become entrepreneurs themselves instead of just mere employees and thus providing the society with the much needed products and services.

The available human capital now in our country will therefore not go to waste. The government must set mechanism to get all youths fully involve in such training. Currently, we have for example, Perbadanan Pembangunan Ekonomi Sarawak (SEDC) provide such training in collaboration with various agencies. For instance, the Kementerian Pembangunan Usahawan dan Koperasi but unfortunately, not many of our youth are aware of such training opportunities that the mechanism that I have referred will be responsible in getting full participation of our youth.

Tuan Speaker, now I would also like to touch on the globalization. It is a definition well understood. I would not touch that. I want to stress on the preparation in facing of our state and our nation. Globalization is something that we can’t avoid today. Its immediate effect, is that the world, in terms of electronic transfer or transmission of data and information has become borderless world. Transformation of data and information is done with a second from any parts to the parts of the globe. The good thing about, I need not mention here, that is already acknowledged. The main questions are, are all of us prepared for it? May I guess not both young and old and more those living in rural areas where computer or Internet is almost unknown. I am of the opinion therefore also my request that the government provide effective mechanism in preparing our young people especially those in rural areas in facing the waves of globalization. It will be a cultural shock for those who expose to the Internet for the first time. You must be prepared against negative element that come with it for instant, pornographic literatures or opinion that maliciously discrediting the government or those postings the malicious disparaging/defaming living of the deceased individuals. How that mechanism operates or the nature of the mechanism for the expert to decide or design? I am only urging the government to come forward with the necessary mechanism before its serious negative effects become incurable.

Isu yang kelima, ingin saya menyentuh berkenaan dengan “Rural Development” (Pembangunan Luar Bandar). Tuan Speaker, seterusnya, saya ingin menyentuh sedikit mengenai ‘rural development’. Pertama, saya juga ingin memuji langkah dan usaha kerajaan yang terus memberi penekanan kepada pembangunan luar bandar dengan menyediakan peruntukan yang besar bagi menyediakan kemudahan infrastruktur seperti jalanraya, (jalan luar bandar, jalan kampung, jalan ladang) juga bekalan air dan bekalan elektrik.

Seperti yang semua sedia maklum, pembangunan infrastruktur khususnya jalan raya amat-amat penting yang dijadikan sebagai kemudahan asas kepada pergerakan ekonomi luar bandar. Tanpa jalan raya, sudah tentu sukar bagi penduduk-penduduk memajukan ekonomi mereka. Inilah yang terjadi kepada mereka yang tinggal di kawasan Ulu Mukah, Ulu Oya dan setengah-setengah rumah panjang di kawasan saya N.52—Tamin yang belum mempunyai jalan raya untuk menghubungkan mereka dengan jalan utama, Jalan Sibu/Bintulu.
Tuan Speaker, saya juga ingin mengucapkan jutaan terima kasih ke atas inisiatif kerajaan di bawah Kementerian Pembangunan Luar Bandar yang menekankan pembangunan modal insan dalam usaha memajukan kawasan luar Bandar seperti yang telah saya nyatakan pada awal tadi. Perkara ini harus diutamakan dan saya menyokong penuh langkah ini dan semoga pelaksanaan dapat memperluaskan meliputi semua penduduk agar mereka dapat cepat sedar, dapat memahami dan mengetahui peranan masing-masing untuk sama bergerak maju untuk menuju matlamat wawasan 2020. Untuk itu saya memohon agar kerajaan memperuntukkan yang lebih banyak kepada program pembangunan insan khasnya untuk mengendalikan program latihan atau kursus pembangunan insan luar bandar.

Saya ingin juga memohon agar lebih banyak Pusat-Pusat Sumber Pembangunan Luar Bandar atau desa seperti yang terdapat di Layar Betong dapat di bina dalam Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan. Pusat ini amat penting untuk membina kesedaran dan perubahan minda arah pemikiran yang lebih tahu, lebih faham erti lebih pembangunan, hala tuju dan matlamat sebenar yang mereka tempohi. Oleh itu, saya memohon agar satu pusat sumber pembangunan desa dapat dibangunkan di Daerah Selangau pada masa akan datang. Saya juga meminta kerajaan supaya membangunkan lebih banyak lagi Pusat Pertumbuhan Desa (RGC) di seluruh Negeri Sarawak termasuk juga di Daerah Selangau. Lokasinya terpulang kepada kerajaan untuk menentukan. Pusat ini amat penting kepada pemangkin kepada Pembangunan Luar Bandar. Dengan ada RGC di Daerah Selangau kelak sudah tentu ianya akan menjanakan lagi pembangunan ekonomi luar bandar sekaligus dapat membantu memajukan luar bandar.

Tuan Speaker, di sini saya juga ingin menyentuh sedikit mengenai pelaksanaan projek pembangunan tanah NCR yang telah dilaksanakan oleh kerajaan khasnya di Daerah Selangau di Kawasan saya, N.52.

Pertama saya ingin mengucapkan ribuan terima kasih kepada kerajaan kerana telah meluluskan empat buah projek pembangunan tanah NCR di Daerah Selangau, iaitu Projek Tanah NCR Meruan Dijih, Projek Tanah NCR Ulu Selangau, Projek Tanah NCR Ulu Balingian dan Projek Tanah NCR Sepapa Ulu Tamin Oya. Setakat ini hanya dua buah projek telah dilaksanakan iaitu projek ladang getah Ulu Selangau dan Projek Ladang Meruan Dijih manakala dua buah projek lagi belum masih dapat dilaksanakan.

Tuan Speaker, dasar kerajaan memajukan tanah NCR melalui konsep baru pembangunan tanah NCR secara berskala besar melalui usahasama sektor swasta atau melalui konsep smart partnership dan commercial orientated adalah satu tindakan bijak Kerajaan bagi memajukan potensi sumber ekonomi luar bandar iaitu tanah NCR yang masih terbiar ditumbuhi semak samun sejak sekian lama, tidak dapat dibangunkan oleh pemilik-pemiliknya, dan ini menyebabkan tanah-tanah tersebut tidak banyak memberi keuntungan kepada pemilik-pemiliknya, dan sekiranya tanah-tanah itu masih tidak dimajukan, sudah tentu merugikan kita. Kini sejak bermulanya program pembangunan tanah ini dilaksanakan khususnya di Daerah Selangau pada tahun 1998, kita dapati ia telah banyak mengubah corak pembangunan luar Bandar terutama dengan mewujudkan peluang-peluang pekerjaan dan perniagaan kepada penduduk-penduduk setempat sama ada secara langsung atau tidak, kini pekan Selangau semakin hari semakin sibuk. Kenderaan seperti motosikal dan kereta juga semakin bertambah.

Tuan Speaker, oleh itu saya minta kerajaan agar terus memberi penekanan kepada program pembangunan tanah ini dalam Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan, sekaligus dengan mempercepatkan pelaksanaan projek yang telah diluluskan, iaitu Projek NCR Ulu Balingan dan Projek NCR Sepapa, Ulu Oya di kawasan saya. Dengan ada program pembangunan tanah seperti ini, penduduk-penduduk di luar bandar mula sedar bahawa sumber ekonomi luar bandar harus dimajukan. Saya katakan kesedaran minda mereka sudah mula berubah walaupun belum sampai ke tahap yang kita harapkan. Mereka sudah mula mengenali dan melihat setiap program pembangunan itu secara menyeluruh yang akan membawa kemajuan dalam jangka masa yang panjang kepada mereka. Bukan hanya setakat dividen atau bonus sahaja yang akan diterima seperti yang dijanjikan setelah ladang itu berjaya mengeluarkan hasil.

Tuan Speaker, untuk itu usaha yang lebih bersungguh harus kita lakukan. Mereka amat mengharapkan kerajaan dapat membuktikan bahawa program pembangunan tanah NCR yang dilaksanakan dapat membela hidup mereka dalam menghadapi hari-hari yang mendatang. Oleh itu saya mencadangkan agar semua pihak yang terlibat dengan program pembangunan tanah mencari strategi atau formula baru bagi membentuk mekanisma yang lebih baik, lebih komprehensif kearah memantapkan lagi kejayaan pelaksanaan projek ini. Kita juga mahu perlaksanaan projek NCR ini dipercepatkan kerana kelewatan boleh menghakis keyakinan pihak pelabur dan pemilik-pemilik tanah itu sendiri terhadap ketelusan dan kejujuran usaha murni kerajaan membangun tanah NCR selaras dengan matlamat sebenar Kerajaan membantu pembangunan tanah di penduduk kawasan luar bandar itu.

Namun, walau bagaimanapun, tidak semua penduduk di luar bandar mempunyai tanah NCR yang besar atau luas seperti yang diperlukan. Maka untuk itu Kerajaan harus juga memberi penekanan kepada cara atau kaedah yang lain untuk membantu pemilik tanah NCR yang berkeluasan kecil untuk sama-sama dimajukan. Apa cara yang digunakan itu terpulang kepada kerajaan asalkan ia memberi faedah kepada pemilik-pemiliknya dengan sekaligus kepada pembangunan ekonomi negara.

Tuan Speaker, seperti yang kita semua sedia maklum, sekarang harga getah amat memberansangkan. Pekebun-pekebun getah telah menikmati pendapatan yang agak baik khususnya bagi mereka yang mempunyai kebun yang sudah matang untuk ditoreh. Namun saya dapati ramai juga penduduk di kawasan saya N.52—Tamin atau di kawasan Parlimen Selangau tidak mempunyai kebun getah. Ada juga kebun getah mereka sudah sangat tua. Tidak mampu mengeluarkan susu getah banyak. Maka dengan ini, saya memohon kerajaan menyediakan pelan pembangunan baru tanaman getah di kawasan Daerah Selangau kerana saya dapati masih banyak tanah yang masih terbiar. Oleh itu, adalah lebih baik kalau ia dapat dimajukan dengan tanaman getah atau lain-lain tanaman menguntungkan dengan ada pasaran serta keperluan untuk masa depan.

Finally, I now touch on matters affect my Constituency N.52—Tamin. Tuan Speaker, first Balai Bomba.

Balai Bomba

Many requests had been made when I was a Member of Parliament in the past few years, but, by to date one Balai Bomba is yet to be seen or built. Many properties had been destroyed by fire in Selangau/Tamin. One of them was the old bazaar several years ago. I request the Government to build one Balai Bomba at Selangau town because Selangau town is about 80km from Sibu. So, the firemen from Sibu can come in time when the houses or the shophouses been destroying by fire.

Multi-Purpose Hall

I also would like to touch on the multi-purpose hall. Whenever the people in Selangau are having public function, there is always a problem with venue. Last time we had a badminton hall built by Selangau residence themselves that has been burnt down. The people sometime used JKR deport which is all year round covered with birds dropping. Other than that, the people had no other place to use. I urge the government to build one reasonable big multi-purpose hall for Selangau, because Selangau is already a district and deserve to have one such hall. I come to understand that, Tuan Speaker, the land have been compensated recently. I do hope the building of this multi-purpose hall can be carried out as soon as possible.

Secondary School

Even though building of secondary school is under the purview of Federal Government, it is not appropriate for me to touch on this matter. Here, as the state is also an interested party in the area of education. Selangau has grown from a humble village into district, town of considerable size in terms of population and inter-related social needs. One of them is a secondary school. To cater to the need of the increasing school-going children, I am bringing the request for Tamin/Selangau population and voters asking the government to build one secondary school near Selangau town. We have two secondary school at the moment, there is SMK Ulu Balingian and SMK Luar Bandar Sibu which had absorbing students from Selangau are not only too far but also cannot provide enough space and already be very crowded. Therefore, I would like once again to ask the Government to build another new secondary school just to accommodate the increase of number of student from time to time under Selangor. The other one is Community College.

Community College

On the reason as I mentioned earlier there is also a need for one community college to be built in Selangau. Like any other places in Malaysia, the needs for such institution in Selangau is urgent important. I therefore, request the government to build one college community in Selangau. College which will provide with necessary skills for our youths in preparing themselves to become productive citizens especially to those students who cannot pursue their further studies to the institutions of higher learning.

Tuan Speaker, I would like to request the government to increase the number of staff this in existing government clinic in Selangau. Currently there are acute shortage of personnel including drivers, nurses, medical assistants and the supporting staff and in relation to the growing population Selangau. I request the government address the problem as urgent as possible. I would like also to request to increase staff of police personnel for police station in Selangau and urge the government to speed up the construction of new police station as the land has been compensated.
Tuan Speaker, I have covered all the issues that I mentioned earlier. I would like to take this opportunity, once again, to thank, Tuan Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to address this august House. Thank you very much.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Pending. Eh.. sorry, Batu Lintang.

Y.B. Encik Voon Lee Shan: Tuan Speaker, thank you, Tuan Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to debate on the motion of thanks of the speech of Tuan Yang Terutama Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak. I am indeed very honoured and privileged to be given this opportunity to speak by Tuan Speaker.

Tuan Speaker, I also stand guided by Tuan Speaker, of this august, of this procedure of this august House, to ensure the debates, the House could proceed smoothly without unnecessarily interruptions. I hope for every opportunity to speak, I would be able to speak the voice of the people and to put across to the floor my views and the views of my party the Democratic Action Party in Sarawak in respect of the issues facing the people, the state, in the nation and the hope of the people, the state in the nation that progress together with better racial harmony without discrimination, prejudice and also without inequality. We are here to speak to ensure greater efficiency, transparency and better governance with the view to ensure equality and better justice for all. We are also here to ensure that developments should not be confined to certain places, towns and cities only or pace of developments of certain places be slowed down.

I respectfully and humbly suggest that, Tuan Speaker, would agree that our presence here as elected with representative are not simply to criticize for the sake of criticizing but to put forward constructive criticisms with the view to improve the government machineries and also with the view to help the State Cabinet achieve the goals set for the benefit of the people.

Of course, Tuan Speaker, with the matters taken by the Government Departments or by the State Government may adversely affect the well-being, live and livelihood of the people and their future generations, I shall together with my comrades is responsible members of this august House, critically put our views and criticisms forward. We shall speak without fear and favour. With ideas and constructive criticisms put forward in this august House, we hope the state will become a develop State faster than many States in our beloved country, Malaysia. We also hope that Sarawak will be a model State in many aspects of development.

May I please, Tuan Speaker, I would like to touch on Ninth Malaysia Plan. My comrades, Ahli Yang Berhormat for Kidurong will also rise later on to speak on the same topic, Tuan Speaker. May, Tuan Speaker, the concern with the weaknesses of the Ninth Malaysia Plan. I speak on the third to the fifth trust, you know.

Tuan Speaker: Ya, ya, ya.

Y.B. Encik Voon Lee Shan: Tuan Speaker, while my colleagues will also speak on first and second trust. To continue, the third trust is that, there is a need to address persistent socio-economic inequalities constructively and productively or achieving growth with distribution. The reason for such gap between rich and poor is the NEP. The NEP’s greaters weakness was breeding rampant corruption and abuses of power. The country lose US$4 billion in foreign exchange trading in 1993, Perwaja’s RM10 billion losses, Bank Bumiputra RM3.5 billion scandals as well as wholesale distribution of APs and tens of millions of shares to cronies, children and relatives of Barisan Nasional leaders and Ministers.

Malaysia has the worst income inequality in South-East Asia. The UNHDP Report 2004 shows that the richest 10% in Malaysia records 38.4% of our economic income as compared to our poorest 10% controlling only 1.7%. Intra-ethnic income inequality within bumiputera is worse than within Chinese, Indians and Dayaks.

Why is there no real strategy to address the growing intra-ethnic income and inequality which validates that the NEP benefits the few who are rich at the expense of the majority who remain poor.

The Ninth Malaysia Plan rightly places great emphasis on the issue of poverty. Chapter 16 in one sense, is the center piece. It is clear that significant number of Malaysians continue to live in poverty despite rapid economic growth and sensible allocations for poverty eradication under previous five year plan. That absolute poverty remains despite this factor points to policy failure, incompetent implementation and failure of the political will to make adjustments.

The plan acknowledges the fact that income distribution has worsened with the bottom 40% of households receiving 13.5% of total income deteriorating from 14% in year 2000 whilst the top 20% showed an increase in the shares from 50.5% to 51.2% in the same period. Thus, the rich grows richer while the poor became poorer.

Our state with the leadership style of the Barisan Nasional in the past 25 years is guilty for not making sufficient efforts to help eradicate poverty. Rather under the regime of the 25 years, we have seen the rich getting richer, the poor poorer. Look at our Dayak friends in the state, peda bansa Iban, especially in the rural areas. The answer that poverty is abundant in Sarawak is obvious. The NEP does not address sufficiently their poverty. Yet what has political leaders in the Barisan Nasional done to alleviate or eradicate poverty. May please Dayak leaders stand up, help the Dayak people.

Menteri Muda Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Encik Sylvester Entri anak Muran): Tuan Speaker, point of clarification. Could you just substantiate that the Dayaks in rural areas are poor.

Y.B. Encik Voon Lee Shan: I think you may know the answer yourself. The 2004 … (Interruption).

Menteri Muda Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Encik Sylvester Entri anak Muran): I think you are making an allegation for that.

Y.B. Encik Voon Lee Shan: I am not … (Interruption)

Menteri Muda Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Encik Sylvester Entri anak Muran): You are not a Dayak.
Y.B. Encik Voon Lee Shan: You can see youself. The 2004 UNDP Human Development Report reveals that Malaysia has the worst income distribution pattern in this region with the richest 10% controlling 38.4% of the total income while the poorest 10% has only 1.7%. These data cry out for an explanation.

The Plan largely glosses over the issue and fails to acknowledge that a considerable part of explanation lies in the disastrous distributional policies that would pursue exemplified by handouts to the corporate sectors, cronyism policies, labour or wage policies and a fiscal regime that penalizes consumers and wage earners. Beyond the rhetoric, it is clear the fundamental policies that will continue. It is no consolation to the poor that the distributional agenda would be pursued more fairly through capacity building and raising competitiveness. No new specific poverty policies are spelt out. It is irresponsible governance to say the least.

What is proposed is a continuation of failed approaches and programmes. The development allocation for the poverty alleviation prong under the Ninth Malaysia Plan is RM4.5 billion as compared to RM7 billion for the restructuring of society prong which are most telling as to which development goal has the higher priority. The development allocation for Sarawak has been reduced in percentage terms for the Ninth Malaysia Plan as compared to the Eighth Malaysia Plan.

Sarawak is getting less for every dollar spent on Ninth Malaysia Plan as compared to Eighth Malaysia Plan. Allocation for Sarawak in the Eighth Malaysia Plan was RM12,812 million out of a total allocation of RM170,000 million which in the Ninth Malaysia Plan though the allocation is RM13,437 million but that is out of a total allocation of RM200 million in terms of percentage, it was 7.54% under the Eighth Malaysia Plan and only 6.72% in the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

What has the Barisan Nasional leadership in Sarawak done in view of this reduction. Precisely very little has been done. I only saw in papers some leaders of the SUPP singing praises for this meagre allocation and given thanks for the small allocation. While the government says it wants to reduce regional imbalances, state’s spending plans in new economic programmes do not seem to reflect this as a priority.

Favourably developed Kuala Lumpur alone has been allocated RM31 billion while less developed Sabah and Sarawak have been allocated only RM29 billion. Sarawak deserves more and better especially when a great number of the incidence of poverty and hard core poor are in Sarawak. And in the infrastructure development Table 18-1 of the Ninth Malaysia Plan Report, road development index that is RDI shows that Sarawak is the least developed in terms of development of roads. From the years 2000 to 2005, Sabah increased by more than 5,000 km of roads while Sarawak only increased by only 243 km of roads.

What has the Sarawak’s Minister for Infrastucture Development done? How many proposals have been presented to the Federal Cabinet? You have not spoken enough for Sarawak. The figures speak out loudly of your inefficiency. It is bad testimonial.

The fourth thrust of the Ninth Malaysia Plan is to improve the standard of sustainability of the quality of life, such a provision of basic amenities of water, electricity and standard of living. Rural Sarawak from many along the Kuching-Sri Aman Road, Bintulu-Miri Road, Bintulu-Sibu Road, to mention a few, are still not getting the basic pipe water with electricity supply, telephone lines and other basic amenities. You admit that? I knew this because I travelled in between these roads often.

On March 7th this year, my State Chairman, the Honourable Member for Bukit Assek together with the Honourable Member of Parliament for Seputeh to a eco-tour of Bintulu-Sibu Road. The Seputeh Member of Parliament was shocked to see that although many longhouses are allocated just 50 metres from the roadside yet they do not have piped water, electricity supply, telephone lines and other basic amenities. It is a serious indictment that Barisan Nasional Government has done enough for our people especially in the rural area where mostly are the Dayaks.

This is the responsibility of the government who receives the tax payers’ money. To the tax payers, development must be given. It is a human right. Provisions of these services should not be privatized. Clearly the public is being forced to pay more, what was once basically cheap and this allowed some private companies to reap huge profits.

The fifth thrust is to strengthen the institutional and implementation capacity in government departments. To strengthen institutional capacity, the government has to be fair by ensuring that Malaysian Civil Service is not dominated by one race. As of June 2005, there were 899, 250 public servants, of whom 77.04% or 692,736 were Malays, the rest were 84,295 Chinese, that is 9.37%, 46,054 Indians, that is 5.12%, 69,828 other bumiputeras, 37.7% and 6,337 of other races, that is 0.70%.

Before the launching of the New Economic Policy in 1971, the racial breakdown of the Malaysian Civil Service comprised 60.8% Malays, 20.2% Chinese, 17.4% Indians and 1.6% others. We need to revamp a recruitment policy so that our Civil Service will present a more balanced presentation of all races in Malaysia. I believe a more racially balanced Civil Service would be able to better respond to situations which require the wisdom of all to safeguard the interest of everybody in our country and communities.

The Plan projects that 1.1 million net additional jobs will be created over the next five years with just under 400,000 of these requiring some form of tertiary qualifications (certificate, diploma, degree, masters or a PhD).

However, the figures revealed that there will be over 250,000 local graduates from both the private and public institutions of higher learning per year. This would means, taking into account exists from the labour market through deaths, retirements, emigration, etc. up to two-thirds or 66% of new graduates will not find graduate-level employment.

Moreover, there is a great need to reconcile the needs of the market with the education system currently found at the tertiary level. Tuan Speaker, these issues are hardly addressed in the Ninth Malaysia Plan. There is an urgent need to move resolutely towards reforms that will improve the quality of the system, produce graduates that are equipped to meet the challenges of a harshly competitive world.


Conditions of Roads and Drainage Systems in Batu Lintang Constituency

Tuan Speaker, may I now speak for the people of Batu Lintang state constituency which I have the honour to be their representative before this august House. The constituency itself is part of the city of Kuching with a voter population of more than 24,000 and I think, the estimated population of the constituency is nearly or about 50,000 or even much more. Many of the people in the constituency are not registered voters or are also not voters in the constituency itself, but, made their homes in the constituency. The constituency in the last few years also faced rapid development undertaken by private sectors. Many new housing estates mushroomed in the constituency and it is also estimated that there are at least 15,000 dwelling houses and shops. With such a huge population, one cannot deny that Batu Lintang constituency is in need of better infrastructures to keep up with life of a city.

Traffic jams within the constituency was a common sight, especially in the morning, afternoon and evening of each day. These were the time people had to be on the roads to and from their offices and their business establishments. Many of the roads in the constituency need to be widened, upgraded, resurfaced and resealed. Many of the roads in the constituency, especially in the Sungai Maong and Green Road areas were very bumpy, yet uneven with many potholes and patches of repairs at parts of the roads, rendering the roads not safe to travel. The roads such as Green Road, Jalan Kim Seng, Jalan Tengah, Jalan Intan, Jalan Nanas, Jalan Taman Eastern, Pisang Road West, Jalan Angsana, Gold Jade Road, Jalan Star Garden, Jalan Sky Garden, Lorong Sky Garden No. 6 and No. 8, Jalan Kepayang, Lorong Sungai Maong Ulu No. 3, Jalan Emerald and Jalan Sungai Maong Tengah all need at least to be resurfaced and resealed. The roads in Tabuan Dayak also need to be looked at as many of the roads within that area also need to be widened and repaired. All I have to say that Tabuan Dayak population mostly are the Dayaks there. The roads are very, very bad though they are the minority in this constituency. I pray that this government looks into the matter. Their rights have to be protected.

There are other roads within the constituency itself that also had to be taken care of, but, the roads that I mentioned are the roads that should be given priority by the State Government. Many of the constituents in the constituency informed me that many of these roads that I mentioned just now had never been resurfaced and resealed the last 15 to 20 years, although repairs were done in patches causing the roads to be more uneven and dangerous to road users. Personally, as a constituent who stayed in the constituency, I also did observe that many of these roads had never been resealed for the last 10 to 15 years.

Some of the roads, Tuan Speaker, I just mentioned, also need proper lightings and even there were lightings at some of these roads, improvement should also be made to ensure better safety and security for the roads. According to many of the people in the constituency, the facts that the roads were dark or with no or insufficient lightings had in the past caused many thefts and crime and due to the inconveniences' sake, many were not reported to the police for investigation.

Now, Tuan Speaker, not only that, many of the roads in the constituency have no road names or the road name plates have been removed and due to this I could not name other roads that also need repair, upgrading and resealing. I suggest that the absence of road name plates could have caused the public, beside postmen and police officers difficult to visit friends and relatives besides to send mail and trace locations of scene of crimes. This will in turn find mails not sent to the addresses in time or suspects be arrested to help solve crimes in the constituency. What would happen if a fire breaks out and firemen could not be able to locate the exact location of the fire just because road names where fire was could not be known?

May it please, Tuan Speaker, may this august House also be informed that Batu Lintang constituency was a flood prone constituency and floods were a common sight at short heavy rainfall. Every flood caused massive traffic jams and some vehicles had been abandoned on roads until flood subside. Office workers and businessmen found themselves could not reach their office and work places in time and this interrupted with their productivity.

School children were also affected if flood were to occur in mornings or evenings when school children were to school or back from school. Many found themselves late for classes. We do not wish floods to affect their school performance and also floods to affect the productivity of our businessmen and working people.

May it please, Tuan Speaker, the worst flood faced by the constituency, if my memory did not fail me, was in the years 2003 and 2004 where flood water rose up as high as nearly 10 feet into some dwelling houses. Much loss of property was caused by this flood and many school children also lost their school books and personal belongings.

Tuan Speaker, many if not most Ahli Yang Berhormat here in this august House, I suggest know how hurt a boy would be if he lost his schoolbags and textbooks, uniforms to floods and other disasters. These floods would still be common happenings in the near future in the constituency if we do not take steps to mitigate the occurrences of floods in the constituency. Here we may need funds and proper long term planning otherwise much property and may be lives will be lost.

May it please, Tuan Speaker. I learnt that the press statement in September 1991 said that a grant of sixty million dollars had been granted to improve the roads and drainage systems in the Batu Lintang constituency. But, regret that until now that such a huge amount of money, the road and drainage systems in Batu Lintang still not solved… (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member, Dollars or Ringgit?

Y.B. Encik Voon Lee Shan: I think many Members also read just now.

Tuan Speaker: No. Sixty million ringgit or sixty million dollars?

Y.B. Encik Voon Lee Shan: Sixty million. Sixty million. Sorry, Tuan Speaker.

Tuan Speaker: Ringgit or dollar?

Y.B. Encik Voon Lee Shan: No. Dollars. There’s a dollar sign. That was before they turned it into RM last time.

This grant was made just days before the State Election at that time. Many voters in the constituency had asked me to speak in this august House to find out what happened to this huge sum of money, where they were spent, and on which roads, drains or projects. They also wanted to know who were the contractors at that time and if the funds had been spent it should also be spent during the first term of the then Ahli Yang Berhormat at that time and not thereafter.

I would fail, Tuan Speaker, in my duty and obligation if I do not raise this matter in this august House as requested upon by my constituents. With these, I hope the State Government would disclose or tell the people in the constituency where, how and when the money was spent and also seriously look into this matter of poor roads and flood in the constituency with a view to improve the road system and to mitigate the flood problem.

Tuan Speaker, at the same time, I would humbly say that about 60% to 70% of the drains in the Sungai Maong, Poh Kwong Park, Sky Garden, Star Garden and Green Road areas were clogged, need to be widen, deepened and reconstructed or repaired. Without a proper drainage system and without clogged drains being cleared, I fear the Batu Lintang Constituency will face more serious flash floods due to the rapid development in many parts of the constituency.

Increase Oil and Gas Royalties For Sarawak

I will now speak on the increase of oil and gas royalty in Sarawak. May it please you, Tuan Speaker. Our state produces oil and gas but it is regretted that our state could not all these years by the passing of the Petroleum Development Act 1974 get more than 5% in royalties for oil found off our coasts. This is something that most Sarawakians had considered as very unfair treatment by the Federal Government. With our oil money the Federal Government should realize that we helped West Malaysia’s development to what it is now, where it is now, there are better roads, hospitals, schools, universities, airports and other infrastructures. With roads, bridges, airports and other facilities built from our oil money, the Federal Government derived much income by way of taxes and tolls collected and this should be seen as an investment from our State by Federal Governments and the state should get the return of the profits of its investment.

The 5% we got from oil until now could not help us to have better transportation systems or even playgrounds for our children and leisure places for our aged people in the state. Since joining Malaysia in 1963, we still do not have a highway from Kuching to Lawas but only a trunk road with many potholes with uneven patches along the roads. It is observed that there is no road in Sarawak that is of comparable standard in terms of safety, design and structure, with any roads in West Malaysia. Oil is our property, our State’s property and there is no reason that the Federal Government should not by now let us take back what is ours. It is urged that the State Government should adopt a much more aggressive lobbying for the increment of the oil royalty and if possible to get the Federal Government surrender back our oil property 100%. (Applause)

When oil wells are dried up, to give us back 100% will, by then, be useless as, by then, no revenue could be derived from these oil wells. Without oil money, the State's development will be slow and in terms of development, we will be much left behind by West Malaysia.

Hospitals and Medical Facilities

Now, may I speak on hospital and medical facilities. Tuan Speaker, compared to West Malaysia, the state is very far behind in terms of hospital and medical facilities. Although our Sarawak General Hospital had recently been extended with new blocks, but, the facilities could not now enough to house patients for a much more better medical care. A visit to the Sarawak General Hospital will show that patients had to cramp themselves with makeshift beds along the corridors and spaces were wanting for doctors and other medical staff to move around to treat patients. However, the doctors and medical staff should be commended for their tireless efforts to save patients and with the cramped spaces, they could still move and put certain machines and equipments when diagnosing and treating the patients.

The Sarawak General Hospital itself also lacked parking spaces although in recent years the car parks had been extended. In the next few years, Tuan Speaker, it is predicted that the overcrowding of patients in the Sarawak General Hospital, patients may not be able to receive proper medical attention and treatment. The doctors and medical staff will face a lot of work stress and in the end, the patients will have to suffer more and recovery from illnesses may be slow or not at all.

Therefore, Tuan Speaker, it is now high time that our State Government should seek the Federal Government to plan for another government hospital somewhere away from the City of Kuching. Maybe, Tuan Speaker, a location somewhere between the City and Serian should be an ideal place. A location between these places should be suggested because this is to provide medical facilities for the increased population of the suburban of the City. At the same time, since land outside the City of Kuching is not a problem for the government to build such a facility, proper planning of a more advanced medical facility should received attention from the government.

Another government hospital is a need and we should not depend on the private sectors to provide medical care and medical hospitals to cater the needs of the population. This private medical care centers and hospitals are normally very expensive which poor people could not afford.

Although there are organizations and individuals setting medical care centers not for profit, but, for humanitarian reasons, we do not have many of these organization and individuals. It was always very costly to run such medical centers, especially, when many professional medical staffs have to be employed and where state of art treatment machines and medicines have to be bought. These non-profit making medical centers may not in the long run be able to sustain the demand of footing the bills or expenses of daily needs of the medical centers. In order to overcome this problem, Tuan Speaker, the government should allocate annual funds to them. If fund for such non-profit making medical care centers and hospitals could be allocated by both the State and Federal Governments, most probably many more organizations and individuals in our society would be willing to help build more medical care centers which we hope may in the very near future include facilities for cancer treatment and research, HIV and for other chronic diseases. The responsibility should lies with the government to provide sufficient annual grants to them. This in turn will also take off some of the burden of the government in the provision of medical care.

May it please you, Tuan Speaker, we should also think seriously of providing some form of medical insurance at least to our senior citizens. These senior citizens had worked hard during their younger days, helped the development of this Nation and State and contributed to the coffers of the nation and state by paying taxes. When they could not anymore work or fell sick, these senior citizens may not be able to earn to pay the medical fees when seeking treatment and surgeries. To this, some form of assistance should be provided, probably, through medical insurance taken out by both the State and Federal Governments.

The government may not be able to provide much, but, if the senior citizens who fell sick and need surgeries could get some form of assistance in paying off part of their medical fees, this would at least relieve the sick senior citizens and their families of some hardships. This in turn will help the society to understand the importance of medical insurance benefits.

At the same time, Tuan Speaker, the government would be looked at as a very caring government while at the same time will teach the society to be more caring towards each other by government taking the lead. At the moment we could not deny nor should we be blind to see for ourselves the sufferings of many sick senior citizens that need medical treatments, but, left to die slowly when they could not find enough money for proper medical care and treatment.

We should not also deny that there were cases where their loved ones also could not help these sick senior citizens to have proper medical attention as their loved ones could also hardly earn enough for themselves.

The need to control prices of building materials

Now, Tuan Speaker, I would like to touch on the control of prices for building materials.

Tuan Speaker, I would humbly say that prices of houses in the state especially in the city of Kuching is very high and could now be out of reach of most lower income or also many of the lower middle income group. Now in the city of Kuching, double storey terraced house is priced from around RM250,000 to RM370,000 depends on locality, design, size and quality of each house. A semi-detached house in the city of Kuching could now be priced between RM400,000 to RM650,000. Now in certain places in the city, detached houses could cost more than RM1 million. These houses were very expensive because it kept on increasing each year.

May I please, Tuan Speaker. We all know that many people in the lower income group used to find it difficult to make end meets and to send their children to school. On top of that they also have to look after their housing needs. It is observed that the State Government is aware of this problem and in the past few years had taken a very aggressive and proactive step to solve the housing needs of this group of people by building more low cost houses and flats. However, it was discovered that many of those from the lower income group of people were still reluctant to rent or to buy these low cost houses or flats on the simple reason that these low cost houses and flats were too small for their needs.

Another factor, Tuan Speaker, could probably be due to the poor workmanship and inferior quality of materials used in many of these low cost houses and flats. For example, in the housing estate of Rumah Perumahan Rakyat, Batu Kawah, some of the materials used for the walls of the building were asbestos sheets which could easily be damaged or broken when slightly hit with a hard object. Not only that, in some of these houses, the foundations were not strong or wanting and walls cracked within a few years of purchase and the purchasers had to abandon the house because they were no more fit as dwelling houses and could not be repaired anymore.

For example, Tuan Speaker, house Lot 749 at Lorong 10 of the said Rumah Perumahan Rakyat, Batu Kawah had been abandoned a few years ago. Another house at Lorong 12 also was abandoned and due to not being maintained, fire broke out, if not mistaken, on 29th June, 2006 most probably due to electricity short circuit which caused damage to other neighbouring houses.

It would be a sad thing if owners of the abandoned houses still have to pay installments of their houses to the banks or financial institutions despite the fact that the houses no more were fit or safe for human dwelling.

I also take this opportunity to thank the Minister for Housing and his ministry staff who visited the Rumah Perumahan Rakyat that was caught by fire. Thank you, Minister. The fire was within my own constituency. I was made to understand that the Minister is looking into the matter seriously to help them resettle.

However, to the lower income groups, most, if not all of them, considered themselves lucky if they could buy or rent these low cost houses or flats but although lucky, the size of the low cost houses or flats may at times caused much embarrassment when visitors or relatives came to visit them found it difficult to sit or move around as their place were too small. At times, their visitors or relatives and themselves had to sit outside the house. They could not also find it easy to place their coffee tables for their visitors.

May I please here, Tuan Speaker. I myself personally experienced this when I visited some friends at these low - cost houses and flats during Hari Raya and also Gawai. I think due to the small sizes, many in the lower income groups were reluctant to buy or rent these houses. They may prefer bigger houses if they could afford them although the bigger houses they dreamt of need not necessarily be of expensive look or be built with expensive materials. I also humbly say this dream of owning a decent house also goes to many of the lower middle income group of people.

Tuan Speaker, we understand that the government could not build bigger houses and flats as they may not be cost effective and practical to do so as they may took up much land and space, but could not house as many families as possible.

For those who do not wish to buy or rent low cost houses and flats, but dreamt of houses to be within reach for them to build or purchase, it is humbly suggested that the State Government come with a policy or ways to control the sale, supply and prices of building materials. If building materials could be cheaper, the housing needs of many of the lower middle and lower income groups could be solved.

The housing industry will find itself busy and business volume of building materials will increase. At the same time, development in the state will be at a faster pace. We will find that more taxes or duties could be collected by the government if the housing and building industry becomes more active.

The housing needs in the state will be a big problem to come if prices of housing materials could not be controlled as houses will not be especially in cities and big town, be within reach of the people. Due to financial commitments and limited income, city and town dwellers who are labourers and working class people will have the easy way out again, that is to squat on government and private lands, giving rise to unsolved problem that we are at this moment facing. With growing population and fast migration of rural people to cities and towns, we will in the very near future face bigger problems caused by housing needs of these people if we do not find ways to solve their housing needs.

Maioh urang ari pesisir nya, ari rumah panjai ngiga pemakai ngagai negeri, ngagai Kuching laban ba rumah panjai nya pengidup bisi susah mimitlah. Enti sida nya datai ga kitu, jadi kitai nadai menyelesai ka masalah nya, perumahan sida nya tadi, tentu sida nya makin ari semakin susahlah.

May I please, Tuan Speaker. Tuan Speaker, it is observed that prices of houses in recent years went up fast due to increase of prices in basic building materials, like cement, steel and iron. These materials are a must in the construction of almost all types of buildings and construction works which includes the building of roads and bridges. To ensure that prices of cement, steel and iron be sold at affordable prices, there is also a need to encourage competition among the manufacturers. The manufacturing of these products should not be by one company alone. In Kuching, if I am not mistaken, we only have one cement factory and also one steel factory. We should have more cement, steel and iron factories and let them compete with each other. I think there are businessmen out there willing to take the challenge to make the market more competitive. We should get rid of any form of monopoly trading or business so that no one should control the market.

The government should also not increase the prices of fuel as this contributed to the operational costs in transportation and also operational costs of many manufacturers of building materials.

May I please here, Tuan Speaker. Another point is that the sub - division of land and State Planning Authority (SPA) took too long to approve housing projects. The developers had put in so much money already, so the money borrowed from the banks to finance the projects while waiting sub - division to be passed kept on accumulating by way of interest charges on the money borrowed and this again make houses more expensive. There is no reason why sub - division plans could not be approved by SPA within a reasonable time frame. SPA should have a time frame to approve the sub - division and sub - division plans should be considered approved after a certain time frame so that developers could start work on their projects upon the expiry of the time frame. Such a thing is necessary if we do not want to see more development projects being abandoned, thus, making innocent house buyer’s victims of the whole process. We already have enough of abandoned projects in West Malaysia and definitely we do not want this to happen in Sarawak.

Probably the SPA should meet more often to consider the applications made by the developers so that each proposed project once planned could start in soonest possible.

Make Deepavali a Holiday in the State

May I please, Tuan Speaker, I speak on Deepavali for the benefits of the Indian community in Sarawak. Deepavali is a Festival of Light celebrated by the Indians and is considered a very important festival among them where prayers were said to seek mercy and blessings from the God. It is a time where friends and relatives could get together and also time to know new friends. Deepavali, a festival like the Chinese New Year, Gawai Dayak and Hari Raya celebrated by the Indians, is associated with their identity as a race to be respected by other people in the world.

Tuan Speaker, we as peace loving citizens in this multiracial society need each other and have to find ways to live in harmony with other communities. To do this, we have the respect another person’s race, religion and culture and should not discriminate them in whatever ways. This is also provided in the Federal Constitution. The fact that the Indian community in the state is small should not be an excuse for us not to be sensitive to their needs and thoughts of the community. After all, they were also creations of God Almighty and we need to see and treat them as equally important with people from other races. It is more important still for us to treat this small community with great respect and sympathy as they, like any citizens in the state also contributed much to the development of the state. Their allegiance to the state and country should not be questioned at all.

May I please, Tuan Speaker. The Indian community settled here long time ago and many died to fight against the Japanese during Japanese occupation. It was the love for this state and country that many of them perished with heroes of other communities. Many also joined our police and armed forces to fight against the communists. It also could not be denied that Indians in the state were also very hard working people, brilliant in all fields. Many become professionals and were brilliant doctors, lawyers, teachers and many are good businessmen. They contributed to the development of the state and country in their own fields and paid taxes to help this state and country to achieve greater heights, but, we do not want them to feel a sense of non-belonging, unwanted and being discriminated when their voices to make Deepavali a holiday in the state had not been heard.

As I said earlier, Tuan Speaker, it is an important festival for them and they wished very much to receive more friends from other communities to celebrate with them during the Festival of Light. Without making Deepavali a holiday, many friends from other communities could not visit them.

Tuan Speaker, I pray that the Sarawak Government will consider this request of the Indian community to make Deepavali a holiday so that they will be able to celebrate this with other races. This in turn will enhance racial harmony and mutual respect among all communities in the state. If I am not mistaken, the Deputy Chief Minister I had once voiced that festival of this type is very important for racial unity and harmony.

Sarawak Civil Service

Tuan Speaker, now I speak on the civil service. Our state progressed well but sad to say although we had gained independence by joining Malaysia since 1963, we still have daily paid employees in the civil service. I suggest JKR may have the most of them. We should not now still let them be on daily pay until and to retire the same. After certain years in the service, they should by now all be monthly paid. Like other civil servants they had been loyal to the civil service and had expected to enjoy better retirement benefits. There are not many of them, but they should deserve better treatment from the government.

At the same time, there were also too many complaints from the government servants that promotions in the civil service was not based on merits, work experience and seniority. Many seniors said they had been bypassed by their juniors during promotion exercise although these juniors lacked experience, knowledge and ability to handle the job and after being promoted these juniors still run to the seniors who were not been promoted for work advice, etc. Worst still, it is the seniors later on that had to do most part of the job for their juniors who had been promoted as the juniors became the boss of the seniors. Such a culture in the civil service would not be very healthy, but of course one would not mind if the juniors were indeed very capable officers and able to deliver what was expected from them.

Tuan Speaker, at the same time the civil service should also take into consideration that not all fresh university graduates and diploma holders when comes to job accomplishments, efficiency and quality of work expected of them could meet the standard required of them. Most often than not, these fresh university graduates and diploma holders took a bit of time, say six months to two years to learn and be efficient in their work and many, if not most of them could not understand the needs and aspiration of the people they are going to serve. Being young when employed and nil experience, many could be arrogant as they thought being graduates serving in higher posts than their colleagues who only had secondary education, they always thought that they were already somebody in the civil service and indispensable that they should be recognized and be more respected than their other colleagues who are juniors to them. This is where they could also be found missing in the office and also may fail to conduct many important meetings and he start to leave the tasks to their junior officers or assistants to overcome this.

Tuan Speaker, it is respectfully suggested that for every freshly employed graduates and diploma holders recruited in the civil service, they should undergo a common training or courses of a few weeks at least or to a few months to be conducted by the relevant agencies or trainers so that they could be better equipped to serve the people better. Such a training of course are necessary before or they should be posted to their desk jobs after they are successfully interviewed for the respective jobs. They must be taught among other matters, work ethics, public relations and discipline. Stress training should also be emphasized so that these officers could be able to work independently and in adverse condition and stress.

May I please, Tuan Speaker, in the police force and the army, all police officers and the army after being recruited have to undergo special training for about nearly a year before they were posted out to their respective contingents or units. Even that, when under stress, many could not take work pressure and became undisciplined, involved in drugs, abuse their powers and also get themselves involved in bribery and corruptions.

Therefore, Tuan Speaker, we do not want officers in our Sarawak Civil Service, especially those holding key positions who found themselves suddenly in managerial and top positions to feel a sense of being indispensable where members of the public have to go to the extend of pleasing them or to say pleasing word to them in order to get things done. This in the end, of course, will breed discontent from the public while at the same time, bribery, corruption and abuse of power will be not far a practice of civil servants.

May I please, Tuan Speaker, may I touch something on land issues.

Tuan Speaker: How much longer you got to go?

Y.B. Encik Voon Lee Shan: Ten minutes more.

Tuan Speaker: Okay.

Y.B. Encik Voon Lee Shan: May, Tuan Speaker, also allow me to speak on matters concerning land issues affecting the people especially the people in urban and suburban areas.

Tuan Speaker, the Ahli Yang Berhormat for Kidurong who has, now, again returned to this august House have on 18th April, 2006 sent a notice of motion under a Standing Order 15 to Tuan Speaker to discuss matters concerning lease-holds in Sarawak. Seeking lease-holds that have expired or will expire be automatically renewed for a further period of 99 years and without payment or renewal or premiums.

Unfortunately, Tuan Speaker, notice of motion done on ground that the matters was not urgent and also not of public importance. We regret, Tuan Speaker, at that time, we could not mention the number of lease-hold titles that had expired or will expire which rendered, Tuan Speaker, difficult to decide whether or not to allow the motion to be raised as a matter of urgent or urgency or emergency. This is because if we are required to mention figures and other details, this will be definitely difficult for Ahli Yang Berhormat for Kidurong and for us to give this detail as required by Tuan Speaker, as this could be confidential matters kept by the Land Department, which we should not have access to. We could be caught under the OSA. To this, I humbly and respectfully beg, Tuan Speaker, to understand our constraint.

Tuan Speaker, I humbly and respectfully beg that we should be guided by public opinion as it is the public opinion that called the matter to be given urgent and or important attention by this august House.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member, you can speak on land issues and so forth but you cannot re-open the ruling that I made and this was made in the last session. This is a new parliament.

Y.B. Encik Voon Lee Shan: Yes, I know.

Tuan Speaker: You can talk about land but you do not re-open the application, the motion made under Standing Order 15 in the last paragraph ... (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Voon Lee Shan: I stand guided, Tuan Speaker.

Tuan Speaker: You can talk about the land.

Y.B. Encik Voon Lee Shan: I stand guided, Tuan Speaker. As we are representive of the people then we need to be sensitive to the thoughts and needs of the people and their opinion. As it is now, the public opinion requires that the land code should be amended. This is reflected in the just concluded State Election provided voters in the urban areas had voiced their concern and voted six DAPs into this august House.

Tuan Speaker, the DAP has voiced to have the land code amended to provide for the automatic renewal land leases and cancellation of notices issued under Section 47 after two years of non acquisition and with a reasonable compensation to land holders are based on several factors affecting the land in question. First, although the power for renewal land leases is within the purview or is within the ministerial function and responsibility of Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri, the exercise to such a power by the Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri is discretionary nature. In this respect, land leases get paid that about to expire or will expire May or may not be renewed and this depends very much on the thought and desire of Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri. At this moment, although it is a ministerial responsibility, know where it is provided in the land code that the minister has to renew the land leases as of a right or to renew these leases to the present land holders upon the expiry of its term and therefore, this provides a grey area for the land code to be amended. So as to provide certainty to land tenancy or leases, the minister can renew the land leases to other applicants, that is what I said.

As we all understand, there is also nowhere in the present Sarawak Land Code that allows automatic renewal of land leases. At this moment, there are authorities and the applications are still pending and are under consideration. If there is automatic renewal of land leases under the Land Code then their work not be any need for the lease holders to officially write in to the authorities or they required to fill in the necessary forms which are quite time consuming process and it takes very costly. For those in the rural areas and for those who are staying or working overseas and other part of the country, this will cost much money and time for them to visit the Land Office or to come back to the state to fill the necessary forms, if any, before they could have their application processed. After submission made, these land holders will have the worry of having to come back again to the Land Office to enquire into their applications as to whether their applications for renewal or of their lease-hold have been approved or not.

Another factor we need to look or consider at this moment, is that, not all land holders could understand how to fill the necessary forms or to write letters to the authorities. Many also do not know the address of the Land Office or the minister concerned in the event that appeals have to be made to the minister. If automatic renewal land lease is provided by law, then there will also be no need for the minister in the Land Office to run through the application and spend time to check and peruse the application and such time spent should better be used to attend other functions, serving course and cutting red tapes. Matters concerning land use and development could be sped up and this in turn will generate income and revenues to the land holders and the state. Also we do not want families and friends to know that many, excuse me, Tuan Speaker, also, Tuan Speaker, that there are many family members or friends of ours who may not want that they have landed properties and due to this, they may not get someone to remind them on the expiry of leases. If these leases have laid or expired at that time, of which they were not aware of the thing, then without automatic renewal provision of land code, these land holders will lose the land as this land have to be riveted back to the government.

Thirdly, Tuan Speaker, without the assurances by will or legal provisions for automatic of renewal land leases that are going to expire, the prices of these properties in the market will be very much affected. It is known in the market that property buyers tend to shine away from properties with leases, whose leases are short. At the same time, developers would also find it difficult to develop these properties. This in term will affect the land development policy in the state and soon we will find many lands left idle and not developed as expected of them and if this land are not developed the state will also lost revenues that may run into millions of ringgit each year. The loss of such revenue will be unjustified and the state needs much money for this development funds to progress forward to achieve its target as a developed and moral state in the country.

May I please, Tuan Speaker, at the same time, when duration of land leases become shorter, holders or land leases may also not wish to develop the land or fear that once developed, they may not be adequately compensated or be compensated at all. Once the land rivet, back to the government either upon the expiry of land leases or upon acquisition by the government after the notices issued under Section 47 while imposed from their properties. When a person buys a house, normally he needs to repair or to renovate their house or building caused by tear and wear thirty to thirty five years later but by then he may be quite reluctant to repair or renovate house properly as by that time the lease of the property may expire, so in the next twenty five to thirty years, normally to repair or to renovate a house or building, both be very costly affair. He may not find it very worthwhile to do the repair and renovation as there could be a fear that once the lease term of this land expired, he may not have any assurance that his application for renewal of lease be granted by the government and therefore may prefer to leave the condition of house as it is unless the house or building needs serious or immediate attention or repair. If this would be the cause taken by the property owners then this would not be beneficial or good for the building industry and business in this industry will slow down.

May I please, Tuan Speaker, this will in turn effect the revenue of the state that the state will lose out in terms of taxes, they could be collected from the import and manufacturing of building materials. Other industries such as transportation and employment sectors that are inter-related with building industry will equally be affected.

Tuan Speaker, as appeared in the website of Land Department, the premium imposed upon the renewal of land leases are very high and much beyond the range of property owners. Even to impose a few thousand ringgit as premium for an acre of the renewed property will give land holders much headache. This in term will affect his health and harmony of the family. The land holders who could not afford to pay premium may find his temper difficult to control at the slightest thought of how to look for help or to raise fund for the premiums. The family may argue over a matter and in the end this will affect the harmony of the family.

May I please, Tuan Speaker, in respect of notices issued under Section 47 of the Land Code, I respectfully say that the present land code has no certainty as to where and land placed under Section 47 notice, would be acquired by the government for the development purposes or otherwise. These land holders normally will left with the suspend and could not or rather prefer not to develop the site property as there what they fear that the government may not, may resume the land. At the same time these lease holders may of the opinion that compensation by the government upon resumption the land may also not be adequate even though assurances in the past were made by the government and there would be adequately compensated in accordance with market prices. Therefore, if they would be fear to develop or redevelop the property affected by Section 47 then this again will affect our building, transportation and employment industries. At the same time, may I please, Tuan Speaker, that in terms of revenue the State will also lose very much. At the same time, Tuan Speaker, the Honourable Member for Batu Kawah will represented their party SUPP, was wishing for the extension of the lease to 99 years. That defers is different from our stand. Our stand is for automatic renewal of the lease to 99 years without premium, without premium. May that be clear, Tuan Speaker.

To end Tuan Speaker, once again I say thank you for giving me an opportunity to speak and in God we fear and in God when all races met, misunderstandings and feuds among men were forgotten and here, let us as Honourable Members of this august House from different background and political beliefs who be the grace of God Almighty met here, not make these as barriers to solve the problems of the people and let us strive for common good, and together let us march forward to see this our beloved State of Sarawak progress further with unity, peace, better equality and justice for all justice for all with a Malaysian First Concept. Thank you, Tuan Speaker.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli-ahli Yang Berhormat we have a short break. Sitting resumes at about 4:40 p.m. Nya aja jako Yang Berhormat ari Batu Lintang. (Laughter)

Y.B. Encik Voon Lee Shan: Thank you, thank you, Tuan Speaker.

(Mesyuarat ditangguhkan pada jam 4:17 petang)

(Mesyuarat dimulakan pada jam 4.56 petang)

[Tuan Speaker mempengerusikan Mesyuarat]

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Engkilili.

Y.B. Dr. Johnichal Rayong Ngipa: Terima kasih, Tuan Speaker, kerana memberi peluang kepada saya untuk mengambil bahagian dalam perbahasan usul untuk mempersembahkan ucapan dalam Dewan yang mulia ini dan pertamanya merakamkan ucapan ribuan terima kasih dan menjunjung kasih atas ucapan Tuan Yang Terutama pada Pembukaan Persidangan Penggal Pertama Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak Yang Keenam Belas pada 24 Julai 2006.

Tuan Speaker, saya lafazkan ucap setinggi-tinggi kesyukuran kepada Tuhan yang telah memberi segala pemeliharaan-Nya dengan berkat-Nya itu negeri dan rakyat seluruhnya hidup dalam suasana yang harmoni, aman dan damai.

Tuan Speaker, bagi hemat saya ataupun pandangan saya, ucapan Tuan Yang Terutama Negeri itu amat besar maknanya kepada perkembangan dan kemajuan negeri kita ini oleh kerana di antara lain beliau telah menasihat Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat mengenai tanggungjawab masing-masing, kepentingan perpaduan, keharmonian rakyat dan menentukan arah tujuan pembangunan sosio-ekonomi negeri kita ini untuk memantapkan lagi kemudahan-kemudahan kita ke arah merealisasikan wawasan negeri kita yang sedang hadapi dan alami sekarang.

Pilihanraya Negeri Sarawak Kesembilan

Tuan Speaker, Pilihanraya Negeri Sarawak Yang Kesembilan telah selesai. Saya ingin mengambil kesempatan ini untuk mengucapkan tahniah kepada Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat kerana telah dipilih dalam pilihan raya baru-baru ini, samada menang tanpa bertanding, dipilih semula atau yang baru dipilih seperti saya ini.

Saya juga ucapkan tahniah dan syabas kepada Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib bin Mahmud selaku Pengerusi Barisan Nasional Sarawak kerana telah berjaya mengukuhkan pemerintahan Barisan Nasional walaupun tewas di beberapa kawasan.

Saya juga mengucapkan tahniah kepada Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Parti DAP kerana telah memenangi enam kerusi, PKR satu kerusi dan Bebas satu kerusi.

Tuan Speaker, semua kita ini adalah dipilih melalui proses demokrasi dan telah dipilih oleh pengundi-pengundi di kawasan masing-masing sebagai wakil rakyat mereka. Untuk dipilih semula oleh pengundi-pengundi dalam pilihanraya di masa hadapan, maka sudah pasti kita semua akan dengan sedaya upayanya, dengan yang terbaik untuk berkhidmat kepada mereka, Negeri Sarawak dan juga Negara Malaysia yang kita cintai.

Walaupun Kawasan Engkilili telah dimenangi oleh saya melalui tiket pembangkang, ia bukan bermakna rakyat di keseluruhan kawasan saya menolak Kerajaan Barisan Nasional tetapi memilih saya kerana tidak bersetuju dengan calon dari Parti SUPP yang mewakili Barisan Nasional ketika itu.

Tuan Speaker, pada tahun 2001 rakyat telah mula menunjuk perasaan tidak puas hati dengan Wakil Rakyat Barisan Nasional. Seperti yang dikatakan oleh Tuan Yang di-Pertua semasa pembukaan Persidangan Dewan ini beberapa hari yang lalu:

“Dalam proses pembangunan yang pesat, Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat memainkan peranan penting sebagai agen perubahan dan penyampaian pembangunan kepada rakyat. Oleh itu, Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat hendaklah sentiasa peka terhadap masalah rakyat, dan perlu kerap mengadakan lawatan ke kawasan masing-masing”.

Terima kasih, Tuan Yang Terutama ke atas nasihat yang amat bernas ini.

Tuan Speaker, rakyat pada masa ini mempunyai pendidikan yang tinggi, mereka berpeluang melawat kawasan-kawasan di negeri ini oleh kerana infrastruktur pengangkutan antara daerah dan bahagian di negeri ini amat memuaskan bukan seperti 15 atau 20 tahun yang dahulu. Oleh itu, rakyat dan para pemilih tidak boleh disia-sia sahaja. Mereka mempunyai penglihatan yang luas, mereka membandingkan pembangunan yang pesat di kawasan jiran mereka seperti di Layar, Betong, Sri Aman dan sebagainya.

Dalam kempen saya ketika itu, saya tidak sekali-kali menyatakan kebencian kepada pemimpin-pemimpin atau Kerajaan Barisan Nasional tetapi lebih menitikberatkan kredibiliti calon lawan saya ketika itu.

Pembangunan Kawasan

Tuan Speaker, dalam memajukan kawasan, saya memohon kepada Kerajaan Negeri Sarawak di bawah pemimpin Yang Amat Berhormat Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib bin Mahmud untuk keprihatinan bersama-sama memajukan dan membangunkan Kawasan N.28-Engkilili terutamanya dari segi pembangunan infrastruktur, ekonomi, pendidikan, kesihatan dan sosial.

Saya faham dan sedar bahawa dasar Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri dalam merealisasikan dan menjayakan politik pembangunan akan turut memberi kemajuan di Kawasan Engkilili terutamanya dalam Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan yang akan bermula pada tahun ini.

Tuan Speaker, saya faham bahawa Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan adalah menekankan jurang perbezaan sosio-ekonomi terutamanya di antara kawasan bandar dan luar bandar dan semoga segala peruntukan yang dirancangkan selama ini di kawasan saya akan dapat dilaksanakan mengikut perancangan seperti yang dicadangkan sebelum ini.

Jalan Ulu Skrang

Tuan Speaker, saya ucapkan terima kasih kepada Kerajaan Negeri ke atas pembinaan Fasa I, Jalan Ulu Skrang pada September 2003 sejauh 8.1 km dengan belanja sebanyak RM12.8 juta. Saya memohon kepada Kerajaan Negeri Sarawak agar dapat menyambung semula pembinaan Jalan Ulu Skrang Fasa II dengan segeranya.

Tuan Speaker, Jalan Ulu Skrang ini amatlah sangat berguna kepada penduduk-penduduk di Ulu Skrang. Pada masa ini ramai penduduk yang tinggal di Ulu Skrang masih mengguna bot atau perahu panjang. Dengan kenaikan kos minyak perjalanan menaiki bot amat meningkat. Sungai Batang Skrang sangat merbahaya semasa musim landas dan pada musim kemarau amat sukar dilalui. Pihak sekolah-sekolah pun menghadapi masalah yang sama lebih-lebih lagi mengenai pengangkutan bekalan makanan untuk murid-murid sekolah. Penghantaran bekalan selalu terjejas semasa air sungai kekeringan atau air sungai membesar.

Kecemasan juga berlaku seperti kematian di bandar di mana mayat juga sukar dibawa ke rumah panjang di ulu, begitu juga orang-orang yang menghadapi penyakit yang perlu dirujuk ke Hospital Betong ataupun Hospital Sri Aman.

Tuan Speaker, kawasan Ulu Skrang juga adalah kawasan pelancongan. Untuk membangunkan industri pelancongan di kawasan ini, jalan raya amatlah penting. Untuk menjaga imej dan membuktikan pembangunan di negeri kita ini terlaksana khasnya di kawasan luar bandar maka saya cadangkan cadangan pembinaan jalan tersebut dilakukan dengan segeranya.

Industri Pelancongan

Tuan Speaker, industri pelancongan telah menjanjikan masa depan yang cerah kepada semua rakyat di Sarawak. Usaha kerajaan melalui Kementerian Pelancongan telah meletakkan Negeri Sarawak dalam peta dunia. Sarawak boleh mengambitkan kedatangan pelancong adalah disebabkan oleh pelbagai daya tarikan yang sedia ada seperti Gunung Mulu yang terbesar di dunia. Di kawasan jiran saya, pesta benak adalah semakin popular bukan sahaja golongan masyarakat tempatan, tetapi juga pelancong-pelancong dari Malaysia Barat dan negara asing.

Dari segi sektor pelancongan, Batang Skrang dalam kawasan saya adalah merupakan produk pelancongan yang terbaik dari segi keindahan alam semulajadi dan kebudayaan yang kaya orang Iban yang tinggal di kawasan tersebut. Pada masa ini, sektor pelancongan mempunyai beberapa package untuk menarik pelancong-pelancong dari luar negara seperti Skrang Safari dan sebagainya. Saya mencadang agar Kementerian Pelancongan harus mempertingkatkan dan memperluaskan produk pelancongan seperti Program Homestay diwujudkan bukan sahaja untuk pelancong dari negara asing tetapi juga untuk pelancong tempatan.

Skim Penempatan Semula-Skrang Skim

Tuan Speaker, saya juga ingin memaklumkan kepada Kerajaan Negeri Sarawak bahawa Skrang Skim adalah merupakan sebuah kawasan penempatan semula dibina dan dilaksanakan pada tahun 1963. Penduduk-penduduk di kawasan tersebut telah dipindah di beberapa kawasan termasuk Ulu Lubok Antu sewaktu konfrantasi dahulu.

Mereka telah dibina rumah-rumah oleh pihak Lembaga Kemajuan Tanah Sarawak (LKTS). Pada masa ini rumah-rumah tersebut amat usang, buruk dan menunggu bila-bila masa sahaja akan runtuh. Keadaan seperti ini sangat merbahaya kepada nyawa-nyawa para penghuni. Oleh itu, saya mencadangkan kepada pihak Kementerian Perumahan dan agensi-agensinya agar melawat ke kawasan Skrang Skim untuk meninjau, memahami dan menyelesaikan masalah yang dihadapi oleh rakyat kita di Skrang Skim.

Tuan Speaker, rumah-rumah yang dibina 43 tahun dahulu memang sesuai untuk keluarga pada masa itu. Tetapi dalam tempoh 43 tahun itu, keluarga telah bertambah dan rumah-rumah tersebut tidak dapat menampung perkembangan keluarga. Dalam rumah tersebut cuma ada satu bilik tidur sahaja. Di samping itu, kawasan-kawasan perumahan amat sempit untuk aktiviti pertanian, rekreasi dan sebagainya.

Tuan Speaker, oleh itu, saya memohon agar satu rancangan dibuat oleh kerajaan untuk mengadakan rancangan perumahan yang baru dan menyediakan tanah yang mencukupi untuk pembinaan taman dan juga untuk pertanian.

Kemudahan Kesihatan

Tuan Speaker, rakyat yang progresif dan produktif adalah rakyat yang sihat fizikal dan mentalnya. Bagi mencapai tujuan ini, kerajaan telah memberi tumpuan yang tinggi terhadap menyediakan prasarana kesihatan yang cukup dan lengkap di seluruh negara. Perkhidmatan kesihatan dan perubatan di Negeri Sarawak berada dalam keadaan yang amat memuaskan dengan hampir seluruh pelusuk negeri telah disediakan dengan berbagai bentuk kemudahan perubatan dengan tenaga kerja yang agak mencukupi.

Tuan Speaker, namun demikian, saya ingin menyentuh mengenai kemudahan kesihatan di kawasan saya. Ada sebilangan tempat-tempat di kawasan saya yang memerlukan perhatian pihak Jabatan Perubatan dan Kesihatan Negeri Sarawak untuk dikemaskinikan perkhidmatannya. Contohnya, penduduk-penduduk dari 36 buah rumah panjang di kawasan Batang Ai Ili amat memerlukan kemudahan klinik kesihatan. Beberapa tahun yang lalu kerajaan telah menyediakan sebuah klinik bidan (MCH Clinic) iaitu di Basi, tetapi telah ditutup dalam tahun 1970an. Oleh yang demikian, penduduk-penduduk dari Kawasan Batang Ai Ili terpaksa pergi ke pusat kesihatan di Engkilili atau ke Sri Aman untuk rawatan. Rawatan ini bukan sahaja mengambil masa, ia juga menggunakan belanja yang besar dan bahaya oleh kerana kawasan air itu adalah memang terkenal dengan buaya ganas terutama waktu malam.

Tuan Speaker, saya merayu kepada pihak Jabatan Perubatan dan Kesihatan dapat mengadakan lawatan yang kerap kepada rumah-rumah panjang di kawasan tersebut. Saya memohon perhatian kerajaan untuk mendirikan sebuah klinik desa di Tanjong untuk kemudahan rakyat dari 36 buah rumah panjang dan tiga buah sekolah yang di sekeliling kawasan tersebut.

Small Holders - Mini Estate

Tuan Speaker, the government through the Ministry of Agriculture had four years ago introduced oil palm crop scheme for small holders. One small holder was given the maximum of 10 hectares with full subsidy until production. These oil palm scheme small holders had benefited the rural farmers economically. As the scheme was very popular among the rural farmers, the government had decided to reduce the acreage to five hectares per small holder so that more rural farmers could benefit from the scheme. But unfortunately the scheme was scrapped by the government for the year 2006.

Tuan Speaker, since such oil palm crop scheme is economically available and could increase the income of the rural farmers, I urge the State Government to review and continue this scheme for the year 2007 onwards.


Bekalan ELektrik Luar Bandar

Tuan Speaker, satu lagi perkara yang ingin disentuh adalah berkenaan bekalan elektrik melalui Skim Elektrik Luar Bandar atau RES. Saya ingin memaklumkan bahawa kawasan Mario yang merangkumi enam buah rumah panjang dan satu kawasan kaum Cina dan juga kawasan San Semanju yang telah sekian lama menunggu pembekalan elektrik kepada rumah-rumah mereka lebih 30 tahun. Di samping itu saya memaklumkan bahawa sebuah sekolah rendah, SRK Lidong pun belum dibekalkan dengan bekalan elektrik. Saya memohon kepada Kerajaan Negeri untuk mempercepatkan projek elektrik yang amat dinanti-nantikan oleh penduduk-penduduk di kawasan tersebut dan sekolah rendah tersebut.

Penutupan

Tuan Speaker, dengan ini saya menyokong Usul Penghargaan atas Ucapan Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak. Sekian, terima kasih.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Padungan.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Tuan Speaker, in accordance with your order made yesterday, I have handed in a written letter this morning. I still await your further instructions.

Tuan Speaker: I have received the letter.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Yes, with your permission can I read it out to the Chambers?

Tuan Speaker: Yes.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Okay, the Honourable Tuan Speaker, we breach the privileges and the immunity. I kindly refer to the above mentioned as contained in the letter dated 25th of July, 2006 from the Honourable Member for Layar, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Alfred Jabu anak Numpang.

First of all, do allow me to clarify on the incident of the 24th July, 2006 referred to in the said letter. I did approach the Honourable Yang Berhormat in question but at no time did I carry any documents issued by the court. I was trying to invite and request the said Honourable Yang Berhormat to go outside to accept service of the said documents. The said documents relate to an election petition filed against him. According to the staff of my legal firm, the process server has been trying to serve the said Yang Berhormat with a copy of the said document several times at other places. But he has failed for the said Honourable Yang Berhormat has been avoiding service.

I would like to categorically state, that the said election petition was not served on him on day in question. If, inviting the Honourable Yang Berhormat outside the Dewan Undangan Negeri Chambers, to accept a properly issued petition is wrong, then I wish to humbly extend my sincerest apologies and I hereby do so both to the chambers and to the Honourable Yang Berhormat for Layar. There was certainly no intention on either me or my staff’s part to infringe any laws pertaining to the Dewan Undangan Negeri. Thank you, yours truly.

Tuan Speaker, without further ado I will continue with my speech. Tuan Speaker, thank you for very much, for giving me this opportunity to address this august assembly and to participate in a motion of thanks for the address of the Tuan Yang Terutama. It is with the deepest of humility and the greatest of honour that I assume this heavy yet most noble responsibility, that of representing the people of Sarawak from the seat which is my birthplace and my hometown of Padungan. I also take note with the greatest of pride that I am the first duly elected Yang Berhormat from my party, Parti Keadilan Rakyat, to take my place in this august House even though Parti Keadilan Rakyat is a very young party. Indeed in Sarawak politics and this is only the second time we have participated in the Sarawak State Elections, already it has shown that it can win the confidence, respect and trust of the people of Sarawak. Even more significantly, is that it can win in an overwhelmingly Chinese majority of over 90% Chinese constituency. Thus, dispelling once and for all, that Parti Keadilan Rakyat is a Malay party or worst, that it is a Muslim party, as some mischievous parties were warned to distort during the elections.

For the very first time Tuan Speaker, in the short political history of Sarawak, we are witnessing the emergence of a new Sarawak political alliance, that of the Barisan Bersatu Sarawak. And this Barisan Bersatu Sarawak is a barisan that will one day, God willing, replace the Barisan Nasional as the government of Sarawak. (Boos and (Laughter)

I will wait until the accolades subside. Thank you for the accolades.

Tuan Speaker: Please.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: It will replace the government of Sarawak as surely as the fact that day will follow night. (Boos and Laughter) Thank you for the accolades, and replace the darkness of the Barisan Nasional rules with the sunshine brought by the Barisan Bersatu Sarawak. (Boos) Thank you again for the accolades. And as surely as the sun will rise in the east and set in the west. No more? (Laughter)

The possibility of Barisan Bersatu Sarawak replacing the Barisan Nasional, you might laugh and deride and even cheer, yes, the DAP is not yet with us. Not yet I said. Yes, there are only two of us and true enough even as we speak, we might be reduced to only one, but the DAP too started with only one in the last election. Look at them now. There are six of them now in this august chamber. I call them the Magnificent Six because every one of them has proven to be a very ardent and dedicated advocate of the people that they represent. No cheers, thank you.

Who knows, by the next round there would be 16. So is it so impossible a feat? Everyone in and outside Sarawak thought that the opposition would be wiped out again in the recent elections or at most get only one or two seats, Tuan Speaker, as we did in the last elections.

Tuan Speaker, I keep forgetting your term. I apologise for that but against all the predictions and against all odds the opposition has prevailed and may even caused an upset victory instead. It was in all accounts a political earthquake in Sarawak and in Kuching, it was a political Tsunami, wiping out all but one of the five seats held by the SUPP. The victory in Kuching for the opposition is particularly sweet and historic for this is the first time in some 30 years that the opposition has won in the Kuching State seat.

Tuan Speaker, the last time there was a victory especially in Padungan, was in the year 1974 when the late Tan Sri Datuk Stephen Yong Kuet Sze, the founder of the SUPP lost to a relatively unknown SNAP candidate by the name of Low Fut Khee. And as for the magnificent victory of the DAP, my very first beloved party, over the SUPP in Pending, it could be said, almost said as being an impossible feat. Who would then expected Datuk Sim Kheng Hui, a long time veteran and strong man of the SUPP and who had won all his previous elections with majorities in the thousands and the last time, with a 6,000 majority vote over me and the Honourable Member for Batu Lintang who is seated next to me. For him to have lost this round and with a thumping majority of 4,372 votes, this represented a turnaround of something shocking, 10,000 votes. In politics, if my over 20 years involvement has taught me anything at all, it is that nothing in politics is impossible and that nothing, can be taken for granted. Indeed politics is all about the art of the possible and of turning impossibilities into realities.

I now come to my next part which is that of the Barisan Bersatu Sarawak (BBS) declaration and manifesto. As the flag bearer and their representative of the Barisan Bersatu Sarawak in this august House, Tuan Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to proclaim for the solemn and permanent records of this august House the declaration and manifesto of the Barisan Bersatu Sarawak. As a footnote, I would like also to inform this august House that I am one of the proud authors of both the said documents.

The Barisan Bersatu Sarawak declaration whereas according to the Nine Cardinal Principles as bequeathed by the Rajahs and which have been honoured by the British Colonial Government, Sarawak is the heritage of all Sarawakians and is only held in trust by the Government of the day for them. Whereas despite the fact that we have been independent and self governing for 40 over years, Sarawakians have increasingly been denied and deprived of their rights that have been granted to them by the previous government of Sarawak. We, the undersigned parties, representing our respective parties do hereby solemnly and sincerely declare and do pledge that:

(1) We as loyal and patriotic Sarawakians have come together in common cause and to struggle for our beloved State of Sarawak.
(2) We will struggle to restore and to return all the rights and privileges that rightly belong to all Sarawakians and which have been progressively taken away by the Barisan Nasional Government.
(3) We will not detract or stray from our noble cause no matter what and until our objectives we have set for Sarawak have been achieved.
(4) Towards these objectives, we have formed the Barisan Bersatu Sarawak and will in due cause register and contest under a common logo and common manifesto.
(5) To ensure the success of our said objectives, we shall work with all like minded parties and individuals who share our objectives.
(6) We shall work under a sharing and collective leadership which will ensure that no races or regions in Sarawak will ever be neglected or forgotten again, dated this 6th day of May, 2006.

Tuan Speaker, the signatories are three and they are:

(7) Haji Wan Zainal Abidin bin Wan Sanusi, Chairman, Liason Committee, Parti Keadilan Rakyat
(cool.gif Edwin Dundang anak Bugak, President Sarawak National Party and;
(9) Nicholas Bawin anak Anggat, Protem President of the Malaysian Dayak Congress.

According to Tan Sri Datuk Ong Kee Hui, in the first volume of his memoirs, “Footprints in Sarawak” the nine cardinal principles were embodied in the 1941 Constitution of Sarawak and accepted by the British Government in 1946.

Now, I come to the manifesto of Barisan Bersatu Sarawak. Barisan Bersatu Sarawak consists of three component parties, Sarawak National Party, Parti Keadilan Rakyat and Malaysian Dayak Congress and is opened to all and embraces all Sarawakians committed to bringing about changes to the political environment in Sarawak:

(10) The mission of Barisan Bersatu Sarawak:

(c)3 To build a new Sarawak. There will be one for all Sarawakians and allow them to assume their rightful and proud position in the Malaysian entity.
(b) To ensure justice, freedom and equality of treatment, fair distribution of wealth and equal opportunity for all Sarawakians irrespective of race, culture, creed or religion.

(1) System of Government:

(c)3 To establish a clean, fair, surely democratic and transparent government and one devoid of corruption, nepotism and abuse of power;
(b) To restructure the State Civil Service with the objective of ensuring optimum transparency and accountability in the running of the State administration;
(c)3 To implement a ruling limiting the tenure of the office of the Chief Minister to a period not exceeding ten years as part of the strategy to prevent corruption and abuse of power by anyone entrusted to serve in that capacity.

Land

We the BBS acknowledged and recognized that all lands in Sarawak belong to the people and that the government holds the land in trust for the people. In this respect, if elected a BBS government will put as its top priority, the passing of the relevant laws that will return all lands to the people of Sarawak.
To amend the Sarawak Land Code with a view to upgrade the native customary rights, land owners from mere licencees to proprietors of land issued with documents of title and to ensure that all residential leases are converted to grants in perpetuality.

To introduce smart partnership policy to ensure all land base developments be participated by and for the maximum benefits of landowners and financiers alike.

Education

To introduce the awards of financial aids by the State Government and its agencies to deserving students and enhances text book assistance scheme in order to benefit a greater majority of the middle and low income groups.

To provide annual state grants to all religious schools, mission and Chinese medium schools in recognition of their century-long contribution to education in Sarawak.

To negotiate for sufficient placements for local students in all institutions of higher learning in Sarawak and to give potential and deserving Sarawakian students opportunities for overseas’ education and training irrespective of race, culture, creed or religion.

Eradication of Poverty

Tuan Speaker, to be totally committed to the eradication of rural and urban poverty and to narrow the economic gap between the rich and the poor by way of expanding the economic cake and ensuring fair and equitable distribution of business and job opportunities.

Housing

To establish an efficient housing policy aim at increasing the production of comfortable low-cost and medium-cost houses to cater for the needs of even the poorest segment of the rakyat and towards this end, a one housing lot per family policy shall be adopted.

Infrastructure

In Malaysia’s vision of attaining a developed status by the year 2020 is to have any meaning then, roads and basic infrastructure and amenities should reach every village in Sarawak by then since development is a right and not a privilege, Tuan Speaker, of all Sarawakians.

Agriculture and Fisheries And Other Small and Medium Industries

To intensify the use of natural resources such as petroleum, natural gas, timber, agricultural produce and marine resources in the development of small and medium industries. To intensify the use of science and technology as catalyst in industrial development. To set up more training centers to train local entrepreneurs to enable them to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities in the fields of agriculture and fishing and other industries. Tuan Speaker, to increase financial assistance to the local farmers and fishermen and entrepreneurs involve in small and medium industries.

Natural Resources

To review and re-negotiate the existing agreement with the Federal Government to enable the state to have a greater share and control of the rich petroleum resources. I shall have more to say later on, Tuan Speaker.

To review and examine existing policy and practice relating to the issuance of timber licences to guarantee maximum benefit from these rich resources that will go to the government instead of undeserving politically connected individuals.

Labour

Tuan Speaker, to ensure Sarawakian enjoy all the benefits that all other Malaysians have, the Sarawak Labour Ordinance should be implemented without any delay and full and proper protection are accorded to our workers at all times.

Review of all laws

To expedite examination of all state legislations and to review all unjust laws. To re-amend the Interpretation Ordinance in order to reinstate the Dayak races as native of Sarawak.

General Matters

To ensure and promote firm State/Federal relationship in the governance of Sarawak and its people based on the true spirit of cooperation and mutual respect, fully acknowledging the roles, rights and responsibilities of each as enshrined in the Federal and State constitutions.

To reaffirm the true spirit of the 20-point agreement when Sarawak formed Malaysia with territories of Malaya and that of North Borneo or Sabah.

Tuan Speaker, to ensure that development fund approved by the Federal Government for a specific project be utilized for that project and not diverted to an unapproved purposes. A vote for the BBS is a vote for new Sarawak.

Those were the text of the declaration and the manifesto of the BBS together, Tuan Speaker… (Interruption)

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: Point of interruption, if you may permit me to… (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Are you taking the point of information under 33(b)?

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Yes.

Tuan Speaker: Yes, you are, ok.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: Thank you. Well you have been giving us all your objectives of your party. Are the other members of the opposition in consensus with you on all these? I am asking you back.

Tuan Speaker: What was the question, Honourable Member for Asa Jaya?

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: I am asking the Member for Padungan whether what he had said out just now whether the other members of the opposition are in concurrence or in consensus with him on all that he had said on your objectives, on your perjuangan?

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Ah, I think you did not hear what I have said just now. Politics is the art of the possible and I believed not only is the DAP in total agreement with the principles that we have declared, I am sure a majority of those who were in this august House… (Interruption)

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: May I have another point of clarification?

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: How many clarification do you want to seek?

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: One more.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Ok.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: If you say they are all together with you then why is the DAP not with you in the Barisan Bersatu Sarawak? (Applause) Is it because they have no confidence in the Barisan, in this Barisanlah, your Barisan. (Laughter)

Tuan Speaker: The question is why the DAP is not a signatory to that.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Again I think you did not hear me correctly. I said not yet. (Laughter) Can I continue?

Tuan Speaker: Yes, you can.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Where was I? Tuan Speaker, those were the text of the declaration and the manifesto of the Barisan Bersatu Sarawak. Together they could be said to lay the blue print of our vision of a new Sarawak, of a new Sarawak that will be one for all Sarawakians and one where there will be justice, freedom and equality of treatment, fair distribution of wealth and equal opportunity for all Sarawakians irrespective of race, culture, creed or religion.

My third point – land. Again the BBS has a policy which calls for nothing short of a revolution of the concept of land in Sarawak and we have a 10-point land policy of the BBS which is entitled – The Return of Land to Sarawakians.
Preamble. We the BBS acknowledges and recognizes that all lands in Sarawak belong to the people and that the government only holds the land in trust for the people. In this respect, if elected, a BBS government will put as it’s top priority the passing of relevant laws that will return all lands to the people of Sarawak.

(1) The term “state land” ought to be changed to “people’s land” or “tanah rakyat”. This will reflect the original and traditional status of land in Sarawak which is that land belongs to the people and not to the government except for waste or unoccupied lands;

(2) Tuan Speaker, lands ought to be made available to all landless and needy Sarawakian families. No Sarawakian families should become squatters in their own land;

(3) All residential lands should be issued with grants in perpetuity and other categories land for 999 or triple nine years. All lands currently held with 60 or 99 years, these periods should be automatically converted to lands with such leases with no further payment or premiums except for a nominal administrative charge;

(4) Tuan Speaker, we are totally opposed to the BN’s government imposition of high premiums on the renewal of leases with a minimum of 25% for agricultural lands to 60% for residential lands and up to 75% for commercial lands of the current market value. A BBS government will abolish such premiums;

(5) All NCR lands must be surveyed and proper titles issued to the rightful owners. NCR must be accorded with full and complete recognition under the Sarawak Constitution and such other laws like the Sarawak Land Code;

(6) A Native Customary Rights Land Commission should be set up to identify, determine and settle all NCR land issues and it should be vested with powers to issue full titles to the NCR land owners;

(7) Tuan Speaker, the BBS undertakes to have a complete review of the Sarawak Land Code with firm objectives of removing all anti-people and unjust provisions that are designed to confer arbitrary powers on authorities that the State Planning Authority which has now the power to take away lands from the people and to give it to those who are well connected with the government of the day;

(cool.gif Tuan Speaker, there ought to be a Land Acquisition Ordinance in Sarawak. In order to regularize and to ensure the land acquisition in Sarawak will be properly carried out. The current practice over the declaration under Section 48 of the Sarawak Land Code which is of the government’s intention to resume land, imposes hardship and causes lighten injustice to the land owner as there is no time limit. As such, no such declaration should be allowed to be valid for more than two years as is the practice elsewhere in Malaysia especially in the Semenanjung;
(9) Land of any category of holdings may and should only be acquired for truly public purposes and not at the whims and fancy of any person and be properly and fairly compensated by the government. No persons may be deprived of their land without fair compensation. This Tuan Speaker, is a constitutional guaranteed right.

(10) No land should be acquired without the affected landowner having been given the opportunity to be heard first and the government must be required to justify its acquisition.

My fourth point and I think it is a very exciting one. Time for state control of oil and gas resources. Tuan Speaker, the concept of the federation of partners is that is for resources and wealth to be shared. It can only be on the basis of equitable sharing that the Federation can grow and progress in the dignify and meaningful manner for all the partners concerned.

For several decades now in Sarawak now, Sarawak along with Sabah and Terengganu the state endowed with enormous oil and gas resources has over accommodated herself to the well being of the Federation. The average daily output from Sarawak oil fuels amount to sum 128,600 barrels of crude and this was confirmed by the Honourable Minister when he read it out just now and 2.94 billion cubic feet of LNG. For the decades past, the Federal BN Government has arrogated to itself our State’s vast oil wealth to the detriment of the people of Sarawak. There has been no equitable sharing at all. The tragic proof is the acknowledged development gap between East and Peninsular Malaysia.

The massive resources were signed over to the Federation by the State Government so that in those days it was supposed to be matter managed by a national Corporation which we now know as Petronas. Over the last twenty years or so Sarawak has received just 5% of the national, of its oil and gas revenue.
Tuan Speaker, the Federal Government through Petronas has utterly failed in responsible stewardship of our invaluable resources. Deliberate policy operations especially using Petronas repeatedly to bail out other failed Corporations are in violation of the trust Sarawak has vested on the Barisan Nasional controlled Federal Government. And the State Government has all along only stood in silent consent and in blatant direction of their mandate to oversee and safeguard the judicious use of our oil and gas wealth. Petronas has gained massively.

Tuan Speaker, from the rise in world oil prices as Malaysia is a net oil exporter so should have the government revenues jump. In the financial year to the 31st of March 2006 Tuan Speaker, Petronas reap in over RM70.2 billion in pre-tax profit, a 21% increase over the RM58 billion of the previous period. After tax profit amounted to RM43.6 billion an increased of 22% over the 35.6 billion of the previous period. Talking about so many billions makes my mouth water but unfortunately we can only see but we can never touch.

I hereby Tuan Speaker, put forward the case for increasing the royalty from 5% to 20%. Currently, the distribution of the gross value of the petroleum as prescribed by the Petroleum Development Act is as follows:
(1) The government of the producing State – 5% royalty on gross value of output;
(2) The Federal Government another 5% royalty also on gross value of output; and
(3) The producer company – 20% for cost recovery, making a total of 30%.

The next part for the remaining 70%. The producer company takes 21% or 30% of the remaining 70% and Petronas, Petronas takes 49% or 70% of the remaining 70% making a total of 100%.

The question Tuan Speaker, the facts to be asked is why should be continued to give Petronas 49% when it has done absolutely nothing for us. Shouldn’t it be us who should be given the 49%? The issue Tuan Speaker, of the increasing petroleum royalties of the petroleum of the producing States has often been raised. This august House was informed that Sarawak Government has repeatedly raised it. For instance, during the election campaign of October 1990, the CM of Sabah argued that the rate of petroleum royalty to the State should be increased from 5% to 50% Tuan Speaker.

As for Sarawak, in 1969 the then CM claimed that the Federal Government has orally assured Sarawak that we could have all the revenue from offshore petroleum in return for a lower Federal grant . Since most of the petroleum in Sarawak is found offshore, if all revenue accrued to the State Government its revenue would be boosted tremendously. And just now I quoted this paragraph.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: Interruption please. Can I seek another clarification?
Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Yes.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: Well, I am very impressed with your fight for the State but then your advisor, he was at one time the Finance Minister of Malaysia, why was he not fighting for all these for Sarawak, can I ask you this?

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Just as you are, too, of your party you are now serving. Dato’ Seri Anwar, our current advisor was then serving the Barisan Party that he is, that you are now asking from. Now, I think you know that all Y.Bs are bound by their parties to serve their parties’ interest. Correct me if I am wrong. Can I continue, Tuan Speaker.

Based on the principle of ownership of the continental shelve by adjoining region Sabah and Sarawak could claim ownership before the incorporation of Malaysia in 1963. The status quo could have been maintained in so far as the Malaysian Constitution is silent on the matter. Thus, the claim to its ownership by the Federal Government may be construed as an annexation. And for this I refer to Sabah and Sarawak in the Malaysian Economy, a book written by Wee Chong Hui in 1995. There is Tuan Speaker, a clear case of a breach of the Malaysian agreement with consent and the agreement of Sarawak and for that matter Sabah was not solved and obtained before the Federal Government took over what was Sarawak’s and Sabah’s right which is that over the continental shelve.

I believe and I humbly urge the Sarawak Government should consider taking up the case legally if necessary. So, the claim for just 20%. We are not asking too much. Just 20% will be considered quite low and therefore reasonable. According to the speech of the Honourable Yang Amat Berhormat Ketua Menteri for the Supply Bill (06/05) 2005 the State Government has been paid a total of 1.167 billion for year 2005, 1.1 billion for the year 2005 for its 5% royalty. It is expected that from 2006, which is this year onwards we shall get at least 1.2 billion a year in royalties. Counting only 5%. If we Tuan Speaker, are able to raise the royalty payment to 20% then it will result in a massive RM4.8 billion a year or a surplus, surplus of RM2.2 billion after we deduct the annual budget which is currently costing us for the current year a total of RM2.645 billion, a surplus of 2.2 billion, Tuan Speaker.

What can we do with 2 billion? Lets forget the 0.2 billion. Just concentrate on the two billion you might save. First, before we think about spending the ringgit two billion a year, we can already do away with three taxes that is burdening Sarawakians.

First, the 10% tax for 4D… 4D. I will be speaking a little bit more on that later on which took from ordinary citizen a sum of RM80 million a year. We can do away with the 5% Sarawak State’s sales tax which is costing Sarawakians a sum of RM163 million and we can also do away without land premium which is netting, netting the government. Of course it comes from the people a sum of about RM180 million annually.

Sarawakians, will for the first time if we abolish these taxes and land premium, for the first time really enjoy the fruit of Sarawak with the lifting of such taxes. And on a short calculation, the 80 million plus 163 million plus 180 million which now we are taking from the people of Sarawak, if we want to give it back to the people of Sarawak will save every Sarawakian an average of RM192 a year.

Now, lets talk about how to spend the two billion a year. With the Ringgit two billion a year, we can subsidize petrol prices at the pump and to keep it to the pre two thousand figures or before the latest round of petrol price increases.

Tuan Speaker, with the Ringgit two billion a year we can contemplate improving our really atrocious public transport system in Sarawak. We can even contemplate a rail and light rail transport in Sarawak beginning in the densely populated Kuching and extending to Padawan and the Serian region, or more cheaply in a rapid transit bus network system which has currently be introduced with great success in some foreign cities. We can even dare to contemplate a safer double lane international great highway from Lundu all the way to northern Sarawak with double lane feeders into larger tones and there can be planned and built perhaps in the next 10 years.

I therefore, Tuan Speaker, call for a total review of our oil, gas and energy policy and I urge the Sarawak Government that is now across the floor, to hear this spree of Sarawakian. Please stand up for Sarawakians. Please, fight for our rights.

Tuan Speaker, the State Barisan Nasional Government must put it to the Federal Barisan Nasional Government to set an immediate time table for idea the return of oil and gas resources to Sarawak or to give us 20% in royalty. I think, if we are determined enough and come up with the fact that the Federal Government may have contriving the Malaysian agreement when it enacts our Sarawak continental shelve. Supported by them. I am quite sure we can persuade Federal Government… (Interruption)

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): On the clarification. I think you probably may not be aware that there is no annexation of the continental shelf by the Federal Government. That is why the Federal Government pays royalty of the oil and gas taken from offshore of Sarawak that is in the continental shelve. You check your fact. No annexation of the continental shelve by the Federal Government.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Y.B. Minister. Just as the Yang Berhormat for Layar, when he replied to Y.B for Pending, there was no price hike, only a reduction in the subsidy. We are fooling ourselves, when we play around with words. Like you had just said, there is no annexation, but, in reality the continental shelve of Sarawak was annex by the Federal Government. We doubt the agreement of the Sarawak, governed it all. The facts are there. Even if, if the letter is not there. Can I continue, Yang Amat Berhormat, no, Tuan Speaker (Laughter). Sorry I get a bit carried away. Finally … (Interruption)

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Can I clarify?

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Yes.

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): No annexation of the continental shelve by the Federal Government. Probably you are right. A lot of the oil that is produced beyond the continental shelve. That of course, is not under our jurisdiction. Thank you.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: That is the problem. I think, I think, if I am might make an observation, you, your words just now, Tuan Speaker, if I may say, exemplify the current Barisan Nasional State Government stand. So weak, and so, how should I say, so subservient. There is no annexation. That is why we are not able to fight and stand up for our rights.

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Tuan Speaker, as I said in my answer this morning that we have repeatedly appeal to the Federal Government for the revision of the royalties given to Sarawak and so far we have not been successful.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Yang Berhormat Menteri, do you know why? Why you have not been successful?

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): I know. Because we have not follow what you have suggested… (Laughter)

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Thank you very much. Here you have politics is the art of the possible, if I make my point now. Tuan Speaker, if I may continue, ending on that part, when… (Interruption)

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Tuan Speaker, I thought you have withdrawn the statement. Do you still insist on the withdrawal of Sarawak from Malaysia?

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: By the way, since that topic came out again, I think if I remember myself clearly, before, I got the back side fight by the Yang Berhormat for Layar, by his very eloquent question, I think, I was putting the question to him at that time, if I may remember correctly that if Sarawak cannot, cannot get what it wants, then shouldn’t the Government contemplate withdrawing from the Federation. It was not me. How can I, little me, ok, even contemplate withdrawing from the federation. I do not represent the government. So, if I am may make myself clear, I believe on that point.

Now, about the point of annexation. I think, I am a lawyer or you are not, sorry. We can argue until the cows come home. But the facts were still remain a fact. Just like a songkok is a songkok. Like I say, let me add on this part, when there is a political will there will be a political way to corrupt if I may say or to enhance, a popular saying.

Fine, now I am coming to a nicer part. A proposal for an old aged monthly allowance and I speak for our golden generation. Tuan Speaker, with the Ringgit two billion a year, ah! what wonderful things we can do for Sarawak. We can also contemplate social welfare for our poor and elderly. The average person Tuan Speaker, works from about 18 years till about 60 years of age. Each in his or her on way, toiling and contributing to our community, state and nation. By their seven decades, although some of you are still here, many would have being weaken by sickness or infirmity and would not be able to further apply themselves to gain full work. Such, it is a society of responsibility. It is a Government responsibility to repay and to look after them in their twilight years. We often call it golden years but I think it is more appropriate for those who were infirmed in their twilight years.

Tuan Speaker, the young parents of today, faced for middle work precious in providing for the up keep of your own new clear family. What if the able raising cost of living. They find themselves in severe hardship. If they have aged parents to support, especially should there be infirmed or need more medical care as their aged, aged, the young and the aged in our society both need a break. I would like to call, Tuan Speaker, upon the government to consider for senior citizens aged 60 years and above, a monthly welfare allowance of RM200. There are, Tuan Speaker, currently sum 160 thousand Sarawakians who are aged 60 years and above. A breakdown of figures, according to the Sarawak Year Book of Statistic for 2004, is as follows:-

(1) 60 – 64, we have 53,800;
(2) 65 – 69 years, we have 39,100;
(3) And from 70 – 74, they are 26,800.

And for those who are 75 and above, they are 34,300. Making a total of 154,000 and I round it up to 160,000.
If you, if we, Tuan Speaker, are to give RM200 per month to each and every 60 years old in Sarawak and I am sure not all 60 years old will require this. But, assuming that all of them will take it, it will only incurred an expenditure of sum 380 million a year. The figure sounds big and yet in so many ways sounds so familiar. We have a 300 million Dewan Undangan Negeri, we have another 300 million, Kuching Tower project. The figure 300 million seems to be very common nowadays.

This, Tuan Speaker, is a figure which is only about half the amount we are now wasting and leading through the 1st Silicon annually.

Tuan Speaker, a caring society through jurisdiction should incorporate such concept of care under institutionalize frame work. In an Asian society, traditionally respectful of elders. An obligation of the elected government is surely to support, care and protection of the older citizens who need our help. Such a concept of societal concern and care must not be left to the limited resources of charitable individuals, organizations or religious link groups though their contribution is praised worthy, identifying and to be encouraged.

Tuan Speaker, a start has to be made and made right now, if the government is to establish its position as the function of care and concern for the people. Such must also be necessary the pre-condition for government remained relevant for it to be fit to government. For it to be a credible in promoting desired societal, culture such as a caring society.

Tuan Speaker, it is fitting that, a start be made with the aged and the aging citizens as our flag bearing social sector effective to be expended in scope and greater comprehensiveness as we go along.

Now I go to another fairly important area which is a part for, Tuan Speaker, special annual grants for Chinese independence secondary schools, aided Chinese primary schools and aided mission schools.

Tuan Speaker, Sarawakian well verse in the Chinese language provide the state with the major competitive advantage in the globalize world of today. This fact is recognized not only by the ethnic Chinese, but by many other Sarawakians as well. Chinese education is also the key to the preservation of Chinese culture in Malaysia and the importance of the Chinese language to all Malaysian is now nationally recognized.

Tuan Speaker, in recent years the fourteen Chinese independence secondary schools in Sarawak, yes, there are fourteen such schools, has seen steady annual rises being enrolment in Sarawak. From 4,564 to 5,099 in the year 2006. Testifying to the wide spread community demand, nationally sum 50 thousand are enrolled in 60 non-profit Chinese independence secondary schools. The Chinese Independence secondary schools try their very best to comply with the curriculum standards laid down by the Ministry of Education. BM and English are compulsory subject, Tuan Speaker. The last 30 years also, some of the sum 150 thousand students who completed schooling with Chinese Independence Secondary schools, many, have gone on to tertiary education locally and overseas.

All have become entrepreneurs. They have made significant contributions to national progress in all fields of political, social and economic life. The government should thus accord recognition and encourage community initiatives in organizing quality education to complement the fully national type schools. It is time, Tuan Speaker, the Federal and State Governments, both stepped in to share the burden that has fallen so heavily on the Chinese community.

Aided Chinese Primary Schools

Tuan Speaker, while the Federal Government do provide limited funding for aided Chinese primary schools, the State Government could well give further financial assistance to the aided Chinese primary schools in areas such as buildings, materials, maintenance, IT and sports facilities.

The aided Chinese primary schools are facing the prospect of increased demand in enrolment from all communities not just the Chinese, Tuan Speaker, and this I consider to be a very good thing. There is indeed an urgent need for new aided Chinese primary schools, the building projects to de-congested classrooms, those things with 60 or more students.

However, since the establishment of Chung Hua Primary School No. 6 in Kuching and which brought about the demise of my mentor, the DAP Member of Parliament for Bandar Kuching, Sim Kwang Yang, this was the price that we paid. There, Tuan Speaker, there has not been an increase in the number of aided Chinese primary schools.

Chinese Independent Secondary Schools

With regards to the Chinese independent secondary schools, it is the faithfully individuals and associations in the Chinese communities who toiled to raise funds for the 14 Chinese independent secondary schools in the state, yet the Chinese independent still face a collective budget deficit of some RM5 million a year. So the so-called initiative that the SUPP announced a couple of days that they will come up with RM500,000 a year is far too little and too late. RM500 does not help.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pemodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): Your Honour, can I speak? How much is Keadilan giving, please?

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Tuan Speaker, Keadilan does not form the government. If Keadilan formed the government, we will give them RM5 million a year.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pemodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): The party doesn’t get any money from the government, please. We simply don’t get any money from the government for this thing.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: That is what I am interested to know.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pemodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): Besides I tell you, after No. 6, we build another Chinese primary school in Tudan, Miri.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: I stand corrected, I am talking about Kuching.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pemodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): Thank you.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: The Honourable Member for Piasau, I am sure has the greatest intention and the best intention for the Chinese community in Sarawak but to say that you are going to give RM500,000 a year from the party, why is it that the party is coming out with the money? Where is he going to raise this money? Isn’t it going to come back from the community again? That is why the SUPP has been doing, every year, raising the money from the Chinese community themselves.

Tuan Speaker, what we are talking about … (Interruption).

Y.B. Dr. Jerip anak Susil: Point of clarification, Sir, if you may allow me, please.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Who are you?

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member of Bengoh.

Y.B. Dr. Jerip anak Susil: Point of clarification. I regret to say, I regret to say that you have misquoted us because it is not from the community. I, as a bumiputera member from the SUPP, also contributes and I never go back to my community (Applause).

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Tuan Speaker, I do contribute annually, everyday sometimes. Now, that is not the point, Tuan Speaker. How much can we give? Our ordinary salary is only RM8,000.00, the most we can give is RM8,000.00 unless you have any other subsidiary income.

Tuan Speaker, this is a responsibility of a State Government not individuals, not parties, that is my point, Tuan Speaker. So you may be very, very laudable in coming up with personal donations but it is never enough … (Interruption).

Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. Encik Lee Kim Shin): Point of clarification, Tuan Speaker.

Tuan Speaker: Yes, Honourable Member for Senadin.

Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. Encik Lee Kim Shin): May I ask the Honourable Member whether education is a federal subject or a state subject?

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Tuan Speaker, thank you very much for reminding me that. If I remember a far more important document, which is the 20-points which I believe is part of our agreement when we formed Malaysia. Education is supposed to be a state matter.

Tuan Speaker, how can we continue to close our eyes to a substantial need in the community by pushing this responsibility to the Federal Government? How can we continue to say that it is a Federal Government, therefore, our hands are tight. We are Sarawakian, we should be able to feel for Sarawakians if the Federal Government don’t care, we must care. That is my point. Can I continue? I am sorry I am getting a little louder.

Tuan Speaker: You have been continuing (Laughter).

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pemodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): Tuan Speaker, on the one hand, he said we don’t have enough money, on the other hand, he wants us to spend more money from the state. I don’t understand the argument.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Padungan, we are nearly 6:30 p.m., how much longer have you got to go? You have been speaking over one hour now.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: I am sorry because of all the interruption although it is very exciting.

Tuan Speaker: I will deduct the interruptions (Laughter). Okay. How much longer do you have?

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: I still has at least half an hour, I think at the rate that we are going, maybe another one hour but allow me. But seriously, seriously, I am not interested, Tuan Speaker, to take over the job of the Finance Minister for the State Government although the Honourable Member for Piasau used to be a Finance Minister.

Now, money, finance is very important and I have just, I think I have spent about the last 20 minutes talking about where we could have gotten that money and it is so easy, from our own resources itself, from the petrol that Petronas has kept from us. And I just said easily, we have a surplus of RM2 billion a year if we dare to stand up for our rights. Again I think they missed my point, Yang Berhormat from Piasau. We are not talking about money from the sky, we are not talking about building castles in the air. We are talking about stark real facts, we are talking about money in the bank.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pemodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): Are we saying that we should take over defence, take over medical, take over everything that the federal is doing for the state?

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Tuan Speaker, I think you should make me a Minister (Laughter) because Tuan Speaker, he is asking me, he is a Menteri, he is asking me how, what to do with the government. I will gladly comply. I did not say that we should take over the ministry or the responsibility from the Federal Government. I am saying that as a responsible government, unless, unless the Sarawak Government has been so downgraded and downsized that it is now just an administrative body like the local authority it have become. Surely, surely, we have so much resources, surely we have so much authority on our own hands that we can actually take our destiny in our own hands and not go to big brother in West Malaysia, please tolong give me money, my money back.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: Ya, who is your leader?

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: My leader? Tuan Speaker … (Interruption).

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: Anwar Ibrahim, your big brother in KL as well. Go back to Semenanjunglah.

Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. Encik Lee Kim Shin): Tuan Speaker, point of clarification.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Can we have order, Tuan Speaker?

Tuan Speaker: We are going to 6:30 p.m., you make a concluding remark.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: I haven’t finished.

Tuan Speaker: Yes, by 6:30 p.m.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: I will stop at 6:30 p.m. then but I haven’t finished.

Tuan Speaker: Please proceed.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Tuan Speaker, oh, it is going to get very hot (Laughter), then let’s enjoy.

Y.B. Datuk Haji Talib bin Zulpilip: It is not big brother, it is big sister (Laughter).

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: No, no, no, no. I have not gotten the sex wrong. Yours is big brother, mine maybe big sister. It is not my big brother. Sorry, no pun intended.

Tuan Speaker, for the sake of the continuous survival in progress of Chinese independent schools, public sector funding and not the dependent on charity must be the only way forward.

Tuan Speaker, there is ample precedent throughout the whole of Malaysia for state governments to provide funds for Chinese independent schools, examples, states with Barisan Nasional State Governments making annual grants or having alienated land to Chinese independent secondary schools include Penang, Selangor, Perak and Kedah. The Malacca Barisan Nasional Government grants scholarships annually for the students from poor financial background attending Chinese independent middle schools.
In Sabah, the PBS, Tuan Speaker, and now the Barisan Nasional Government has been making annual grants for the nine Chinese independent schools since 1991. Sabah boleh, tetapi Sarawak tak boleh and in Kelantan a non-BN government, indeed a PAS government, it is even more dedicated to the principle of mother-tongue education by solving the funding problem once and for all for them. It generously, Tuan Speaker, donated 1,000 acres of land for agricultural development to the Chinese school association. The proceeds from which will see Chinese education go a long, long way and this, for government, Tuan Speaker, which augurs in this House, both sides, enjoyed vilifying so often and so wrong and again, Kelantan boleh tetapi Sarawak tak boleh.

Thus, Tuan Speaker, Sarawak, not have a greater percentage of ethnic Chinese and active Chinese political participation than Kelantan and Sabah. Does not the Sarawak BN Government not have a stronger Chinese political partner than the Chinese partnership in the Kelantan-PAS Government?

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pemodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): Why don’t you live in Kelantan?

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Tuan Speaker, I am a Sarawakian. If I am a Kelantanese, I would love to go there but I, no jangan say balik, if balik, you also balik juga because I am a Sarawakian and this is my home. Tuan Speaker, if I may continue, I am finishing this part.

Tuan Speaker: Yes, Honourable Member for Pujut.

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: Allow me to say something here, please. I would like to ask our Honourable Member for Padungan, you are only pointing one case in Kelantan. Do you have any business signboard in Kelantan, in Chinese, road signs in Chinese, even Malay doctors clinics with Chinese signboard in Kelantan? You come to Miri, you see lots of them. Please come to Miri. Don’t just point out a few problems and highlight that and talk about other things, Sir, please. Look at the whole picture.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: The Honourable Member for … (Interruption).

Tuan Speaker: Pujut.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Pujut, sorry. We have Chinese signs in Kuching too. That is not the point and it is not the Kelantan State Government that is giving its proper share and duty towards Chinese education but numerous other states throughout Malaysia we are talking about.

I am not just comparing Kelantan, I am comparing a lot of other states but Kelantan is useful because the Barisan Nasional Government loves to vilify it. I do not love Kelantan, I love Sarawak but Kelantan is leading the way for us. Why is this so? … (Interruption)

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Permodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): Have they given to Chinese school that we give here in Sarawak to Chinese Independent School and you know, Primary Chinese School in Kelantan?

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Sorry. Sorry I didn’t get you.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Permodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): How many, how much land has the Kelantan government given to Chinese Schools… (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: One thousand … (Interruption)

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Permodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): You know that we have given out a lot of land in this government. Sarawak Government for Chinese schools that’s worth millions of dollars.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: But the problems… (Interruption)

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Permodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): Are you aware of that? May be you are not aware. You are so blinker in your outlook. Never look at… (Laughter)

Tuan Speaker: Alright Member for Padungan, you make your closing remarks.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: I will. I will. Let me finish that point with him.

Tuan Speaker: Ya.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: I have the facts and figures here, Tuan Speaker. I am not blinkered just because I don’t have a Chinese educational background means that I am blinkered because I am trying to speak up for Chinese education. Now the point I am making Tuan Speaker, I am not saying that the Sarawak Government has done nothing. I don’t think I have said that. But what I am saying … (Interruption)

Menteri Muda Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Encik Sylvester Entri anak Muran): Tuan Speaker, why did he said that Sarawak tak boleh? Aaa … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: But I said yes… (Interruption)

Menteri Muda Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Encik Sylvester Entri anak Muran): What are you talking about?..(Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Tak boleh. Tak boleh. Sarawak tak boleh at the moment. But … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Ranum anak Mina: Yang Berhormat, you are talking about Chinese in Kelantan. Do you know some Chinese in Kelantan even don’t know how to speak in Chinese?

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: That is beside the point. We are talking about the Kelantan Government as compared to the Sarawak Government… (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Ranum anak Mina: That means, that means the government is not taking care of the Chinese in Kelantan. That’s why the Chinese in Kelantan don’t know how to speak Chinese. I can get one Chinese man here to you.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: I don’t think we are talking about Chinese man not speaking Chinese. We are talking the issue here is funding for Chinese Independent Schools.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Permodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): For every year, the State Government through MRP gives half a million to the Chinese primary school.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Only the primary school?

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Permodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): Ya, Chinese primary school. Half a million through our MRP. Okay.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Yes. MRP… (Interruption)

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Permodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): How much is the Kelantan Government giving?

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: What are MRPs?
Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Permodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): It is a State Government … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Minor rural projects. We are talking about substantive needs here. We are talking about facts and figures where the 14 Chinese Independent Schools need something like or spent something like 9.8 million a year. Giving them 500 is just like giving them candy when they need food in the belly. Tuan Speaker, we are talking about a substantive issue here. What is the point of giving things… (Interruption)

Y.B. Tuan Haji Julaihi Bin Narawi: Tuan Speaker, boleh saya dapat penjelasan… (Interruption)

Menteri Muda Sumber Manusia dan Menteri Muda Pertanian (Y.B. Datin Hajah Fatimah Abdullah): Tuan Speaker, point of clarification.
Tuan Speaker: Yes.

Menteri Muda Sumber Manusia dan Menteri Muda Pertanian (Y.B. Datin Hajah Fatimah Abdullah): Now, I would like to say here that, that the government had never, at any point of time, discriminate against schools according to the medium of instructions. Now, the government pay the salaries of the teachers also to schools with Chinese as a medium of instruction. The government also pay, not only the salaries of the teachers, the government also provides text books and then per capita grant according to the subjects and many others. The government doesn’t discriminate. Wait, wait I haven’t finished. Now what the government doesn’t provide is that what we called as building fund. Now the building fund is not given to schools whereas the school doesn’t belong to government and the land doesn’t belong to the government. We don’t provide that. I am sure you would not repair somebody else house. Thank you.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Is that the stand of the Barisan Nasional Government, that Chinese education in Sarawak doesn’t belong to Sarawak? Is that the stand?

Menteri Muda Sumber Manusia dan Menteri Muda Pertanian (Y.B. Datin Hajah Fatimah Binti Abdullah): No. No. We’re not saying that. We’re not saying that.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: That’s what you say.

Menteri Muda Sumber Manusia dan Menteri Muda Pertanian (Y.B. Datin Hajah Fatimah Binti Abdullah): No. No.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: I don’t want to build somebody else’s house.

Menteri Muda Sumber Manusia dan Menteri Muda Pertanian (Y.B. Datin Hajah Fatimah Abdullah): No. No. No. No. No. No. Now, I have. See, if the land doesn’t belong to the government, if the building doesn’t belong to the government but if that particular Board of Directors would like the government to help to repair the buildings which belong to, which doesn’t belong to the government they can put a request and Bantuan Modal will be given according to the availability of fund, according to the application from the Lembaga. Thank you.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: According to the availability of funds. I think you just made the point and I am sure many of these schools have time and time again applied but minta maaf, tiada fund. That is the problem we’re talking about right now, Tuan Speaker. Let me point that and end that part. Sorry no point. (Laughter)

I am saying that clear and simple and I am going to aided missionary school tomorrow. The point is very simple. I think everybody is missing that totally… (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: No.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Education… (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Member for Padungan, we have so many members who want to speak as well. So it is only Thursday and Friday. So if you finish your speech today, that is your speech.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Tuan Speaker, that is quite unfair.

Tuan Speaker: Because I have to allocate time to other members as well. I am giving opportunity to those who want to deliver maiden speeches first.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Yes, I am giving my maiden speech.

Tuan Speaker: So you finish today. Tomorrow I have to accord to other Honorable Members who have to deliver their maiden speeches as well and they also represent bigger political parties.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: See, Tuan Speaker. You see I have been very nice in giving way whenever I am interrupted and I have done my part and everybody is participating in this debate. Now I am not boring the assembly I think, and this is not an unimportant subject. Now there are a few others which I would like to touch. Now if I may be uninterrupted can I read through it as fast as I can?

Tuan Speaker: Let me put it to the votes, okay. Do we finish at 6:30 or not?

Barisan Nasional Backbenchers: Yes.

Tuan Speaker: Ya. So tomorrow will be another Honorable Member because there are so many others who have not spoken… (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Tuan Speaker, that is quite unfair. You say we finish at 6:30 I do agree also. I am very tired. I want to go home.

Tuan Speaker: I have given you more than one hour.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: But I, half of the time I am not speaking.

Tuan Speaker: No. No. No…(laughter). So Dewan is adjourned. Sitting resumes at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Tuan Speaker, can I just beg for ten minutes to read through what I have to do.

Barisan Nasional Backbenchers: No.

Y.B. Encik Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: No, injury time, Tuan Speaker.

Tuan Speaker: Otherwise, there is no.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: No. No. No.

Tuan Speaker: There must be a quorum.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: There’s a quorum.

Tuan Speaker: Ya, if they all leave, you have no quorum.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Tuan Speaker.

Y.B. Dr. Jerip Susil: Time’s up. Time’s up.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: I think it is unfair to me, Tuan Speaker.

Tuan Speaker: It’s not. I have given, you have been speaking the longest today. (Laughter)

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: I’ll been standing the longest here… (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: The Member for Batu Lintang spoke for one hour five minutes; you have taken more than one hour, almost one and a half hours. If they all pack up there is no quorum.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Tuan Speaker, just five minutes. I’ll finish mine…

Tuan Speaker: It’s up to them.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Just five minutes. Just five minutes.

Tuan Speaker: So… (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: You can time me. You can time me. Just five minutes.

Barisan Nasional Backbenchers: No.

Tuan Speaker: Sitting is adjourned. We resume sitting tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m.

(Mesyuarat ditangguhkan pada jam 6:38 petang)


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Mesyuarat DUN Sarawak 25 Julai 2006
Date: Jul 30th, 2006 4:29:56 am - Subscribe
Mood: geram


[Tuan Speaker mempengerusikan Mesyuarat]


Tuan Speaker: Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat, the Chair had received a letter from the Honourable Member for Layar who is also a Deputy Chief Minister stating inter-alia that there were efforts made yesterday in the Dewan or its precints by the Honourable Member for Padungan to effect service of Court documents or process on the Honourable Member for Layar. In this connection, I wish to draw this Dewan’s attention to Section 7 of the Dewan Undangan Privileges, Immunities and Powers Ordinance 1963 which reads, quote: “No process issued by any Court in the exercise of its civil jurisdiction shall be served or executed within the precints of the Dewan while the Dewan is sitting or through the Speaker, the Secretary or any officer of the Dewan.”

The Chair views any breach of the said Ordinance by any Member of the House with great concern and any such breach is a serious matter. Therefore, the Chair has asked the Secretary to forward a copy of the letter from the Honourable Member of Layar to the Honourable Member for Padungan, who is hereby asked to explain his conduct which prima facie appears to be a breach of Section 7 of the said Ordinance. He ought to give his explanation by tomorrow, Wednesday. In the absence of a satisfactory explanation, the Chair would have to determine what action ought to be taken under the Ordinance or the Standing Orders.

In the meantime, the Chair urges all Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat to observe and comply with the provisions of the Ordinance which is a law passed pursuant to Article 25 of the State Constitution to regulate the privileges, immunities and powers of this august House.

I now hand over to the Secretary to deliver the letter to the Honourable Member for Padungan.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Tuan Speaker, I accept the letter.

PERTANYAAN-PERTANYAAN BAGI JAWAPAN LISAN

BANTUAN MEMBINA RUMAH KEDIAMAN

(1) Y.B. Encik John Sikie Tayai bertanya kepada Menteri Perumahan: Adakah kerajaan masih memberi pertolongan kepada rakyat termiskin untuk membantu membina rumah kediaman. Kalau ada, berapakah jumlah yang terbanyak yang diberi?

Menteri Perumahan (Dato Sri Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Abang Haji Openg): Tuan Speaker, untuk makluman Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Kakus, kerajaan masih lagi membantu rakyat termiskin memiliki rumah kediaman melalui Skim Projek Perumahan Rakyat Termiskin (PPRT) ataupun apa yang dikenali sebagai PPRT dengan kerjasama Pejabat Daerah dan Pejabat Pembangunan Negeri. Setiap kelulusan permohonan berjumlah RM14,000 bagi pembinaan sebuah rumah kediaman, menerusi permohonan pembiayaan dari Pejabat Pembangunan Negeri dengan penilaian permohonan daripada Pejabat Daerah di mana pemohon menetap.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Kidurong.

Y.B. Encik Chiew Chiu Sing: (Supplementary question) Will the Honourable Minister, as to whether the government would help the people who are the most poor in building their longhouses?

Menteri Perumahan (Dato Sri Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Abang Haji Openg): Ya, memang ada. Kita mempunyai satu program untuk membantu masyarakat, mereka yang diam dalam rumah panjang untuk diberi bantuan.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Kota Sentosa.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: (Supplementary question) Yang Berhormat Menteri, that among the poorest, one of the problems is that they cannot raise loans to purchase the house. Even though for the low cost houses, it was sold at about RM30 plus thousand but because they do not have their Income Tax Return forms, so they find a difficulty for them to apply for bank loans. So is the kementerian implementing policy whereby houses were built and rented to them at a very low rent because what I know in KL the rental for such houses is about RM140 per month with three bedrooms and two toilets. Is government implementing such policy and if so how many units were built so far?

Menteri Perumahan (Dato Sri Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Abang Haji Openg): For the information of Ahli Yang Berhormat for Kota Sentosa, there is a programme for us to build what we call flat for rental, meant for people who have no houses but they need place to stay with three bedrooms as you mentioned and we are implementing it here in Kuching. There are two projects at the moment, one is Sri Wangi and the other one is in Matang and there are some more projects under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

BANTUAN MENINGKATKAN USAHAWAN BUMIPUTERA

(2) Y.B. Dr. Abdul Rahman Junaidi bertanya kepada Ketua Menteri: Apakah langkah-langkah lebih mesra pihak Dewan Bandaraya Kuching Utara untuik membantu peniaga-peniaga kecil yang berhasrat untuk menjalankan perniagaan di premis rumah masing-masing dan di kampung-kampung dalam kawasan pentadbiran DBKU? Ramai di kalangan mereka telah menjalankan pelbagai kursus perniagaan dan keusahawanan. Jadi bagaimanakah pihak DBKU dapat membantu kerajaan dalam meningkatkan bilangan usahawan bumiputera ini dengan cara yang lebih proaktif?

PUSAT USAHAWAN BUMIPUTERA

(36) Y.B. Puan Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali bertanya kepada Ketua Menteri: Apakah langkah-langkah yang akan diambil dan dilaksanakan oleh Dewan Bandaraya Kuching Utara (DBKU) untuk menjadikan Sukma Ria sebagai pusat perniagaan utama khusus untuk usahawan Bumiputera di kawasan Samariang setanding dengan kawasan seperti pasar Satok?

Menteri Muda Pembangunan Usahawan dan Menteri Muda Kemajuan Tanah (Y.B. Tuan Haji Mohamad Naroden Haji Majais): Tuan Speaker, izinkan saya menjawab kedua-dua soalan bagi Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Pantai Damai dan soalan (36) dari Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Semariang. Untuk makluman kedua-dua Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Pantai Damai dan Semariang, DBKU telah banyak meluluskan lesen-lesen kedai-kedai, kampung-kampung untuk penjualan barangan runcit. This is the strength of DBKU which the potential businessmen and businesswomen should take advantage and benefit from it. Namun DBKU tidak mempunyai peruntukan undang-undang untuk melesenkan premis perniagaan di kediaman yang mana juga melanggar syarat penggunaan tanah di bawah undang-undang tanah. Dalam usaha untuk membantu perniagaan bumiputera, DBKU telah mewujudkan Pasar Sukma Ria, Pasar Malam Sukma dan Pasar Mega yang bertujuan untuk memberi peluang kepada 1,852 penjaja-penjaja Bumiputera yang ketika ini masih berniaga di pasar-pasar dan pusat-pusat penjaja di kawasan DBKU Kuching. Sebanyak 63 kekosongan bagi pasar-pasar DBKU juga telah diiklankan pada Mac 2006 dahulu.

Sebagai salah satu langkah bagi membantu kerajaan di dalam meningkatkan bilangan usahawan Bumiputera, pihak DBKU juga telah mengadakan bengkel bina upaya usahawan Bumiputera. Bengkel ini telah dijayakan dengan bantuan Dewan Usahawan Bumiputera Sarawak (DUBS), Dewan Usahawan Industri Desa (DUID), Persatuan Penjaja Kecil Bumiputera Sarawak (PPKBS), MARA, SEDC dan Unit Pembangunan Usahawan, Jabatan Ketua Menteri. Objektif utama bengkel ini diadakan adalah bagi memberi peluang kepada para penjaja, para pengusaha bumiputera khususnya untuk mengetahui perkembangan terkini hala tuju, usaha serta peranan DBKU di dalam pengurusan penjaja, peniaga di Dewan Bandaraya Kuching Utara. Selain daripada itu, bengkel ini juga berperanan sebagai medan untuk usahawan bertukar fikiran, berkongsi pendapat, memperbaiki kelemahan dan memantapkan daya saing dan daya tahan dan mengeratkan lagi perhubungan silaturahim di kalangan para usahawan, networking agar lebih berdaya maju dengan DBKU.

Sejajar dengan agenda kerajaan di dalam Program Pembasmian Kemiskinan Bandar (PPKB), DBKU juga telah bekerjasama dengan pihak agensi pelaksana utama seperti MARA, SEDC, FAMA, MARDI, Jabatan Ketua Menteri di dalam mengeratkan usaha satu produk satu zon yang fokus kepada kumpulan sasar, kumpulan miskin. Terima kasih.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Pantai Damai.

Y.B. Dr. Abdul Rahman Junaidi: (Soalan tambahan): Selepas diadakan berbagai bentuk program dan juga pihak DBKU dan juga agensi-agensi yang lain, apakah bentuk insentif yang telah disediakan oleh pihak Kementerian Yang Berhormat kepada usahawan-usahawan kecil bumiputera yang sedang giat menjalankan aktiviti perniagaan mereka dalam kawasan pentadbiran Majlis-Majlis Tempatan seperti DBKU. Terima kasih.

Menteri Muda Pembangunan Usahawan dan Menteri Muda Kemajuan Tanah (Y.B. Tuan Haji Mohamad Naroden Haji Majais): Terima kasih Ahli Yang Berhormat, ada beberapa program yang boleh dikatakan insentif yang disediakan oleh kerajaan untuk maksud memberi galakkan ataupun dorongan kepada para usahawan kecil kita supaya mereka dapat mempertingkatkan, supaya mereka dapat memperkasakan keupayaan mereka dari kecil hingga menjadi usahawan yang besar seperti penambahan jumlah dana misalnya, kepada mereka supaya mereka dapat menambahkan modal perdagangan mereka, supaya mereka dapat melicinkan cash flow dagangan mereka, supaya mereka dapat membesarkan premis mereka, supaya mereka dapat menambahkan cawangan mereka dari satu tempat ke satu tempat yang lain. Dan kedua Ahli Yang Berhormat kita mempunyai satu program special iaitu, doom big programme melalui pemberian dana bertambah, melalui peningkatan exposure product mereka kepada pasaran yang lebih besar, melalui peningkatan marketing ke atas produk-produk mereka.

Usahasama di antara Jabatan Ketua Menteri dan Kementerian Pembangunan Usahawan Koperasi Malaysia misalnya, kita mempunyai satu program supaya usahawan yang berjaya akan diberi segala bantuan supaya mereka menjadi lebih maju, berjaya. Selain daripada loan ataupun geran mereka didedahkan, mereka didedahkan kepada rangkaian permasaran yang lebih besar lagi misalnya, dalam bulan Mac lalu kita membawa 16 usahawan dari seluruh Sarawak yang kita pilih di Melaka, di mana kita telah diberi anugerah oleh Timbalan Perdana Menteri menjadi good usahawan yang champion di Melaka semasa gerak usahawan peringkat nasional di Melaka tempohari. Dan, di penghujung bulan ini kita akan memilih 15 lagi ke Negara Brunei Darussalam dan pada bulan September nanti kita akan membawa mereka yang maju ke negara Jepun supaya mereka mendapat pendedahan yang lebih daripada apa yang mereka dapat di Sarawak ini. Terima kasih.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Padungan.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: (Soalan tambahan) Thank you, Tuan Speaker. Now, the problem with DBKU lies not with the plans and all the taklimat and so on that the DBKU has been promoting. The problem with DBKU lies with the insufficiency of available workable market places. For example, the Sungai Maong Bazaar … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat…

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Yes, I am asking the question.

Tuan Speaker: This is a supplementary question.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: I know, I know … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: It has got to be concise, precise, not prepared for argument or debate.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: I will try my best, Tuan Speaker.

Tuan Speaker: Please proceed.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Now, what steps are being taken to ensure that sufficient hawker and suitable hawker places are being given to the numerous hawkers that are now trading illegally, so called in kediaman, by the road side and in many places in Bandar Kuching Utara. Now, further, further, I say, I am finishing, I am finishing…

Tuan Speaker: Further is what?

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Just a further question. I am sorry, I am shaking…

Tuan Speaker: You have to phrase your supplementary question in the form of a question and not an argument.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Tuan Speaker, I stand guided. Further, the two new pasar which is Sungai Maong and also Taman Sukma until today they are complete failures. Are there any steps to make sure that future market places set up by DBKU will be in accordance and in the expectations of the affected traders? Thank you.

Menteri Muda Pembangunan Usahawan dan Menteri Muda Kemajuan Tanah (Y.B. Tuan Haji Mohamad Naroden bin Haji Majais): Dari Padungan. It is not right to say it is a failure, there are people having their business there quite okay, you see. It is only a few that are frustrated for example, but … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: …. 90% err…

Tuan Speaker: Member for Padungan, the Minister is replying to your question.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: Sorry.

Menteri Muda Pembangunan Usahawan dan Menteri Muda Kemajuan Tanah (Y.B. Tuan Haji Mohamad Naroden bin Haji Majais): There are people that are doing business quite well over there and any new proposal for new areas we will study and consider subject to availability of fund, site and availability of the project. Thank you.

Y.B. Encik Dominique Ng Kim Ho: But the name, Mayor, is never to be found Yang Berhormat.

Tuan Speaker: Only two Supplementary Questions. Now, let me remind the House for every question I will allow two Supplementary Questions, priority is given to the originator of the question. Yang Berhormat Awang Bemee Ali Basah, Nangka.

PEMBINAAN JABATAN KIMIA

(3) Y.B. Encik Awang Bemee bin Awang Ali Basah bertanya kepada Timbalan Ketua menteri dan Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan: Pembinaan pejabat Jabatan Kimia di Jalan Oya, Sibu sedang rancak dijalankan. Bilakah ianya siap untuk beroperasi? Berapakah jumlah kakitangan serta kidmat yang akan disediakan?

Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. (Dr) Lee Kim Shin): Tuan Speaker, saya ingin memaklumkan Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Nangka bahawa pembinaan pejabat Jabatan Kimia di Jalan Oya, Sibu, dijangka akan siap pada bulan Mac 2007. Pejabat ini dijangka akan beroperasi apabila bangunan tersebut siap. Jumlah kakitangan adalah dianggarkan seramai 43 orang yang terdiri daripada kumpulan profesional, ahli kimia dan kumpulan sokongan pentadbiran. Jumlah kakitangan dan perjawatan yang sesuai masih di peringkat perbincangan antara Jabatan Kimia dan Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam. Makmal ini akan menyediakan perkhidmatan analisis saintifik kepada agensi kerajaan serta sektor swasta bagi kawasan bahagian Sibu, Kapit dan Mukah.

Y.B. Encik Awang Bemee bin Awang Ali Basah: (Soalan tambahan) Tuan Speaker, soalan tambahan. Bolehkah Yang Berhormat Menteri maklumkan senarai jawatan-jawatan yang telah diluluskan untuk Jabatan Kimia ini.

Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. (Dr) Lee Kim Shin): Memang boleh, terima kasih. Soalan tambahan yang dikemukakan oleh Ahli Berhormat bagi Nangka.

Jabatan Kimia masih berunding dengan Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam untuk menentukan perjawatan yang sesuai berdasarkan skop perkhidmatan yang dicadangkan. Jawatan-jawatan yang telah dicadangkan dan senarainya adalah seperti berikut:-

(i) Pengarah, Ahli Kimia, Pegawai Sains Gred C54 - 1
(ii) Ahli Kimia, Pegawai Sains Gred C48 - 1
(ii) Ahli Kimia, Pegawai Sains Gred C44 - 1
(iv) Ahli Pegawai Sains Gred C41 - 8
(v) Penolong Pegawai Sains Gred C27 - 3
(vi) Pembantu Makmal Gred C22 - 4
(vii) Pembantu Makmal Gred C17 - 12
(viii) Pembantu Tadbir Gred N22 - 1
(ix) Pembantu Tadbir Gred W17 - 1
(x) Pembantu Tadbir Gred N17 - 2
(xi) Pembantu Khas/Pembantu Tadbir Gred N17 - 1
(xii) Pengawal Keselamatan Gred KP11 - 4
(xiii) Pembantu Am Rendah Gred N1 - 4

Jumlahnya 43 orang. Sekian, terima kasih.

Y.B. Encik Awang Bemee bin Awang Ali Basah: (Soalan tambahan) Bolehkah Yang Berhormat Menteri maklum ongkos pembinaan jabatan ini.

Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. (Dr) Lee Kim Shin): Terima kasih. Ongkos pembinaan jabatan ini ialah sejumlah RM22.3 juta.

PEMBINAAN MASJID DAERAH MATU

(4) Y.B. Encik Abu Seman bin Jahwie bertanya kepada Ketua Menteri: Memandangkan Upacara Pecah Tanah bagi pembinaan Masjid Daerah Matu telah dilaksanakan pada 1.11.97. Apakah status pembinaan Masjid Daerah Matu dan bilakah pembinaan tersebut akan dimulakan?

Menteri Muda Hal Ehwal Islam dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Haji Daud Abdul Rahman): Untuk makluman Yang Berhormat bagi Jemoreng, pembinaan Projek Masjid Daerah Matu masih di peringkat memperhalusi kaedah perlaksanaannya, manakala kesesuaian tapak sedia ada dikaji semula kerana masalah tapak terletak di kawasan yang kerap dilanda banjir. Kerajaan akan berusaha untuk melaksanakan projek ini dalam Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan, Insya Allah.

MASALAH PENJUALAN ARAK DAN GAM

(5) Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah bertanya kepada Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam: Penggunaan arak murah dan penghiduan gam amat berleluasa terutama sekali di kawasan-kawasan setinggan dan luar bandar. Apakah tindakan kerajaan untuk menangani masalah ini dan apakah undang-undang perjualan arak di kawasan majoriti Islam dikuatkuasakan?

PENJUALAN MINUMAN KERAS

(35) Y.B. Datuk Haji Talib bin Zulpilip bertanya kepada Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam: Terdapat perbuatan beberapa buah kedai runcit dan kedai kopi yang menjual minuman keras dan ada juga yang beroperasi di kawasan penduduk Islam.

(a) Adakah perbuatan kedai-kedai seumpama ini melanggar syarat-syarat pelesenan mereka dan apakah agensi yang seharusnya mengambil tindakan yang sepatutnya?
(b) Untuk mengurangkan masalah mabuk akibat minum minuman keras, adakah kerajaan akan menutup kedai-kedai tersebut atau menghadapkan pemunya kedai-kedai tersebut ke mahkamah dan berapakah jumlah kedai yang telah ditutup dan juga berapakah jumlah kes yang telah dihadapkan ke mahkamah atas kesalahan tidak mematuhi syarat-syarat tertentu?

Menteri Muda Alam Sekitar (Dr. Abang Haji Abdul Rauf Abang Haji Zen): Tuan Speaker, ingin saya mengambil perhatian tentang soalan (35) juga iaitu daripada Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Jepak. Memandangkan kedua-kedua soalan ini adalah mengenai isu yang sama, saya ingin memohon izin untuk menjawab kedua-duanya serentak.

Tuan Speaker, sebagai makluman Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Jepak dan Asajaya, pihak berkuasa tempatan iaitu PBT, tidak pernah mengeluarkan lesen untuk menjual arak di kedai-kedai runcit yang terletak di kawasan di mana 80% ataupun lebih penduduknya adalah orang Islam. Walau bagaimanapun sekiranya didapati penjualan arak dilakukan di kawasan yang dilarang adalah jelas, adalah jelas, bahawa tindakan tersebut adalah salah di sisi undang-undang. Sekiranya PBT menerima aduan mengenai kegiatan tersebut maka tindakan undang-undang boleh diambil ke atas pelesen berkenaan, termasuklah merampas arak tersebut, mengkompaun dan mengenakan denda.

Tuan Speaker, PBT hanya mempunyai kuasa untuk mengambil tindakan ke atas perbuatan yang melanggar syarat-syarat lesen. Sekiranya terdapat kejadian di mana seseorang didapati mabuk dan pada masa yang sama terdapat aduan bahawanya ialah dibeli dari kedai yang tidak dilesenkan, maka PBT berhak untuk mengambil tindakan undang-undang keatas pemilik kedai tersebut dan bukannya ke atas orang yang mabuk itu. Jabatan Agama Islam mempunyai undang-undang untuk mengambil tindakan undang-undang jika pesalah itu di kalangan orang Islam. Jika pihak PBT mendapat aduan seperti ini, PBT juga akan memanjangkan perkara ini kepada Jabatan Agama Islam Sarawak.

Tuan Speaker, ingin saya tekankan di sini undang-undang dan perlaksanaan undang-undang, bukanlah perkara yang terakhir untuk membanteras gejala sosial. Memang betul undang-undang mestilah dilaksanakan dan tujuan penting perlaksanaan adalah untuk orang-orang lain tidak melakukan kesalahan iaitu deterrent, selain menjatuhkan hukuman kepada pesalah.

Tuan Speaker, pembanterasan gejala sosial bukanlah hanya tanggungjawab kerajaan. Tanggungjawab adalah semua pihak termasuk seluruh lapisan pemimpin dan masyarakat, termasuk juga pihak swasta, ibu-bapa, pertubuhan-pertubuhan NGO, ketua-ketua masyarakat dan Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat. Strategi yang berkesan ialah pendidikan, pendidikan agama, pendidikan dan keutuhan keluarga dan akhlak.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: (Soalan tambahan) Terima kasih, Tuan Speaker. Memang tadi Menteri ada memberitahu bahawa lesen tidak pernah dikeluarkan untuk menjual arak di kawasan-kawasan yang majoritinya beragama Islam tapi kalau kita lihat memang perkara ini amat berleluasa sekali di kawasan-kawasan yang mana majoritinya orang beragama Islam. Soalan saya seterusnya adalah pernahkah Majlis ataupun Council ataupun mereka yang mengeluarkan lesen-lesen ini, yang dipertanggungjawab untuk mengeluarkan lesen-lesen ini mengambil tindakan terhadap mereka yang menjual arak ini di kawasan-kawasan yang majoritinya beragama Islam yang mana mereka sendiri sudah tahu jugak, kedai mana-mana kedai yang menjual arak, mana-mana kedai yang tidak mempunyai lesen untuk menjual arak tapi tidak diambil tindakan. Berapa, pernahkah tindakan diambil oleh council-council berkenaan tentang masalah ini. Terima kasih.

Menteri Muda Alam Sekitar (Dr. Abang Haji Abdul Rauf Abang Haji Zen): Terima kasih Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Asajaya. Sebenarnya pertanyaan ini sudah ditanya dalam Dewan ini. Ahli sekalian saya telah menjawab supplementary question pada Dewan yang lepas, terdapat keadaan di mana mereka yang membeli arak itu dari seberang, saya telah memberi satu case study, satu kes yang betul ialah misalnya di kawasan Yang Berhormat Dr. Rahman Junaidi di Pantai Damai. Mereka membeli arak di seberang jambatan dan mereka minum di kampung Bintawa, minta maaflah saudara Dr. Rahman, dan kita dalam PBT kita mesti mendapat aduan, kita tidak akan mengambil tindakan kalau tidak ada aduan dan semua aduan mestilah kita siasat dan kalau didapati salah baru kita mengambil tindakan. Apa yang dibuat oleh Ahli Yang Berhormat di kawasan bahagian Kuching yang diketuai oleh Yang Berhormat Satok, kita telah membuat satu dialog dengan pihak Residen, pihak ketua masyarakat dan juga disokong oleh Jabatan Agama Islam dan kita telah membuat satu pelan tindakan untuk semua kita bertanggungjawab dan ahli masyarakat patut, kalau ada salah, kesalahan mesti membuat aduan dan hanya kerajaan akan mengambil tindakan kalau ada aduan, sebab itu saya telah menjawab tadi kalau PBT menerima aduan kita akan menyiasat dan kita akan panjangkan kepada Jabatan Agama Islam. Terima kasih.

Y.B. Datuk Haji Talib bin Zulpilip: (Supplementary question) Terima kasih, Tuan Speaker. I brought up this question, supplementary question. Adakah Kementerian bercadang membuat arahan kepada council-council untuk menyiasat gejala penjualan arak dan minuman keras. Buat siasatan dan seterusnya menutup kedai-kedai tersebut. Terima kasih.

Menteri Muda Alam Sekitar (Dr. Abang Haji Abdul Rauf Abang Haji Zen): Kita telah membuat arahan kepada pihak PBT dan setakat ini belum ada, dalam setakat inilah, saya tidak nampak ada laporan, yang ada siasatan dibuat jadi kita akan memberi jawapan kepada Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat kerana kami sebagai Ahli Yang Berhormat dari kawasan Kuching, kita telah meminta Jabatan yang tertentu dan semua pihak mengambil tindakan yang, yang patut tentang masalah ini kerana gejala sosial adalah satu masalah yang besar sekali. Terutama sekali di kalangan orang Islam.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: (Soalan tambahan) Boleh saya? Actively, for one more question, Tuan Speaker. Since the question has been, dua soalan telah dicantumkan. Boleh Tuan Speaker?

Terima kasih. Jadi tadi Menteri ada memberitahu bahawa masalah itu yang diberi contoh adalah masalah di Kuching, yang mana bandar, kalau kita lihat tempat kawasan orang Melayu dengan orang bukan Melayu, atau orang Islam dengan orang bukan Islam hampir berdekatan, kita seberang sungai saja sudah sampai ke kawasan bukan orang Islam. Jadi implimentasi undang-undang itu agak susah, sukar. Tapi kalau kita lihat di kawasan luar bandar, take for example, kawasan di Asajaya di mana 90% kawasan orang Islam, 90%, lebih 90%, kawasan orang Islam tapi terdapat kedai-kedai seperti ini yang menjual arak.

Jadi, perkara ini sudah dibawa ke atas memang saya sudah membawa masalah ini ke peringkat council. Ini bukan masalah badan agama. Ini masalah council. Adakah tindakan akan diambil terhadap kedai-kedai ini walaupun mereka tidak mempunyai lesen. They are selling it illegally. Saya mahu tindakan seperti ini.

Menteri Muda Alam Sekitar (Y.B. Dr. Abang Haji Abdul Rauf Abang Haji Zen): Saya ingin bertanya balik kepada Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Asajaya. Adakah Ahli Yang Berhormat sendiri yang membuat aduan? Kerana saya hanya dapat menjawab perkara yang saya diberitahu oleh Kementerian. Kita akan memberi arahan kepada semua PBT. Kalau menerima aduan mesti kita menyiasat dan ambil tindakan. Saya mohon kepada semua Ahli Yang Berhormat yang mempunyai masalah ini untuk bersama mengatasi masalah ini dengan membuat pelan tindakan yang berkesan dan kami dalam PBT akan memberi kerjasama yang 100%. Terima kasih.

Y.B. Dr. Abdul Rahman Junaidi: Tuan Speaker, memandangkan soalan ini merupakan dua soalan jadi diharap dibenarkan empat soalan tambahan.

Tuan Speaker: Okay. Terakhir, terakhir.

Y.B. Dr. Abdul Rahman Junaidi: Nampaknya Yang Berhormat Menteri Muda hanya menjawab sebahagian daripada soalan yang dikemukakan oleh rakan saya daripada Asajaya iaitu mengenai dua komponen sebenarnya iaitu mengenai penggunaan arak murah dan penghiduan gam. Jadi soalan mengenai penghiduan gam itu belum dijawab. Jadi saya nak bertanya kepada Yang Berhormat Menteri kita pernah mencadangkan supaya pihak Kerajaan mengadakan satu undang-undang kecil kepada masalah penghiduan gam di kalangan belia-belia kita yang amat berleluasa di kawasan-kawasan luar bandar khasnya. Jadi umpamanya pernah dilakukan di Negeri Perlis.

Tuan Speaker: Jadi, soalan?

Y.B. Dr. Abdul Rahman Junaidi: Jadi soalan saya ialah bolehkah pihak kerajaan menyediakan satu undang-undang kecil bagi membenteraskan permasalahan penghiduan gam ini daripada berleluasa merosakkan generasi-generasi muda di negeri kita. Terima kasih.

Menteri Muda Alam Sekitar (Y.B. Dr. Abang Haji Abdul Rauf Abang Haji Zen): Masalah gam ini tertakluk kepada undang-undang setakat yang saya tahu. Kerana gam adalah diguna banyak industri. Ini adalah hal ehwal undang-undang dibuat diperingkat federal. Saya mohon kepada Ahli Yang Berhormat Pantai Damai kalau dapat kita buat satu pasukan yang dapat mengatasi masalah gam kerana masalah gam ini adalah masalah yang penting sekali dikalangan belia terutama sekali orang Melayu. Dan apa yang saya tahu kita ada banyak masalah untuk mengambil tindakan tentang kesalahan menghidu gam kerana kurang undang-undang. Terima kasih.

STATEMENT OF 1st SILICON (MALAYSIA)

(6) Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen asked the Chief Minister and Minister of Finance:

(a) The list of items sold under “Gains on disposal of property, plant and equipment” appearing in the Income Statement of 1st Silicon (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd for the year ended 31.12.2004 amounting to RM850,322,253.00 and the name of the purchaser;
(b) How was the purchase of such property, plant and equipment financed and whether it has any financial burden on the State Government; and
(c) What was the arrangement between the purchaser of such property, plant and equipment and 1st Silicon (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd in respect thereof after the purchase and how does it affect the merger arrangement between 1st Silicon (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and X-Fab Semiconductor Foundries AG in 2006.

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Tuan Speaker, for the information of Ahli Yang Berhormat for Kota Sentosa, Part A and Part B of your question raised are both related to an Islamic Financial Scheme undertaken by 1st Silicon in 2004 with an objective to restructuring its balance sheet so as to improve its financial position.

The restructuring of 1st Silicon’s balance sheet has a positive impact on the company as well as to the ultimate share holders i.e. the State Government of Sarawak. The gains on disposal of property plant and equipment of RM850,322,253.00 as mentioned in your question is part and parcel of an Islamic Financing transaction which involves the selling of assets to a specific purpose vehicle. In fact, the purchaser of this special purpose vehicle is the international bond holders. The sale of the fixed assets resulted in the above mentioned gain of RM850,322,253.00. The amount raised from the sale enable the company to refinance its existing debts. The sale and lease back arrangement of such property plant and equipment has comply with MASB standard namely Malaysian Accounting Standard Board standard necessary to effect the Islamic financing exercise.

Without compliance to MASB standard the financial restructuring under the Islamic scheme will not be possible. In brief therefore, the financial restructuring activity has resulted in a stronger financial position for 1st Silicon by enhancing its balance sheet via the retirement of the existing debts which has higher interest rate and restrictive debt governance. This has allowed 1st Silicon to have greater financial flexibilities going into the merger exercise between 1st Silicon and X-Fab, Germany.

As to question Part C, the Islamic Financial Restructuring is part of the State’s continuous effort to put 1st Silicon on better financial footing going into the merger exercise. As a result of the balance sheet restructuring there is now positive impact on 1st Silicon financial position as well as to its shareholders and also the newly merged entity. Thank you.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat for Kota Sentosa

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Actually, the Yang Berhormat Menteri did not really answer the questions raised because I was asking for the details of the arrangement between. What are terms? Whether there is any profit guarantee to the merger company? So that part has not been answered at all. But I want an answer in respect of that part and I am raising soalan tambahan now.

Tuan Speaker: Now before you go to soalan tambahan. The ruling is where the Minister addresses the questions that Ministerial reply answers your question.

Y. B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, its doesn’t.

Tuan Speaker: It is the ruling. Where the Minister addresses your questions. That Ministerial reply is the answer. You proceed with your supplementary.

Y. B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: It was sold to some bond international bond holder. So who is going to repay the bond holder and what percentage are interest is going to be paid and I understand that the cost of sale to revenue, cost of sale to revenue ratio of 1st Silicon has been RM2.00 to RM1.00 which means you spend RM2.00 to earn RM1.00 revenue. So has it been improved and what is the cost of sale to revenue ratio now? Because nobody will invest in a business where you spend RM2.00 to earn RM1.00 and whether there is any profit guarantee given to the X-Fab?

Tuan Speaker: What’s your question? Phrase your question. One, two. Two questions.

Y. B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Firstly, what is the percentage paid to bond holder by the government in respect of the restructuring exercise? Secondly, whether there is any profit guarantee by the State Government given that, given that the cost of sale to revenue ratio is two to one.

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Tuan Speaker, the honorable Member for Kota Sentosa looks a bit confused as to what sort of supplementary questions he would like to ask.

Tuan Speaker, the list of items used in this Islamic Financial Scheme is related first to equipment and machineries and not to property and plant as mentioned by Ahli Yang Berhormat. You are wrong there. You got your facts wrong.

Y. B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: It deserved financial statement. It was in the Financial Statement of 1st Silicon.

Tuan Speaker: No, supplementary question should be with the pre-text of debate

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): You are wrong. It is only related to equipment and machinery and not to property and plant as mentioned by you, Ahli Yang Berhormat for Kota Sentosa. The gains of this RM850,322,253.00 this is approximately USD225 million are from the disposal of equipment and machinery by 1st Silicon to the purchasers ie the bond holders as required under the Islamic Financial transaction. This, as you know is to create the sale disposal and lease back arrangement between both parties where the equipment and machinery are the underlying assets. Instead of paying interest on loan under conventional borrowing, Islamic Financing cannot have any element of financial charges as it is not consider halal. Rather profits will be the incentive for bond holder to participate in these financing activities.

Tuan Speaker, the gains of RM85, 322,253.00 are derived in the following manner if the Honorable Member would like to know. Cost of equipment and machinery in terms of USD350 million. Net book value after depreciation USD125 million. Total gains USD225 million. Which is equivalent to RM85, 322,253.00. Is that answer your question.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: The profit. Whether the government guarantee any profit? How much is paid to the bond holder every year? That is my supplementary question. The answer you have given is supposed to be the answer for the original question not the supplementary question.

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Tuan Speaker, the interest rates or loss is about 5.7 % to the bond holders.

Tuan Speaker: Y.B. Dato Haji Wan Abdul Wahab bin Wan Sanusi

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No. No. Is the government guarantee?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I have a supplementary question he has not answered. Tuan Speaker, tuan speaker.

Tuan Speaker: Sit down, sit down.

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Perhubungan (Y.B Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Di): May I answer question number 7 please?

Tuan Speaker: Yes. Yang Berhormat Dato Haji Wan Abdul Wahab bin Wan Sanusi.

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): If you like there is no profit guarantee to the X-Fab.

Tuan Speaker: Okay, that’s it. Now this is my ruling and this ruling is in New Zealand and Australia. Where the Minister addresses the questions, that questions had been answered. Whether the questioner is satisfied or not, whether he is satisfied or not. Where the Minister addresses the questions that questions had been answered. Otherwise there is no end. There are other questions as well.

PEMBINAAN JALAN BAN

(7) Y.B. Dato Haji Wan Abdul Wahab B Wan Sanusi bertanya kepada Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pembanguan Luar Bandar: Adakah pihak Jabatan Parit dan Saliran akan membina jalan ban untuk menghubungi Kampung Sungai Buluh dan Kampung Ensengei?

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Perhubungan (Y.B Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Di): Tuan Speaker, untuk makluman Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Sadong Jaya, buat masa ini pihak Jabatan Pengairan dan Saliran Sarawak tidak mempunyai cadangan untuk membina jalan atau ban dari Kampung Sungai Buloh ke Kampung Ensengei. Walau bagaimanapun, cadangan ini boleh dipertimbangkan untuk dimasukkan ke dalam senarai projek-projek Jalan Luar Bandar (JALB) yang akan dicadangkan dalam Separuh Penggal Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan yang akan datang.

IMPLEMENTATION OF WATER SUPPLY IN BAU/LUNDU AREA

(cool.gif Y.B Encik Peter Nansian anak Ngusie asked the Minister for Public Utilities: What is the status on the implementation of the western Sarawak regional water supply and how much will be done during the Ninth Malaysia Plan to ease the current shortage of water in the Bau/Lundu area?

Menteri Muda Kemudahan Awam (Y.B Encik Sylvester Entri anak Muran): Tuan Speaker, untuk makluman Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Tasik Biru berkenaan dengan pelaksanaan bekalan air di wilayah Bau/Lundu/Sematan, status pelaksanaan untuk pelbagai pakej projek bekalan air di bawah Bekalan Air Wilayah adalah seperti berikut:

(1) pembinaan struktur air interim pumping man sepanjang enam kilometer berdiameter 500mm dari loji air Bau ke Kampung Sebuluh telah siap pada 2003;
(2) pembinaan bekalan air Kampung Barieng, Kampung Segong yang melibatkan pembinaan saluran paip sepanjang 23.7km yang bersaiz 450mm, 355mm, 280mm, 225mm dan 160mm paip HDPE, stesyen pam penggalak dan tangki takungan air 1.3ml telah siap pada 2005;
(3) pembinaan mild steel pumping man berdiameter 700mm sepanjang 17km dari loji air Batu Kitang No. 1 ke Bau telah siap pada 14 Julai 2006;
(4) pemasangan empat (4) unit set pam dan kelengkapan sampingan di loji air Batu Kitang No. 1 adalah 60% siap sehingga Jun 2006. Projek tersebut dijangka siap dan ditauliah pada November tahun ini;
(5) dokumen tender untuk pembinaan cadangan 3.75ml tangki tangkungan wilayah Bau telah dimuktamadkan dan disiap sedia untuk proses tender bergantung kepada adanya dana peruntukan;
(6) reka bentuk terperinci untuk cadangan penyambungan paip air ke bahagian Kampung Rasau telah siap dan projek tersebut pada masa kini masih di peringkat penyediaan dokumen tender;
(7) kerja reka bentuk terperinci untuk cadangan sistem bekalan air Kampung Skiad dan cadangan sistem bekalan air Kampung Jagoi masih dalam pelaksanaan;
(cool.gif Projek berikut masih dalam peringkat reka bentuk:

(a) Penyambungan paip dari Batang Kayan ke Lundu, dari Lundu ke Sematan dan ke bahagian Kampung Biawak;
(b) Cadangan stesyen pam penggalak di Batang Kayan dan tangki takungan konkrit bertetulang di Kem Sempadi.

(9) Kawasan tapak untuk stesyen penggalak di Kampung Sendaing, tangki takungan di Kampung Ulu untuk kawasan Kampung Biawak dan cadangan tangki takungan Sematan telah dikenalpasti dan permohanan tapak akan dibuat dalam masa terdekat.

Peruntukan sebanyak RM62 juta telah dihantar untuk pertimbangan Kerajaan Negeri untuk melaksanakan Bekalan Air Wilayah dalam Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan. Pelaksanaan projek akan bergantung kepada jumlah peruntukan yang diluluskan di dalam RMK9.

PELAKSANAAN PEMBANGUNAN TANAH NCR

(9) Y.B. Encik Joseph Mauh anak Ikeh bertanya kepada Menteri Kemajuan Tanah:

(a) Apakah rancangan masa depan kementerian supaya sasaran untuk pelaksanaan pembangunan tanah NCR yang lebih kurang 1.3 million hektar dapat tercapai sebelum tahun 2020?
(b) Setakat ini, berapakah permohonan telah dimajukan kepada kementerian yang belum diluluskan atas beberapa sebab dan berapa hektar tanah NCR telah dibangunkan semenjak konsep ini dilaksanakan?

Menteri Kemajuan Tanah (Y.B Encik Francis Harden ak. Hollis): Tuan Speaker, untuk makluman Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Tamin, pada tahun 1997, kerajaan telah mensasarkan penanaman 1.0 juta hektar kelapa sawit menjelang tahun 2010. Daripada 1.0 juta hektar ini, 400,000 hektar tanah NCR akan dibangunkan menerusi Konsep Baru Pembangunan Tanah Hak Adat Bumiputera. Ketika ini kita berusaha sedaya upaya untuk merealisasikan sasaran pencapaian untuk membangunkan 400,000 hektar tanah NCR menjelang tahun 2010.

Soalan (b), setakat ini, Kementerian Kemajuan Tanah Sarawak telah menerima 110 permohonan untuk memajukan tanah NCR berdasarkan Konsep Baru Pembangunan Tanah NCR. Daripada 110 permohonan ini, 41 kawasan telahpun diluluskan, dan 69 permohonan belum atau tidak diluluskan atas sebab-sebab berikut:

(1) Kawasan yang dituntut sebagai tanah NCR adalah tanah kerajaan;
(2) Kawasan yang dipohon didapati bertindih dengan provisional lease dan kawasan tadahan air;
(3) Kawasan NCR terlalu kecil dan berasingan di antara satu dengan yang lain di dalam kawasan yang dipohon;
(4) Maklumat yang diketengahkan oelh pemohon tidak tepat dan pemohon gagal untuk memberi penjelasan susulan apabila dikehendaki berbuat demikian; dan
(5) Proses menentusahkan status tanah hendaklah dijalankan dengan teliti dan cermat.

Jadi, menerusi Konsep Baru Pembangunan Tanah NCR, 41 kawasan telah diluluskan oleh kerajaan dengan keluasan kasar 375,013 hektar. Setakat 31 Mac 2006, 31,726 hektar tanah NCR telah ditanam dengan kelapa sawit. Sejumlah 21,396 hektar telah mengeluarkan hasil manakala 10,330 hektar belum lagi matang.

Y.B. Encik Joseph Mauh anak Ikeh: (Soalan Tambahan: Selain dari secara besar-besaran di negeri Sarawak, adakah Kementerian bercadang untuk menanam ladang getah atau rumbia atau sagu secara besar-besaran memandangkan harga sagu dan getah sangat membrangsang samada di peringkat domestik atau di peringkat global? Sekian, terima kasih.

Menteri Kemajuan Tanah (Y.B. Encik Francis Harden anak Hollis): Untuk menjawab soalan tambahan. Kementerian sekarang masih dalam perbincangan dalam program untuk penanaman yang lain.

Y.B. Dr. Haji Wahbi Haji Junaidi: (Soalan Tambahan) Tuan Speaker, di sesetengah kawasan di Sarawak ini, terdapat kawasan kecil sejumlah 200 hektar NCR dan mereka memerlukan satu pembangunan estet (small estate). Adakah Kementerian Kemajuan ini masih lagi mengeluarkan satu peruntukan pembangunan estet ataupun kementerian-kementerian lain seperti Kementerian Pertanian dan Kementerian Luar Bandar?

Menteri Kemajuan Tanah (Y.B. Encik Francis Harden ak. Hollis): Untuk menjawab soalan tambahan yang kedua, Kementerian Pembangunan Tanah ada cadangan, ada program untuk program mini estet.

PROSPECT OF 1st SILICON (MALAYSIA) SENDIRIAN BERHAD

(10) Y.B Encik Wong Ho Leng to ask the Chief Minister and Minister for Finance: In respect of 1st Silicon (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.:

(a) Please list details of the reported joint venture/merger between state-owned wafer foundry 1st Silicon (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. and X-FAB Semiconductor Foundaries AG such as proposed equity for and proposed capital investment of the foreing partner, and how this could help or salvage the State Government’s investment in 1st Silicon (Malaysia) sdn. Bhd. by way of recovering the accumulated losses, if any.
(b) What are the prospects of the joint venture making money, especially in the light of growing regional and global competition in the fad industry; and
(c) The total employment in 1st Silicon and/or the joint venture, stating in terms of local vis a vis foreign employees and their qualifications.

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Tuan Speaker, for question part A, I would like to inform Ahli Yang Berhormat for Bukit Assek that the merger agreement between X-FAB of Germany and 1st Silicon (M) Sdn. Bhd. was signed on 22 March 2006. Under the merger exercise, the shareholders of 1st Silicon and X-FAB Germany will inject their respective assets into newly-merged company called X-FAB-1st Silicon Foundries Semiconductor. In return and under the new and large entity with the assets and plant present in Malaysia, Germany, United States and United Kingdom, both shareholders i.e. State Government of Sarawak and Extrium will respectively own approximately 35% and 65% in the newly merged company.

Since the signing of the merger agreement in March of 2006, the State has been actively engaging X-FAB the various regulatory, domestic and international authorities and financial institutions on required matters essential to finalise the closure of the main merger exercise. In order to safeguard and protect the interest of the State in this merger exercise, it is important that market sensitive information on the merger be properly managed, failing which it may jeopardize opposition going into conflicting this merger.

At this juncture, I would like to inform Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat or I would like to refresh your memories on why 1st Silicon was mooted from the beginning. As all Members of this august House may still remember, in the late 1990s, 1st Silicon was the high priority and strategic investment supported by the Federal government and initiated and spearheaded by the State of Sarawak. High-tech industry as a new source of economic growth was one of the key factors selected to transform, restructure and diversify the state economic base and foster development from its traditional, natural resource and agriculture-based industry. Wafer fabrication was a tactical choice to spearhead the State of Sarawak entry into the high-tech and knowledge intensive industry. All of which is to accelerate the industrialisation process towards attaining our nation vision 2020. This is also in line with the State effort to upgrade our economic development and human capital. Only with such an industry can the State of Sarawak move to the next phase of developing a k-economy and compete with the rest of the world.

When 1st Silicon was initiated in the late 1990s, the state was fully aware of the long gestation period required for such a capital intensive industry. Unfortunately, due to the global semiconductor worse and protracted downturn in history 2001-2003 and a global inventory correction in the late 2004 through third quarter of 2005, 1st Silicon performances were further exacerbated. Like 1st Silicon, similar investment which are capital incentive with long gestation period are evidence in other industries such as aerospace, bio-tech, steel, chemicals, hydro and power plant. Countries like United States of America, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan and Ireland have invested and even given grant as incentive to kick start such capital intensive industries.

Therefore, like 1st Silicon, it should not be merely view from the perspective of normal profit and loss only, rather, it is an investment essential to keep start the industry which will propel the state to the next phase of development in economic growth.

Thereon, that there is already evidence of positive economic spill of the effect in Sarawak. Where as sustained growth in 1st Silicon will have favourable impact on the state as a whole, such as, creation of clusters and supporting industry, such as, design house logistic specialize chemical, construction, insurance packaging etc. Creation of new clears for the development of the intellectual properties, process technology, integrated circuit design etc. Enhancement of manufacturing capability and global connectivity of Sarawak. In addition, this were also provide catalyst in other domestic industries of the future as this will stimulate investments particularly in the value added acknowledge based sectors, broadband technology for example, bio-tech etc.

Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat, I must say that, the timeliness of this merger also means that the following key development will transform 1st Silicon.

(1) Transformative merger with X-Fab Germany ensures 1st Silicon’s competitive position is significantly enhance.
(2) Strong synergies with the merger, there are strong synergies for 1st Silicon in respect to the following:
(a) Complimentary technology and manufacturing capabilities.
(b) Proven management and technical expertise and know how
(c) Research and development capabilities
(d) Sale and marketing network
(e) New growth prospect through expended customer base.

There will be little or no duplication in personnel with the merger. We have now in fact, wider, global business coverage. The merge company will be in top seven in the world in terms of production capacity. There will be presence in Asia, Europe and United States.

Hence of with the various states’ initiative taken to restructure 1st Silicon over the past five years, it has improved and has now reached the point of inflection where a merger with a strategic partner becomes inevitable. This merger is essential in order to elevate 1st Silicon into the next phase of growth and these mergers were now allowed us to be a global player in the semi conductor industry.

I am confident that this will now help profile Sarawak in the international market as a place, which is conducive for foreign direct investments.

I would like to touch on the prospects of joint-venture. With X-Fab Germany as our new partner, we aspect that the merger will transform 1st Silicon into an entity capable of providing a broader range of products, wider geographical reach and business modal which focuses on products with a longer shall lives with stable pricing. X-Fab has also has proven profitable business modal and one of the most established market leader in analogue business with strong technical expertise in niche market technologies. The business modal of the merge entity will focus on market segment where the products has longer shall lives, better profitability, product mix which constantly generic positive cash flow positions and stable selling price. With the merger 1st Silicon will be a global player with bigger market share and greater growth potentials.

In social economic terms, 1st Silicon has made available employment opportunities. This is to answer your question (c). 1st Silicon has made available employment opportunities to the people of Sarawak, previously not available to them. In total about 90% of the 1st Silicon, 1060 employees are Sarawakians. The remaining 10% consists of foreign national who are employ for these specialists’ technical skills. These skills are largely in the areas of specialize engineering and research and development. It is the intention of the State and the 1st Silicon that more young Sarawakians engineers shadow this foreign expert and thus, don’t know how it transfer on the daily basis to the sons and daughters of Sarawak. Out of the 950 Sarawakian employees, 35% namely 333 staffs are engineers and the remaining has at least some form of technical qualification either Diploma or Certificate in require technical field. The remaining 10% of foreign expert have at least a related technical engineering Degree and many have a Master and Doctorate qualifications.

Last but not least, the overall domestic human capital market an intellectual know how development will be further strengthen and this include harnessing the State capability in human capital planning and development retaining and developing domestic human capital resources, brand power and technical talents. Encouraging partnership with foreign and local universities for talents and innovations attracting quality foreign professionals. Thank you.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: (Supplementary question) In terms of selling its manufacture products, how is 1st Silicon fairing at this moment in time?

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): This is not part of the questions you have asked, but, I will answer your question, what is your question, in terms 1st Silicon products is it?

1st Silicon develops its technologies and processes of capable of producing wafers of .25 and .28 micron geometries and 1st Silicon has also started to production .13 micron products. 1st Silicon product technologies spent not only the markets for cellular phone, handheld video games but also image censors and a high voltage technology. And 1st Silicon is also in the process of developing technology for the auto mobile sector consumer electronic and smart cards. The company has started production of chips for smart cards, passport and IC cards and so on.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: (Supplementary question) When 1st Silicon was first started, the government are positions is that, is going into the high end market which means the top class, top technical field high end market. But recently, after the merger from the announcement made by 1st Silicon is targeting at the niche market which is lower end of the technology market. So my question is, is that a backward … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: What is the premise of your question? What is the premise of your question.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Ya, and another question … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: No. Only one question. Ask one question.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Given that, given that, given that, 1st Silicon has made the lost of 2.5 billion in four years which is more than the total allocation of funds for roads in Sarawak under 8th Malaysia Plan. Given that, who has been … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: No, no, no. You cannot ask supplementary like this. I will not permit. I shall not permit. Question time is up.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: A motion. Under Standing Order 23(2)(b), a motion relating to a matter of privilege. I was given to understand in the … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: You are raising matter under …

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Under the Standing Order 23(2),

Tuan Speaker: Standing Order 33 … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Standing Order 23

Tuan Speaker: Standing Order 23, Ya.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen:: Sub paragraph 2(b), a motion relating to a matter of privilege.

Tuan Speaker: Ya

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Ya, so, I am seeking a motion to clarify because there is a contradictory statement. There’s a statement, quite confusing statement made by a Menteri Muda from report in newspaper this morning, saying about the uniform. Uniform, the cost of uniform is to be borned by the ADUN themselves, not by the public coffer … (Mandarin). This is a statement by a Assistant Minister, saying that the uniform made for the ceremony, the cost of which is borned by individual Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri. So, but my understanding is that, previously it is from the government fund. So, I would like to seek clarification, my motion is just to seek clarification, which is correct? Is the Assistant Minister is correct, or my understanding is correct? I wish Mr. Chairman can give me the answer on this matter.

Tuan Speaker: Not Chairman, Speaker, Speaker.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Oh, Mr. Speaker, Sir.

Tuan Speaker: No. Our order of the day is governed by Standing Order 11. So you cannot jump the gun. Under Standing Order 11 we have here, unless your motion is under 15. You cannot change the Order of the Day. We are now moving to bills.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Clarification is confusing the public as well as is confusing … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Where is the motion?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: A motion, a motion, you see a … (interruption)

Tuan Speaker: There is no motion under uniform.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, no. It is a privilege relating to, relating to the ADUN. It is a privilege. Whether this is the privilege or not, whether it is a privilege given by this House that the uniform, uniform being sponsored by the government or to be borned by each and every individual Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri … (interruption)

Tuan Speaker: There is no motion of … (Interruption)

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Di): Tuan Speaker, may I add something here.

Tuan Speaker: No, no. There is no motion. You have to file the motion. You file the motion.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Don’t need. This no need. This is a acception. Acception to the normal motion. Unless this Standing Order otherwise given. Notice shall be given, notice can be given now, which is, of any motion which is propose to move with the acception of the following. This motion need not, need not any notice be given.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Exactly, Tuan Speaker, under Standing Order 23(2), there is no need to give notice of motion in respect of 20(2)(b). And the issue touch by Member for Kota Sentosa is, one question of privilege. The privilege concerning the ceremonial uniform, who is paying the cost, is he as a Member of public by the consolidated fund, legislature or by the Member of themselves. I think this is an issue which is important and the issue has to be clarified.

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Tuan Speaker, I think personal explanation, I would like to mention (i) under Standing Order 20 … (Interruption).

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Standing Order 22.

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Wait, wait. Under Standing Order 20(1)(i) a question shall not be asked as to whether statements in the press are correct or not, right. I can decline not to explain but in order to clarify the air, now during my times, many years ago, uniforms are made and paid by ourselves. That was there and then. Now the new incident whether your uniform if there is are to be paid by you or not that is under the new arrangement. Understand.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: That is why I am seeking clarification. I am not pointing finger at anyone. I am just seeking clarification on this matter whether it is borne by public coffer or borne by individual ADUN.

Tuan Speaker: Clarification has been made, right.

RANG UNDANG-UNDANG KERAJAAN –
BACAAN KALI YANG KEDUA

SARAWAK TIMBER INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2006

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan): Tuan Speaker, saya memohon untuk mengusulkan rang undang-undang untuk meminda Ordinan Perbadanan Kemajuan Perusahaan Kayu Sarawak untuk dibaca buat kali kedua.

Tuan Speaker, the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) was established under the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation Ordinance, 1973 No. 3 of 1973. Its principle role is to provide and regulate into earlier downstream timber industries in Sarawak.

Under the Sarawak Timber Industry Registration Regulations, 1999, any person who (i) carries on the manufacture of timber which includes logs or (ii) engages in the sale, distribution or marketing of timber has to be registered with STIDC. Upon such registration, STIDC will be issued the person with a certification of registration valid for a period of one year from the date of issuance thereof. The certificate may be renewed. On each renewal, the validity of the certificate will be extended for a period of 12 months.

Tuan Speaker, sawmills which have to be licensed by the Director of Forests under Section 66 of the Forests Ordinance are also required to be registered with STIDC. There is, therefore, certain overlapping of regulatory functions between STIDC and the Department of Forests. This also results in different periods of validity for the licences issued with the Director of Forests and the certification of registration issued by STIDC creating difficulties in enforcement by the two agencies.

Tuan Speaker, my ministry feels that all upstream timber operations are to harvest trees, to produce logs which maybe sawn or and cut into sawn timber in the sawmills should be regulated by the Director of Forests as empowered under the Forests Ordinance. STIDC, on the other hand, would regulate all other downstream timber activities or industries but by way of principle legislations rather than through subsidiary legislations such as the said regulations.

It is also felt that STIDC’s regulatory and enforcement powers should also be strengthened in order to enable STIDC to properly and effectively regulate the downstream timber industries so as to eliminate illegal activities such as the unlawful purchase or supply or import of timber for processing or the manufacture wood-based products and furniture as well as to actually promote a vibrant and progressive timber industry in Sarawak whose products should be high quality and competitive in the world market.

Thus, this bill seeks to make provision for the cancellation or suspension of the certification of registration where its holder permits any breach of the probation of any written law or is found to be unlawfully employing or harbouring illegal migrants or workers on the buildings or premises is viewed or extended in contravention of any written rule including Part 10 of the Land Code for the Building Ordinance, 1994.

Tuan Speaker, towards attaining the objectives that I have just outlined, the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2006 is now presented for deliberation before this august House.

Tuan Speaker, the bills primarily objective is to add probation to the Ordinance which would enable STIDC to better and more effectively regulate the downstream timber industries and to promote the orderly and healthy growth thereof so that its products are of good quality and competitive in the global market.

Having a better regulatory system by way of principle rather than subsidiary regulation would strengthen enforcement procedures which are geared towards tackling malpractices such as the purchase of logs from illegal sources or suppliers for processing or manufacture of wood-based products. In so doing, the government feels that illegal logging can be controlled as those who indulged in such activities would soon discover there is no longer a market for their illegal felled timber logs. Tuan Speaker, legal effect of the probations of the various clauses of the bill is contained in the explanation statement to the bill.

Tuan Speaker, Rang Undang-Undang ini jika diluluskan akan memastikan perancangan dan pembangunan tapak atau estet perindustrian yang lebih teratur untuk memenuhi keperluan industri hiliran serta industri berasaskan kayu kerana loji-loji atau kilang-kilang untuk memproses kayu dan membuat produk berasas kayu tidak boleh dibina jika ianya bertentangan dengan mana-mana undang-undang bertulis termasuk Bahagian 10 Kanun Tanah. Dengan lulusnya rang undang-undang ini, kerajaan berharap agar perusahaan memproses kayu dan produk berasaskan kayu tidak akan dibina dan beroperasi di atas tanah yang bercanggah dengan syarat kegunaannya.

Kerajaan juga berharap agar ianya dapat membantu mengawal atau mengurang pencemaran alam sekitar atau kacau ganggu terhadap aset berhampiran yang disebabkan oleh aktiviti-aktiviti tersebut.

Tuan Speaker, saya percaya semua Ahli Yang Berhormat akan memberikan sokongan terhadap rang undang-undang ini yang akan memantapkan industri perkayuan hiliran kita ini.

Saya dengan ini memohon untuk mengusulkan.

Tuan Speaker: Can I get a Minister to second? One Minister to second.

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): I beg to second, Tuan Speaker.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat, the question is that the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2006 be read a second time. Any Member wishes to speak? Ahli Yang Berhormat for Jepak.

Y.B. Datuk Haji Talib Zulpilip: Thank you very much, Tuan Speaker. I am happy to note that the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (Amendment) Bill is being tabled to improve our timber industry. Yesterday, the Forest (Amendment) Bill was deliberated upon. The two bills and amendments have inter- related impact. I would like to say well done to the government for bringing up today the Ordinance to address the various issues and concerns of the industry.

We all know for instance there is timber tap, we all know that. This is bad for the industry and the economy as a whole. It is the duty of everyone in this august House to see that this is stopped. If by defining the rules and regulations or amending the bill will become better, then why not. Let that industry be better organized goes without saying… (Interruption).

Tuan Speaker: Yes, Bukit Assek.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Clarification, Ahli Yang Berhormat. You were saying, we all know, we all know, that is timber tap. Actually since when do we know and how serious do you think the issue is or do you know the issue is.

Y.B. Datuk Haji Talip Zulpilip: Well, we hear of it. I am sure Member for Bukit Assek is not that innocent. Just go to coffee shop, you will hear and we have to stop it. That is what, I am looking at the economic, not the legality of it. Okay.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: I agree that illegal logging has to be stopped and the law must be enforced. The question I was asking was since when do we know about illegal logging and since so many years ago and so many decades ago, and what have we done as illegal logging is still rampant. What have we done?

Y.B. Datuk Haji Talib Zulpilip: I believe there have been arrests, there have been confiscations, they are in the newspapers, so the problem is there and I believe they have been addressed but I believe we should do more, okay, in the interest of the economy of the state. Thank you, Member for Bukit Assek for supporting my view there. Thank you very much (Laugher).

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Put it this way, Ahli Yang Berhormat, anything that the government does which is beneficial to the people which is in enforcement of the law, not only myself, my whole party will support it.

Y.B. Datuk Haji Talib Zulpilip: Thank you very much. We are on the same wave length then (Laughter), the government is doing it for the benefit of the people. Thank you, brother, so I have no objection you coming back to this august House (Laughter); in that respect but otherwise, okay we remind friends and other thing, okay.

Now we are not going to quarrel with this. We are going to agree we do something. Okay, now we know there is tap, we have to stop it. Here, I would like to see that the amendment would make it more organized, the industries more organized and more efficient. One area that I found unsatisfactory is the manner of waste disposal in the industries. It is a known fact that some fact that some factories owners pour chemical or oil into drains and directly into rivers. This would do untold damaged to the environment which will in turn negatively affect other economic activities such as tourism fishing.

I hope the amendment would also add more teeth to the enforcement of the existing laws to improve the behaviour of the industrialist. Another area that has impact on the industry is the high and efficient utilization of logs in the industry. Even wastes such as sawdust and off cuts and barks are turned into useful products. We have to aim for that.

Countries such as Taiwan or Japan are still competitive in terms of downstream activities because they utilize a very high percentage of the log even when they have to import this raw material. The same goes with China. Our local industry should strive to achieve this high level of utilization. What do we have here in Sarawak? We still see timber or sawmill operators throwing away sawdust or off cuts. I still recall fishermen complaining that instead of catching fish they have balls of sawdust and their nets damaged by the irresponsible behaviour of the few. I draw my experience when I was still Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Industrial Development.

Similarly, we still see incinerators producing smoke especially in rural areas, not as bad as it used to be, but still burning no doubt. They burn sawdust instead of producing more value to the industry. Now, this wasteful practice must stop.

Tuan Speaker, if this amendment will help reorganize the industry, make it more efficient, create jobs and bring in new technology and more profit ultimately. I, for one, give it my fullest support. Thank you very much.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Sebuyau.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Julaihi bin Narawi: Terima kasih, Tuan Speaker. Saya bangun untuk sama-sama memberi sedikit pandangan tentang rang undang-undang Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2006 seperti yang telah dibentangkan oleh Yang Berhormat Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II merangkap Menteri Kemudahan Awam dalam Dewan yang mulia ini.

Saya percaya rang undang-undang ini wajar disokong oleh semua Ahli berlandaskan kepada pentingnya rang undang-undang ini kepada kepentingan ekonomi negeri kita khususnya dalam usaha kita untuk mempertingkatkan perusahaan kayu di negeri Sarawak dalam jangka masa yang panjang.

Berdasarkan rang undang-undang ini, pindaan rang undang-undang ini, Tuan Speaker, PUSAKA akan mengambilalih sebahagian daripada tugas-tugas yang ada pada masa ini yang dijalankan oleh Jabatan Hutan. Ini juga bermakna bahawa kedua-dua agensi ini dapat memberi tumpuan yang sepenuhnya berdasarkan kepada bidangkuasa baru masing-masing agar ianya lebih efisien serta teratur di samping dapat mengurangkan pertindihan tugas-tugas dan seterusnya meningkatkan penggunaan tenaga sumber manusia dengan lebih kos efektif lagi.

Dengan lain perkataan, Tuan Speaker, pindaan rang undang-undang ini akan menyediakan rangka perundangan yang lebih jelas untuk mengawasi aktiviti-aktiviti yang berasaskan kayu di Negeri Sarawak oleh kedua-dua agensi ini iaitu PUSAKA dan Jabatan Hutan.

Tuan Speaker, dengan adanya pindaan rang undang-undang ini PUSAKA akan sentiasa dapat memainkan peranan yang lebih proaktif dan lebih efektif dalam mengurus dan membangunkan industri perkayuan di Negeri Sarawak. Selain daripada itu juga, saya yakin, saya yakin pindaan ini khususnya akan dapat memperkukuhkan kuasa PUSAKA yang sedia ada bagi mempastikan supaya industri perkayuan dibangun dengan cara yang lebih teratur.

Dalam pada yang sama, Tuan Speaker, saya percaya bahawa ianya akan dapat mempastikan aktiviti-aktiviti yang kurang sihat akan dapat diambil tindakan oleh PUSAKA berlandaskan kepada pindaan rang undang-undang ini.

Tuan Speaker, perusahaan kayu di Negeri Sarawak perlu juga kita lihat dalam konteks perubahan dan perkembangan pasaran di peringkat antarabangsa. Oleh itulah maka saya percaya bahawa kita perlu merangka strategi, kita perlu merangka strategi yang berasaskan kepada kekuatan kita sendiri iaitu kita mempunyai, mempunyai sumber yang mencukupi dan kita perlu membangunkan sumber kayu kita. Dalam erti kata kita perlu memperbagaikan produk yang berasaskan kayu tetapi berdasarkan kepada kriteria yang dikehendaki oleh para pengguna di peringkat antarabangasa. Dan oleh itulah saya merasakan bahawa pindaan ini akan membolehkan PUSAKA untuk memain peranan yang lebih bermakna dan peranan yang lebih berkesan sejajar dengan keperluan para pengguna di peringkat antarabangsa khususnya dalam usaha untuk mempelbagaikan produk yang berasaskan, berasaskan kayu di negeri kita.

Dan pada masa yang sama, Tuan Speaker, saya yakin bahawa dengan pindaan ini juga PUSAKA akan dapat memain peranan untuk, untuk terus membolehkan pengusaha-pengusaha di Negeri Sarawak terus meningkatkan value added products yang akan diusahakan di masa-masa yang akan datang dengan erti kata bahawa kita boleh menggunakan, kita boleh menggunakan produk kayu kita 100% dan pada masa yang sama kita tidak akan mencemar alam sekitar kita. Ini bermakna bahawa kita akan membolehkan PUSAKA menekankan kepada value added products in the near future.

Di sinilah, Tuan Speaker, saya berasakan bahawa pindaan ini memang amat sesuai untuk membolehkan PUSAKA memain peranan yang begitu penting di masa-masa yang akan datang dan di sini juga saya berpendapat bahawa penguatkuasaan rang undang-undang ini memang perlu dilakukan dengan sebaik yang mungkin oleh pihak PUSAKA dan saya yakin PUSAKA yang telah ditubuhkan sejak 35 tahun yang lepas mempunyai kepakaran, mempunyai pengalaman yang mencukupi untuk menguatkuasa segala undang-undang yang diamanahkan kepada PUSAKA.
Dengan pandangan ringkas ini, Tuan Speaker, saya menyokong agar pindaan rang undang-undang ini dilulus dengan sepenuhnya oleh Dewan yang mulia ini. Terima kasih.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat, we have a short break. Sitting resumes at 11:15 a.m.

(Mesyuarat ditangguhkan pada jam 10:54 pagi)

(Mesyuarat dimulakan pada jam 11:35 pagi)

[Tuan Speaker mempengerusikan Mesyuarat]

Tuan Speaker: Any Honourable Member wishes to speak? Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Kota Sentosa.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Thank you, Tuan Speaker, for allowing me to participate on this Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2006. I have a few points to rise.

One is about the effectiveness of the creation of this enforcement power to STIDC. I was told that previously the enforcement power to catch illegal logging is under the Protection Division of the Forest Department and subsequently the Government set up an additional division which is called Security and Assets Protection Unit (SAPU) to take over the Protection Division but the result doesn’t seem to be an improvement in the enforcement. Previously under Forestry Protection Division, annually they made seizure of illegal logs amounting to approximately RM4 million of which an incentive has been paid out approximately RM2 million to its officer working on the seizure of illegal logs. Then, come the SAPU (Security and Assets Protection Unit). The seizure done in the last three years by SAPU, the seizure of illegal logs amount to less than RM1.8 million for three years, for the last three years and SAPU has to spend about RM1.5 million to guard the seized logs. Whether it is justified for such spending and what has the government have in plan actually to improve. I know we are setting out the enforcement gimmicks, STIDC the enforcement power but what is the personnel now in STIDC and what plans to counter these illegal loggings which is different from previously except that we changed the entity to enforce the law. What other plans has been implaced or is in the process to be implemented because I believe for the last three years only RM1.8 million worth of seized logs that I don’t know whether there is an improvement in the system whereby the illegal loggers are logging less or there has been some tip-off or corruption involved in the enforcement so that the illegal loggers are not caught. So my question here is first point that I wish to raise is what is the improvement in the whole system, in term of personnel, in term of operation that will be implemented which is different from the enforcement of SAPU or Forestry Department.

In our system here in Malaysia, whenever there is a problem arise very often the government will set up a department here and there trying to tackle the problem but at the end, the inefficient enforcement problem will still crop up and the problem remains a problem without being solved despite new departments have been set up but despite much of the tax payers’ money has been spent to set up this new unit. So, I hope this will not be the case after the transfer of power from Forest Department to STIDC.

And the second point that I wish to raise in my debate here, I have a lot of worries on the power that is given under this Act to STIDC and the far-reaching effect of such provision which are in particular 5(e)(1). Any person who without a valid certificate of registration issued in accordance with Section 5(a)(1):

(a) Carry out any business or activity relating to or connected with a timber industry; or
(b) Proceeds with work to build or construct any plant, factory or premises to carry out any business or activity connected with a timber industry or is involved in the management operation of such plants or premises shall be guilty of an offence and the penalty is RM300,000.

My concern is any person carrying out business, any businesses or activity relating to or connected with a timber industry and if we care to refer to the definition section which is timber industry. Timber industry here means :-

(a) Any business or activity relating to the manufacturer of timber or timber products; and
(b) The sale, distribution and marketing of timber and there is also if we look at the parent Act, the parent Ordinance, sales, distribution or marketing of timber means the businesses of or any activity connecting to the selling, supplying, transporting, exporting, importing or storage of timber or timber products that is sales, distribution or marketing of timber and if we look at timber products that is the concern. That is the crust of my debate, of my argument here.

Timber products include timbers which have been processed. There is an amendment here or sawn or hewn will be deleted. That means that timber products after the amendment will be “timber products include timbers which have been processed and any goods or articles or products made of or manufactured from timber” which means literally any products that is made of timber will be caught under this Act and any person selling any product that is made of timber…(Interruption).

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Kota Sentosa, it is not an Act.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: An Ordinance.

Tuan Speaker: Ordinance. Yes.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Caught under this Ordinance and any person who is selling a timber product will be caught under this Ordinance. In a way, if you sell a pencil which is made of timber, you will likewise be caught under this Act or a coffin … (Interruption).

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: I was just about to mention that. Thank you.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Or a coffin-maker or carpenter. They will all be caught under this Act.
Even before the introduction of this act, I have received complaints from people in Kuching traders. They are carpenters. They are not even carpenter, they are selling tables, chairs in their shops. They have been approached by STIDC to ask them to register with STIDC, failing which they will be fined RM1,000 and now with the introduction of this amendment, they will be fined for RM300,000 and the cost of such registration few hundred ringgit Malaysia a year. That is a heavy burden on the small traders, a cobbler – a person who makes shoes. The heel of the shoes made of timber, timber products if we interpret the act according to the interpretation, the definition.

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah Awang bin Ali Hasan): Tuan Speaker, if I may touch on this illegal logging. Now I just want to know what are his stand with regard to illegal logging and their enforcement with regard to illegal logging.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I pass that and I will come to it later. But my concern here is about the far-reaching effect of this amendment, of this bill which means literally the stationery shop, the convenience store if they do sell pencils or anything, any article made or manufactured from timber is considered timber product. Are we saying that all these shops have to get certification from STIDC? That would be very ridiculous, I would say.

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah Awang Bin Ali Hasan): Tuan Speaker, as a lawyer, I believe Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Kota Sentosa is a lawyer. We are discussing about the manufacturers. It is not … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Not the sellers.

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah Awang Bin Ali Hasan): Not the sellers.

Tuan Speaker: Okay, confine to the … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: We refer to the definition section, definition section of the act, Yang Berhormat. Timber industry would mean sale, distribution and marketing of timber. And if you look at the parent ordinance, sale, distribution or marketing of timber. Do you have a copy of the parent ordinance with you? It is not in the amendment? We want to look at the whole effect. Sale, distribution or marketing of timber means any of the business or activity relating to the selling, supplying, transporting, exporting, importing or storage of timber or timber products. And under the parent ordinance, timber products include timbers which have been processed and any goods or articles or products made or manufactured from timber. That literally means that anything that is made of timber would be caught under this ordinance after the amendment. If we don’t intend to have such an effect, then we should in the drafting of this ordinance, of this bill, we should spell it out carefully so that the enforcement officer would not be given such a power to go around and asking people to register failing which you will be fined RM300, 000 now.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Ahli Yang Berhormat, I think according to the Minister, the object of the bill is to control or to nab illegal logging. Now my reading of the amendment bill seems to be that it encompasses other areas, anything to do with timber products. Would you agree with me on this point?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Yes, exactly. That is my concern here because some shops selling furniture, furniture shops, they were approached previously by SAPU officers asking them to list down. Okay, this table how many percentage of your goods sold, your merchandise is made of belian, how many percentage is made of selangan batu. How on earth would they know that they are merely selling but they are caught previously under the regulations and SAPU has been going around doing that, asking them to be registered in STIDC. If STIDC is going to be bogged down with such enforcement, such petty matter like how many chairs made of belian are going to be sold, how many chairs made of selangan batu or tables are going to be sold, I think this STIDC would not have the time to do what this act is intended for them to do. So I urge the Honourable Minister … (Interruption)

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: Just now you were saying that, SAPU has been going around furniture shops checking on this and checking on that, can you substantiate your allegation?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: The complainant has come to me with the form which SAPU has asked him to fill in and he has no idea how to fill in. So at that time it is still RM1, 000 the fine. I asked him to approach SAPU and asked them to come and have a look.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: Are you sure they are SAPU officers? You are trying to mislead … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: It happened, it happened. I received complaints on that. We are not here in the courtroom where you have to call evidence, call witness to come here to give evidence. These are the concerns of the people and reading the act, if you have the parent act, reading the bill. Do you have the parent ordinance with you? Before debating any amendment bill, we should have the parent ordinance. Then you can look at the whole picture. What is the effect of the bill on the whole act, on the whole ordinance?

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Ahli Yang Berhormat, maybe we should, this House should give an indication how many have read the parent ordinance before debating or even before reading the amendment bill? Are we concerned?

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: It is not for you to teach?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: He is seeking clarification from me. Do you want to seek further clarification from me?

Y.B Encik Roland Sagah Wee Inn: Tuan Speaker, I am seeking clarification from the Member for Kota Sentosa. You are extending, you are amending actually the amendment because when you mentioned the definition for timber industry, you see (a) is the manufacture of timber or timber products, and (b) sale, distribution or marketing of timber only. It didn’t say timber products.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: It is why, my friend, read the parent ordinance. What is the definition of sale, distribution or marketing of timber? Read the parent ordinance before you debate.

Y.B Encik Roland Sagah Wee Inn: Tuan Speaker, in the principal ordinance, it says sale, distribution and marketing of timber products but this one has nothing to do with that amendment, to that definition of timber products.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: My god.

Tuan Speaker: Okay, I make a ruling. Standing Order 34(1). Now confine the debate only to the amendments and if the amendments cover the principal ordinance, only that part and once the point is made, you move on.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Yes, yes. I … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: You can move on because do not open up the entire principal ordinance.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, not the entire, I am… (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: You have made your point, so you can move on, on the amendment.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: It is just that the point has not sunk into the mind of the minister and once this is passed, the effect of it is going to be very far- reaching.

Tuan Speaker: You have made your point.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Ya, I don’t think he understands my point.

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B Datuk Haji Awang Tengah Awang bin Ali Hasan): Tuan Speaker, just for the information of Ahli Yang Berhormat for Kota Sentosa, SAPU is the extension of Forest Department and they are only confined to the activities in upstream. Timber industries, the upstream timber industries.
Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Now he says it is upstream.

Tuan Speaker: Downstream, downstream.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: You are concerned with downstream or upstream?

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah Awang bin Ali Hasan): Upstream. Ya, with regard to illegal logging and so on and nothing to do with the downstream activities.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Nothing to do with downstream? But this is only in the hansard, this is only recorded here. When the act is passed that is the effect I am telling you. That is the effect. Can the minister give an assurance that the officers will not go and force on the carpenters or even the stationery shop owners or the coffin maker? Can the minister give an assurance? And when he is no longer in this ministry, who is there to hold him? Where are we going to hold him to his words?

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B Datuk Haji Awang Tengah Awang bin Ali Hasan): Tuan Speaker, just now he mentioned that SAPU officers have been going around to inspect. Now can you name the officers who have been going around?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I don’t have the name of the officer but if this act is concerned only with upstream, so let us be known sale, distribution and marketing is not upstream, that includes downstream and this is in the amendment bill. This is in the amendment bill. Have you … (Interruption)

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B Datuk Haji Awang Tengah Awang Bin Ali Hasan): Tuan Speaker … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Let me finish my sentence. I will let you have the chance. Do you appreciate the effect of this ordinance, of this amendment? Do you appreciate the effect of this amendment, looking at the whole act, whole ordinance and with the amendment, what is the effect it is going to give rise to? When people start complaining to us, we will have no end of trouble but this is law passed here, passed in this House. And we have to honour this law. And the ministry has to carry out their duty.

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B Datuk Haji Awang Tengah Awang Bin Ali Hasan): Tuan Speaker, that is actually the intention of the bill. It is to eliminate the overlapping function. The overlapping function between the Forest Department and the STIDC. For upstream activities, it is to be under Forest Department and downstream activities, it is under STIDC.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Tuan Speaker, now he is saying that he is concerned with downstream. Just now he was saying that the amendment bill is only upstream. Now he is saying that he is concerned with the downstream. STIDC … (Interruption).

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B Datuk Haji Awang Tengah Awang Bin Ali Hasan): I am saying that SAPU is only … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, we are talking about STIDC.

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B Datuk Haji Awang Tengah Awang Bin Ali Hasan: Yes, you are mentioning, I am replying to what you said.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: The STIDC is … (Interruption)

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah Awang Bin Ali Hasan: About SAPU.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I am not talking about SAPU. I am talking about downstream, STIDC…(Interruption)

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah Awang bin Ali Hasan: You mentioned about SAPU.

Tuan Speaker: Alright, alright, order. You have made your point.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Julaihi Bin Haji Narawi: Tuan Speaker, I think we should not point finger in this august House.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Tuan Speaker, if I may … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Order, order, I am in charge here. Sit down.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: You don’t have to be so fierce, Tuan Speaker.

Tuan Speaker: Because you are shouting.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: He is shouting as well.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Do not point fingers.

Tuan Speaker: Speak gently.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: I am and who is not speaking gently.

Tuan Speaker: So sit down, sit down.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Speak gently.

Tuan Speaker: I want order in the House.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Do not point finger at members if we are honourable enough.

Tuan Speaker: Sit down.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Julaihi bin Haji Narawi: Tuan Speaker, we saw that the Member for Kota Sentosa pointed first.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: Tuan Speaker, I think the Honourable Member must learn how to speak with … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: You have no floor here. It is my floor. You have debated. It is my floor.
Tuan Speaker: You have made your point. Move to the next point.

Menteri Muda Hal Ehwal Belia, Menteri Muda Kesihatan Awam dan Menteri Muda Pelancongan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Hamden bin Haji Ahmad): Behave yourself a little bit.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: You must learn how to talk politely.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Sit down. Sit down. It is my floor. You have your chance to do it later. Tuan Speaker, I would like Tuan Speaker to make a ruling for him to withdraw the word kurang ajar. That is a very … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: I don’t know which member made it.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: They made it, I heard it.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Be man enough to stand up for what you have said. Be man enough to stand up. Who said the statement kurang ajar? Who made the statement kurang ajar? Be man enough to stand up. Stand up.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Come on Honourable Member, be honourable enough to come up and admit that you made that statement.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: I am standing up here.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: You are the one who made the statement “kurang ajar”.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: I … (Interruption) still don’t.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, no are you the one?

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: You sit down when I am talking.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, this is my floor.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: I am the one who, you ask me to stand up. You sit down.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Okay.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: I said those words because the way you are acting, you come down here you must say it with proper decorum. Jangan kurang ajar. This is an august House. (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: That is the word, it has to be withdrawn. I urge Tuan Speaker … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: He said “Jangan”.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: I am not accusing of … (Interruption)

Y. B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, no, he said “kurang ajar”, he shouted “kurang ajar”.

Tuan Speaker: No, no he is clarifying it. Jangan kurang ajar.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: Jangan kurang ajar, that’s what I said.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Okay.

Tuan Speaker: Don’t be rude, I said don’t be rude.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: So, if people talk to you, jangan kurang ajar.

Tuan Speaker: So, don’t be rude. So the statement made is don’t be rude. So be polite.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Okay, so that means in future we can use the word “jangan kurang ajar”, Okay. Fine. Fair enough, if that is the ruling we will stick by the ruling, “jangan kurang ajar”.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: I think that must be right. That must be put on record in the hansard. From now onwards, “jangan kurang ajar”.

Tuan Speaker: Ya.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Julaihi bin Narawi: Tuan Speaker, satu lagi (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, no … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Let the Member for … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, no. You ask permission first.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Julaihi bin Narawi: Tuan Speaker, I would like to draw the attention to Standing Order 33(b) sebab saya ingin mencadangkan supaya Ahli Yang Berhormat perlu belajar bercakap dengan sopan santun. Ini budaya orang Malaysia dan perlu juga tidak mengamalkan “finger pointing at anybody in this august House”. That should be the practice (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Tuan Speaker, if I may have the floor here just for a few seconds. Pointing fingers? I thought I saw somebody who is supposedly to be in control, in charge of this august House, pointing fingers and Ahli Yang Berhormat, you are talking about who?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Jangan kurang ajar.

Tuan Speaker: Member for Bukit Assek, I have to point at you because there are so many of you down there okay?

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Tuan Speaker, you said, you were angry. Do not tell me that you are the only one who is angry. If everybody who can be angry … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: The Member for Kota Sentosa was shouting at the top of his voice all the time. There is no need to shout. I have to shout louder to keep him down. If I have a small voice I cannot be heard.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Tuan Speaker … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Yes.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: At that moment in time, you were infact shouting at me, not at Kota Sentosa … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Yes, sit down, sit down. You speak properly Member for Kota Sentosa.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, I was speaking properly … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: No need to shout at the top of your voice and you know. Speak properly, in court you don’t shout, speak like this?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I speak properly like that, yes.

Tuan Speaker: In court, you don’t speak like this. If you keep on shouting and the Members object, I have to stop you.

Y. B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: That is the volume of my voice.

Tuan Speaker: Then I have to stop you.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: That is the volume of my voice. What is the problem? For what?

Tuan Speaker: Then I have to stop you. I have to stop you, if you keep on shouting and the Members all object. It’s no more the substance of the debate.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Tuan Speaker, I am speaking slowly. I do not direct only. I was debating on this bill, debating on the interpretation, the definition section.

Tuan Speaker: No need to shout at the Honourable Minister.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: He was, he was pointing, shouting at me … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: You are the one shouting.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, this is reciprocal. It’s both ways.

Tuan Speaker: You sit down, okay.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No.

Tuan Speaker: Any other Member who wishes to speak?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, I have not finish.

Tuan Speaker: No, I have the power. You stop now. Any other Member?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Under what Section?

Tuan Speaker: Any other Member?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Under what order? May I know?

Tuan Speaker: Under 32 (11), if the speaker is of the opinion that any motion or amendment or continues the debate thereon is calculated to give rise to breaches of this Standing Order, he may disallow the motion or the debate and terminate the debate.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Tuan Speaker, it is not, I am not … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: You have made your point. I am giving you chance to move to another point … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Alright, I will move … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Because if you don’t, I will stop you.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Okay, I will move to another point.

Tuan Speaker: Ah, move to another point.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I will move to another point.

Tuan Speaker: Move to another point. You have made your point. Okay, Member for Bukit Assek?

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: I am not speaking yet. (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: I am telling you. If one member from the opposition is speaking, point of information is from the other side. If all of you interrupt on point of information that means five persons are speaking at the same time. I am making that ruling. Okay? I want one person to speak at a time. Not you, on point of order and that make five persons from this side. Otherwise it’s all chaotic.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Tuan Speaker, I was seeking clarification and Member for Kota Sentosa gave me the floor. What’s wrong with that?

Tuan Speaker: Clarification I would welcome from the other side but if I see there is a definite tactic, whereby four or five persons are speaking from this side at the same time, I am going to rule one at a time.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Exactly, I have no qualms about Tuan Speaker making a ruling one at a time. Only one speaker, one person can speak on the floor that is for sure … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: So, let him speak first, if you want to speak on the ordinance, I will give you chance. Okay, you move on. Member for Kota Sentosa.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Thank you Tuan Speaker. At present, there are about, I was informed that there are about 700 sawmills not registered with STIDC. And with the coming into force of this ordinance, they will be slapped with heavy penalty, RM300,000. Such penalty would literally close or literally force some or many of the sawmill operators to close shop and the employees affected will have no jobs. Therefore, having passed this law, if we were to target at the upstream or to curb illegal logging which of course, we oppose. We do not subscribe to illegal logging if Ahli Yang Berhormat Menteri just now have asked me about my view of illegal logging. We do not encourage illegal logging. That is the law, we should not log illegally and furthermore, there are a lot of environmental effects but when we enforce the law, given the harsh (Interruption)

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Di): Excuse me, can I bring your point of clarification?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Sure.

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Di): You were saying that you were against illegal logging. You were also saying that you were not encouraging illegal logging. What are your proposals to curb these activities?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Enforce the law, simple as that. Enforce the law.

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y. B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Di): (Inaudible) Actually, we are enforcing the law but you are against it.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I am not against enforcing illegal logging but I am saying that the Act, the amendment bill has too far reaching an effect even go down right to the carpenter.

Tuan Speaker: You have spoken more than half an hour. How much longer do you have to go?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, they are seeking clarification. Should I give or should I not?

Tuan Speaker: How much longer do you have to go?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, just one more point.

Menteri Muda Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Encik Sylvester Entri anak Muran): Tuan Speaker, point of clarification.

Tuan Speaker: Sure.

Menteri Muda Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Encik Sylvester Entri anak Muran): He said that, the Kota Sentosa said that 700 sawmills which are not licensed. Don’t you think that these sawmills are illegal?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Those are not licensed because previously there is no enforcement. Previously there is no requirement or if there is a requirement the penalty is too … (Interruption)

Menteri Muda Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Encik Sylvester Entri anak Muran): Alright Tuan Speaker … (Interruption)

Y. B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, you ask a question, you hear my answer. So now you are enforcing, we are passing, making it a heavier sentence but have a heart for the people. Before we enforce the law or before even, to put it into effect, I hope the Ministry can send people out, our officers out to help them to do registration. To help a lot of them, its not that they intentionally, just that they don’t know the know how of how to register. I believe to register in STIDC; the procedure is not very difficult as long as you comply with certain criteria. Help these entrepreneurs.

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y. B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan): Tuan Speaker, I am sorry as if Ahli Yang Berhormat for Kota Sentosa seems not to understand what the intention of the bill is.

Tuan Speaker: What is your intention?

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan): The intention of the bill is to simplify all things and to make things very simple and he is contradicting himself. He is all out for illegal activities and there you are. He mentioned about 700 which is illegal, which is not licensed and now the bill is trying to provide avenues for them so that they can be licensed properly.

Y. B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I know once we passed, the intention is to have them registered to be licensed but there are still, there will be some entrepreneur or sawmill operators who do not know. Of course, ignorance of the law is not an excuse but as a Minister, as a Ministry, I think we should help, help to go, to approach to these people rather than to go there and slap them with a fine, RM300,000, you pay or I fine you.

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Di): Tuan Speaker, for the information, may I … (Interruption)

Y. B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Who is that?

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Di): It’s me. You may be new as a member to this august House. We have been here for quite some time practicing as a wakil rakyat and it is always our duty to help our constituents to help them fill whatever forms that need to be filled for their business or personal matters and it is not a big deal. If any of your constituents who you do not want to help, ask them to come and see me. I will help them to fill the forms.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I will be much obliged if you can give me your handphone so that I can give it to them.

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Di): 019-8861919, my personal handphone and office number is 313131 or 312121. You are welcome. You are also welcome to my office and I help you to fill the forms. I will show you how to fill the forms so that you can teach other people how to fill the forms okay. I will teach you first.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I am not in the industry of timber logging but this is the attitude we are encouraging. I have no qualms against that. I am not objecting to that but the same attitude should filter down to all levels of officers so that the officers … (Interruption)

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Di): Sure they are its just that you are not aware of it. You should be more observant … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: You are not aware you have to ask permission from me first.

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Di): Never mind, cincailah, okay, I have made my point.

Tuan Speaker: I think you better make your concluding remarks. You have made your point.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Alright, I have made my point and in conclusion, I would urge the Ministry to have a review of this Act, this amendment bill again so that people will not be confused, so that the enforcement units will not be armed with excessive power which is not intended to be given to them so that we can truly make STIDC do what they are supposed to do, to further the development of the logging business.
Thank you, Tuan Speaker.

Tuan Speaker: Any other Honourable Member wishes to speak? Member for Pelawan?

Y. B. Encik Vincent Goh Chung Siong: Thank you Tuan Speaker. Tuan Speaker, I rise in support of the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2006. The Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation was set up primarily to assist in the development of the timber industry in Sarawak. Under the steering leadership and guidance of the Right Honourable Chief Minister of Sarawak, STIDC has proven itself to be a relevant, proactive and effective organization.

I am confident that this bill will not only make various terms more specific but also broaden the scope covered by STIDC in recognition of its expanding role in adoption to current needs. The introduction of a new Part 2(a) puts the onus on anyone who wish to establish, manage or operate any plants, factory or premises for carrying on any timber industry called for to register with STIDC. It is a timely move. It will certainly go a long way in further regulating the industry for the common good of the state and the people.

With this legislation and the provision to impose heavy fines on those who break the law, Sarawak’s reputation as a state that practice sound and sustainable forest management should be further enhanced.

Here, I would like to add in a word of caution for those who are enforcing this and especially the imposing of heavy fines to be on their toes at all time and it allows the authority concern to impose a fine ranging from between RM100,000 to half a million ringgit. We must be sure that those whom we are going after are those that truly deserved to be punished for treating our law with impunity. When we are totally thorough in our investigation and action we can be assured that no one will be victimized and those seeking to push the envelope will learn dearly. With the full might of the law on our side I am confident that any acts which can be regarded as robbing the people and the state of its wealth can and will be dealt with efficiently.

Tuan Speaker, please allow me to share my concern about matters that are related to the well-being and sustainable development of our forest resources. The Sarawak Government has long been encouraging, supporting and guiding the down stream activities of the timber industry. It is time now to put equal if not focus on up stream activities which is centered on reforestation or tree planting. It has come to my attention that there are numerous areas whereby we should further enhance in our quest to create greater forest coverage. There is a need for more regulation applicable especially to tree planting. From a more stringent enforcement to protecting, nurturing trees in a planted area from in culture and from dealing with the matters of native customary land to the issue of land lease, I am confident that if we were to fine tune all these, there will be even greater success in tree planting on top of the impressive record we have chalked up.

Those seriously engaging in tree planting should be fully protected from loggers who encroached into their area for obvious reason and of course in the matter of compensation for the NCR lands there must a concerted effort by the relevant agency to provide tree planting company with the most accurate information on where this imaginary or claims line are drawn. This will serve to reduce any quarrel between the NCR landowners and tree planting companies. When such companies are given the rights and accurate information regularly and speedily and with the strong support of the enforcement agency we can be assured that cases of brokerage or criminal intimidation can become rare occurrence.

On the 60-year land lease for tree planting Tuan Speaker, perhaps the Ministry concern can consider certain extension to further spur this up stream industry. With a longer time frame more party will be interested to engage on a greater scale tree planting activities and in the manner of land rent there is room for the Ministry concern to consider exemption other than its current 60 years in case where the area is especially hilly or has a sizeable amount of NCR lands. In such a case, there may be reason to consider imposing land rent on the netted plantable area instead of the gross area given. It is certainly hope that the authority concern and especially the officers on the ground in relation to the up stream activities of tree planting seek to work closely with the operator of tree planting areas. In the absence of such cooperation, mutual respect and understanding the state government’s noble vision and wise action in spurring tree planting may face more than just a few hiccups.

Tuan Speaker, with this few words I would like to conclude my pledging, my support again for the STIDC’s amendment bill 2006. Thank you.

Tuan Speaker: Any other Honourable Member wishes to speak? Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Batu Lintang.

Y.B. Encik Voon Lee Shan: Tuan Speaker, I had been in the last two days try to speak in this august House and now I have the opportunity. I thank Tuan Speaker in giving me this opportunity. Tuan Speaker, when we are to pass the law, the most important thing is that we see that the law is what you call, be able to protect our state’s property but at the same time we did see that the rights of the people and the liberties of the people should not be arbitrarily transgressed. I am very much concern here Tuan Speaker about section 5(c) of the bill. Section 5(c) of the bill states that the registrar may with the approval of the General Manager cancel the registration of any person if he has breached any of the terms and conditions stipulated in the certificate of registration. Here, I will respectfully say that this is quite a very far-reaching effect and a wide power on the registrar. Before such a cancellation be made I will respectfully suggest that this part of the proviso should include before a cancellation be made that the person concern who is suspected to have offended or breach the condition must be given an explanation. I think that is most important. The effect is that because a license has the effect of the right to his livelihood. What would happen if he is innocent that the breach of the license was not cause by him? Then I would respectfully suggest that we are not doing justice in this matter.

Again, Tuan Speaker, what I would say here is that a clause must be included that the person should be given a grace period to make an explanation. May be ten days or fourteen days to be forwarded to the registrar and if the explanation is not satisfactory, only then action be taken to revoke the license. But again, Tuan Speaker again on 5(c)(b) offences relating to fraud, corruption and dishonesty. This is a very wide clause which could means any type of fraud, any type of corruption and dishonesty. Are we willing to cancel license of this nature if a person involve in corruption or bribering a policeman on the road then we can cancel his license. I think it should not be justified. So, the law must be clear, it must be the relation only with timber industries. It must be corruption or bribery concern with the timber industries. Nothing else more than that. We cannot make the law so wide enough to catch everybody, every licensees. This in turn I feel Tuan Speaker that the Minister hopefully will look into the matter. Fraud again is also wide here. How about company directors or other type of industries or businesses? This also I think we need to take into deep consideration.

I hope this august House will also to look into the element of dishonesty, what type of dishonesty is that? There are a lot of things under the penal code and many other laws concern about dishonesty. We have to look into it very very carefully before this bill be passed. As my colleague said just now, the definition is very important of any bill because we will have problems later on when person be arrested and charge in court unnecessarily, definitely he will go to defend himself in the court of law. This will create a lot of dissatisfactions among the licensees and then the rakyat will not be happy with us. What the Honourable Member of Kota Sentosa has said just now, the definition of timber products … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: I think that point had been covered, Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Batu Lintang so you can move on. Don’t repeat.

Y.B. Encik Voon Lee Shan: Yes, Tuan Speaker. I am just supporting the views of the Member for Kota Sentosa … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Yes, you can say that but move on.

Y.B. Encik Voon Lee Shan: Yes, so what I hope in this august House we are Members of the Honourable House to make legislations but I pray that no pin pointing of fingers at each other unnecessarily because it would unnecessarily provoke people to lose temper. I beg Tuan Speaker, that if my opinion is not in line or in tune with some Members of this august House, please excuse me. Thank you very much.

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastuktur dan Perhubungan (Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Di): For or against the bill?

Tuan Speaker: The Minister is asking you, are you supporting or against the bill?

Y.B. Encik Voon Lee Shan: Pardon me?

Tuan Speaker: Are you supporting or are you against the bill?

Y.B. Encik Voon Lee Shan: I am objecting to the bill because of far-reaching effect…

Tuan Speaker: So you oppose the bill?

Y.B. Encik Voon Lee Shan: Yes.



Tuan Speaker: Ok, any other Members? We have a lunch break to enable the Minister to wind up and sitting resumes at 2:00 p.m.

(Mesyuarat ditangguhkan pada jam 12:25 tengahari)

(Mesyuarat dimulakan pada jam 2:18 petang)

[Tuan Speaker mempengerusikan mesyuarat]

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Tanjung Datu.

Y.B. Dato Sri Haji Adenan bin Haji Satem: Tuan Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to participate in this debate. In this debate on the STIDC amendment, I will try if, as far as I can, to separate the wood from the trees in this matter. It is all I believe a matter of interpretation. The Honourable Member for Sentosa said, that if this amendments are approved and become law then it shall apply to people selling wooden pencils, shoes with wood materials and so on. So that it will apply to all parties that have dealing with timber or timber products. I think that is his interpretation and I believe it is a wrong interpretation and we cannot accept that interpretation. (Applause).

Surely in our attempt to supervise and control the timber industry we do not wish to widen the net so far as to affect people who have no consequence with regard to our regulating the timber processing industry. It does not apply to people dealing with finished product. It only applies to people who are in the process of processing timber. It is made clear I believe in the definition of timber industry. It says here timber industry means any business or activity relating to the manufacture of timber or timber products that is the first part. And where it refers to the sale, distribution and marketing, it stops short of saying ‘timber’ and ‘timber products’, it just says of ‘timber’, it does not go further or ‘timber product’ as in the first limb of the amendment. So it applies to manufacturers, yes, it applies to manufacturer dealing with timber, but it does not apply to the people who sell, distribute the finished products. I think that is quite clear in the amendment. So, all these shouting, all these emphasis here and emphasis there has no consequences, it just boils down to the question of interpretation. And I believe the people who will enforce these regulations, will be reasonable enough not to include this interpretation, even if, even if, the Member for Kota Sentosa interpretation is correct, surely as a matter of policy, the enforcing authority will not include this group of people dealing with timber products. So, I hope that is very clear.

The second point I wish to make is sometime we are confused about why is it that we require people in the business of timber processing to register themselves. Why is it some people are afraid to register themselves. We wish the timber industry to be run on legal proper lines. If you are really an honest manufacturer of timber products, I don’t think you will be afraid to register yourself. If you are a legal, straightforward, honest sawmill operator, why are you afraid to register yourself? You might be afraid because once you register, the government will know where you are, what you are, what you are doing, or what you are not doing. So, honest people will not be afraid of this. Only those who have something to hide of something will be afraid. So, he mentioned 700 unregistered sawmills, I don’t know, that is his figurelah. I have not carried out survey of how many sawmills there are. But surely he does not defend them for not registering their business. The reason why we need, we require them to be registered, so that they will be operating in a proper place with proper processes and using raw material from proper and legal sources. That is the purpose of registration and giving STIDC regulatory power. Is there something wrong with that? I don’t think there is something wrong with the government trying to put the timber industry on a proper basis. And it is a matter of regret that they refused to support this amendment. At the same time they say they are against illegal logging, but when we try to put a stop to it, they say don’t do that. We do not support your amendment. When we try to make it more effective, we do not support your proposed amendment. You can support it with reservation, yes, with your suggestion, yes, but don’t oppose the principle idea. That is what we might not be clear off at this stage. Yes, I give way.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Thank you. I think Ahli Yang Berhormat for Tanjung Datu is confused as to our stand, we have already made the stand very clear that we opposed to the illegal logging. Just that the way to do it, it may be too harsh and we appeal to the government to soften in the implementation and enforcement. We, on principle we agreed totally to curb, but, just that, just that, just that, just that to help them, those who do not intentionally breach the act. But, due to ignorant of the law, help them to do their registration first. So, what is your opinion on that?

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan): That you are now supporting the amendment to this bill?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I am not supporting the act because it is too widely worded. We would like to have it amended so that to make the intention of the legislator more clearly, so that there will not be any ambiguity in the enforcement.

Y.B. Dato Sri Haji Adenan bin Haji Satem: It is common practice, I believe with government, especially with new legislation to introduce the legislation to this industry to inform them about it, to give notice to them and even to hold seminars with industry, it is quite a common practice before the law is actually implemented. And in many cases, before prosecution or before seizure, notice is given as an administrative measure, so that the industry is aware of the presence of this law. That is the common practice, we just don’t go in there, pick up any Tom, Dick and Harry and prosecute him. We give him a chance first, and that I believe is common practice especially with new law. That is a … any more interruption. No more? (Applause)

Now, that is the purpose of registration and I hope they do not defend those people who refused to register. We have a problem in this state of illegal felling of timber or people encouraging the movement of process timber illegally and so on. Well, we have to solve that problem, I am sure the opposition can see that, instead of just saying, this, that and the other matter which is not relevant to the issue in hand. Now for these reasons and for the reasons given the Barisan Nasional Members of this Dewan, I am very happy except, perhaps, in the administration of the new law. On the administration of the new law, we will use, the government will use its discretion to, as a matter of public policy to enforce this and not yet enforce that. There are some stages of enforcement, give them notice or seminars, take the industry into our confidence and those who are honest will give a full cooperation. So that we will prevent the occurrence of this thing before it actually occurs. And with those comments, I fully support the amendment.

Tuan Speaker: Any other Members wishes to speak. I call upon Honourable Minister to wind up.

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hassan): Tuan Speaker, saya ingin mengambil kesempatan ini untuk mengucapkan berbanyak-banyak terima kasih kepada Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat kerana telah membahas Rang Undang-Undang Perbadanan Kemajuan Perusahaan Kayu Sarawak (Pindaan) 2006 ini sebentar tadi khususnya Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Jepak, Sebuyau, Palawan dan Tanjung Datu yang telah memberi sokongan yang padu terhadap pindaan Rang Undang-Undang ini.

Saya ingin mengucapkan terima kasih kepada Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Tanjung Datu yang sebenarnya telahpun menyentuh mengenai dengan kekeliruan yang timbul seperti yang dibangkitkan oleh Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Kota Sentosa.

Tuan Speaker, untuk makluman dewan yang mulia ini, pindaan kepada ordinan PUSAKA ini bertujuan untuk memastikan bahawa industri perkayuan memperolehi bekalan kayu atau bahan mentah dari sumber yang sah. Di samping itu, ia juga adalah untuk memastikan bahawa kilang atau syarikat tersebut terletak di kawasan yang dikhas untuk industri perkayuan. Dengan itu, aktiviti-aktiviti industri ini tidak menimbulkan masalah pencemaran alam sekitar dan gangguan sosial. Semua inisiatif ini ialah untuk memastikan supaya industri perkayuan negeri berkembang secara teratur, terkawal dan efektif dan menyumbang kepada perkembangan ekonomi yang berterusan.

Untuk makluman dewan yang mulia ini, mana-mana aktiviti yang melibatkan pemprosesan, perusahaan dan pengeluaran kayu serta produk kayu adalah dibawah bidang kuasa PUSAKA. Untuk syarikat-syarikat yang menghasilkan produk kayu jadual satu of the STIDC Registration Regulation 1999 telah menyenaraikan secara terperinci jenis-jenis produk kayu yang perlu berdaftar dengan Pusaka.

Produk kayu yang disenaraikan dibawah jadual satu tidak merangkumi penjualan pensel atau kasut kayu seperti yang dinyatakan oleh ahli Yang Berhormat Kota Sentosa. Menyentuh tentang aspek penguatkuasaan, dibawah peruntukan 5(c) saya ingin memberi jaminan bahawa kementerian dan Pusaka akan memastikan penguatkuasaan undang-undang akan dilaksanakan dengan adil dan saksama.

Untuk makluman Dewan yang mulia ini, PUSAKA tidak akan mencampuri urusan criminal offences of fraud, kes rasuah ataupun perbuatan tidak amanah yang tiada kaitan langsung dengan operasi dan fungsi PUSAKA.

PUSAKA telah dan sedang mengambil tindakan untuk menggalakkan pendaftaran syarikat-syarikat dan pengusaha kayu di Negeri Sarawak. Antaranya ialah dengan menjalankan kempen bertemu pelanggan melalui lawatan-lawatan ke premis syarikat-syarikat berkenaan dari semasa ke semasa. Usaha ini akan diteruskan dengan tenaga kerja yang sedia ada di Pusaka.

Saya juga ingin memberi jaminan kepada Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Batu Lintang bahawa dalam melaksanakan Rang Undang-Undang ini PUSAKA akan memberi penerangan berkenaan dengan pindaan Ordinan PUSAKA. Ini juga sekaligus akan mengelak sebarang kekeliruan dari segi bidang kuasa Jabatan Hutan dan Pusaka.

Tuan Speaker, dengan lulusnya rang undang-undang ini, saya percaya tiada lagi pertindihan kuasa dan tanggungjawab di antara PUSAKA dan Jabatan Hutan. Ini juga akan menjawab kebimbangan Ahli Yang Berhormat Kota Sentosa berkenaan dengan siapa membuat pemeriksaan di kedai perabot kerana jelas ianya adalah dibawah bidang kuasa bagi PUSAKA.

Tuan Speaker, saya memohon agar rang undang-undang ini diluluskan.

Y.B Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Can an assurance be given by the Menteri that the implementation enforcement of this fact will not be directed to a furniture shops or some shops,grocery shops that sells some articles made of timber, manufactured from timber because the intention is directed at the kilang and the plant. So can the Minister give the assurance that in this house that enforcement were made on this section. This section does not apply to furniture shops.

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hassan): Tuan Speaker, kita akan melaksanakan undang-undang ini dengan sebaik-baiknya dan kita juga prihatin tentang bimbingan dan keperluan. Apa yang kita nak tekankan ialah untuk memastikan industri ini berkembang dengan baik dan bagi mereka yang terlibat, mereka dikehendaki berdaftar supaya kita dapat menentukan bahawa ianya adalah menggunakan bahan-bahan yang telahpun diambil daripada sumber-sumber yang sah dan tumpuan kita ialah bagi syarikat-syarikat yang terlibat dalam pemprosesan. Ini bukan bererti yang menjual pensel pun terpaksa didaftar semuanya. Tumpuan kita ialah bagi syarikat-syarikat yang terlibat dalam pemerosesan itu supaya ianya didaftar. Ini untuk mempastikan bahawa apa juga bantuan dapat diberi kepada mereka. Ini untuk kebaikan mereka. Terima kasih. Rang undang-undang ini diluluskan.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Ahli Yang Berhormat the Dewan will now resolve into the Committee of the Whole House to consider the bill which stand committed to the Committee.

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE

[Tuan Pengerusi mempengerusikan Mesyuarat]

Tuan Pengerusi: The Dewan shall now consider the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2006.

Clauses 1- 4

Tuan Pengerusi: The question is that Clauses 1 to 4 be ordered to stand part of the bill.

Question put and agreed to
Clauses 1 – 4 stand part of the bill

Enacting Clause and Title

Tuan Pengerusi: The Dewan resumes.

HOUSE RESUMED

[Tuan Speaker mempengerusikan Mesyuarat]

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan): Tuan Speaker, I wish to report that Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2006 has been considered by the Committee of the Whole House and agreed to without amendment.

RANG UNDANG-UNDANG KERAJAAN –
BACAAN KALI YANG KETIGA

SARAWAK TIMBER INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2006

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan): Tuan Speaker, I beg to move that the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2006 be now read a third time and do pass.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat, the question before the Dewan is that the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2006 be now read a third time and do pass.

Question put and agreed to

Bill read a third time and passed

RANG UNDANG-UNDANG KERAJAAN –
BACAAN KALI KEDUA

WATER (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2006

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan): Tuan Speaker, saya memohon untuk mengusulkan rang undang-undang untuk meminda Ordinan Air untuk dibaca buat kali kedua.

Tuan Speaker, Ordinan Air 1994 ialah satu undang-undang prinsipal negeri yang mengawal selia pemeliharaan, perlindungan, pembangunan dan pengurusan sumber air di negeri ini serta pembekalan dan pembahagian air untuk kegunaan domestik, komersial dan industri dan untuk mengawal selia dan mentadbir pihak berkuasa pembekalan air seperti Lembaga Air Kuching, Lembaga Air Sibu, Jabatan Kerja Raya dan syarikat statutory pembekalan air seperti LAKU.

Tuan Speaker, the water supply authorities have recently studied the Ordinance and the Water Supply Regulation 1995. They made various proposals to my Ministry to strengthen the provision there all in order to address and deal with the following problems:

(a) Unlawful or unauthorized connection of supply pipes to water works to tap or obtain supply illegally causing severe loss of revenues to the water supply authorities ;
(b) Deterring consumers from owing charges for water supplied to them and to assist in the recovery of such debts:
(c) Rampant incidence of theft or illegal removal of water meters resulting in financial losses to the water supply authorities. What in terms of revenue water loss when the meters was stolen or taken away and to purchase new meters for reinstallation to make sure supply of water to the affected consumers.

Tuan Speaker, tap water is on the increase. It is proposed that a specific provision be included in the ordinance to deter these unlawful activities by unscrupulous people. Penalties will be increased with different scale for those who are unlawfully connect water supply for domestic use, commercial use and industrial use.

The two later categories attract higher penalties as the volume of water are unlawfully tapped for commercial and industrial consumption is likely to be much-much higher than for domestic use. The unlawful connection of water supply may not be done by the errand consumer himself or alone but with the assistance of those who have the technical skills to do it such as a pipe fitter hence the amendments proposed that a pipe fitter may be have guilty of aiding and abetting the illegal connection and if he is a licensed fitter upon conviction, the court may order the cancellation or suspension of his license. These measures are designed to eliminate the current problem of unlawful connection of water supply and loss of revenue suffered by the Water Supply Authorities.

Tuan Speaker, every consumer should pay for the water supplied to and consumed by them. But the amount of unpaid charges owed by consumers to Water Supply Authorities are substantial. To date, the amount of arrears of water charges exceed RM24 million. To address this problem, it is proposed to adopt two-pronged approach:-

(a) To make an applicant for water supply pay whatever charges and arrears or owing for water previously supplied to the premises in respect of which the applicant seeks supply,
(b) To make an applicant for water supply pay whatever outstanding charges due and payable by him to any water supply authorities in respect of water supplied to other premises currently or previously owned, occupied or used by him. This would facilitate the recovery of his arrears or payment for water supplied to him previously for premises owned, occupied and used by him.

Record shows that some errand consumers especially tenants move from place to place and owed water charges for each of their place which he rented or stayed or used for accommodation or business which may have failed. This amendment, it is envisaged to put a stop to this malpractice.

Tuan Speaker, the current phenomena of theft for metal articles like manhole covers etc. also hit the Water Supply Authorities in Sarawak. Currently, the record of the Kuching Water Board, Sibu Water Board and LAKU show that the theft of water meters is on the increase and unless the law is strengthen and enforcement of the law is vigorously carried out, this trend of theft of water meters would continue to be on the rise.

Tuan Speaker, it is proposed that the Ordinance be amended to make provision for a new offence to cover the unlawful or unauthorised removal or taking away of water meters or being found in possession of water meter which does not belong to him or to which he was not entitled to possess. The proposed amendment seeks to beef up the enforcement system and machinery of the water supply authority and this proposed amendments are found in Clause 15 to seek to enact new Section 47(a), 47(b), 47(c), 47(d), 47(e) and 47(f) of the Ordinance.

Tuan Speaker, the Water (Amendment) Bill, 2006 before this august House seeks to achieve the objectives explained herein above so as to resolve or contain the problems I have already highlighted. The explanatory statement to the bill explain the effect and legal implication of the various clauses in the bill. This bill when pass by the Dewan Undangan Negeri will come into force on the date to be determined by the Minister of Public Utilities. It is envisaged that this proposed new law will be enforced only after certain auxiliary or related amendments are made with the concurrence of Majlis, the Water Supply Regulations, 1995 and the new rule for compounding of offences are made.

These amendments to the said regulation in the new compounding rule would only be passed after the amendments proposed in the bill are passed.

Tuan Speaker, saya mohon agar semua Ahli Yang Berhormat dapat memberikan sokongan padu terhadap Rang Undang-Undang Air (Pindaan) 2006. Saya memohon untuk mengusulkan.

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): I beg to second.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat, the question is that the Water (Amendment) Bill, 2006 be read a second time. Any Honourable Member going to speak? Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Saribas.

Y.B Dr Haji Wahbi Haji Junaidi: Tuan Speaker, saya bangun menyokong rang undang-undang pindaan, Water (Amendment) Bill, 2006 yang baru sahaja dibentangkan oleh Yang Berhormat Menteri, Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam.

Pada Laporan Audit Negara tahun 2003, kita telah menemukan bahawa pihak berkuasa bekalan air Negeri Sarawak telah kehilangan air dengan nilai berjumlah RM4.2 juta. Kehilangan air ini termasuklah disebabkan kecurian, paip yang pecah, ketirisan dan lain-lain lagi dan samada pecah itu sengaja dengan paip yang lama atau disebabkan sesuatu pembinaan di sesuatu tempat. Maka pada tahun 2005, Jawatankuasa Akaun Awam Dewan Undangan Negeri, di mana pada ketika itu diketuai oleh saya sebagai Pengerusi Jawatankuasa telah mengesyorkan kepada Kementerian Kemudahan Awam untuk berbuat sesuatu kerana kehilangan RM4.2 juta ini adalah satu kehilangan yang besar dan mengurangkan satu pendapatan negeri kita. Maka ini saya amat bersyukur dan berterima kasih kepada Kementerian Kemudahan Awam kerana telah melakukan sesuatu dengan membuat pindaan kepada Ordinan Bekalan Air ini supaya tindakan-tindakan dapat dibuat kepada mereka yang bertanggungjawab ke atas kecurian air ini.

Pada tahun 2005, telah diberitahu oleh pihak berkenaan bahawa kehilangan air daripada kecurian ini ialah dengan nilai RM2.659 juta atau kira-kira 5% daripada jumlah non-revenue water dan angka ini tentu sekali juga begitu banyak sekali dan perlu menjadi satu tanggungjawab kita untuk berbuat sesuatu. Di samping untuk melaksanakan undang-undang ini, kita juga telah mengesyorkan supaya pihak kementerian dengan pegawai-pegawainya sentiasa memantau dengan lebih kerap tempat-tempat yang mana kita terdapat kehilangan air seperti pecahnya paip yang telah lama dan paip-paip yang sentiasa ketirisan ini supaya paip-paip yang lama itu dapat diganti dengan paip baru supaya kehilangan ini tidak akan menjejaskan pendapatan ataupun tidak menjejaskan pembekalan air negeri kita.

Tuan Speaker, masalah kehilangan meter ini juga telah menjadi satu isu sekarang ini. Kita tidak tahu apakah kehilangan meter itu merupakan satu cara untuk pihak pencuri mengambil air daripada bekalan air daripada bekalan main paip itu. Contohnya, pada tahun 2005 ini, pada first half of 2006, pada pertengahan 2006, Lembaga Air Sibu mengalami kehilangan 120 pipe water meter , Lembaga Air Kuching sebanyak 150 water meter. Walaupun dari segi kos hanya dalam lingkungan RM25,000 setahun tetapi dari segi lain pula terdapat kesusahan yang dialami oleh para pengguna dan pihak berkuasa bekalan air juga. Ini menyebabkan gangguan bekalan air, gangguan tekanan air dan kos-kos tambahan untuk pemasangan semula dan sebagainya.

Tuan Speaker, itu sajalah komen saya tentang undang-undang ini dan saya menyokong penuh dengan pindaan Water (Amendment) Bill, 2006.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Kidurong.

Y.B Encik Chiew Chiu Sing: Tuan Speaker, I rise to debate on the bill called the Water (Amendment) Bill, 2006. We just make a few observations.

Clause 2 of the Bill seeks to amend Section 29 of the Principle Ordinance by inserting a new paragraph (d). I can’t understand the philosophy behind this amendment. The Water Supply Authority should recognize the user who is an individual and not the premises which cannot consume water.

Tuan Speaker, what if the premise was occupied by some one else before? And with the passage of this bill does it mean that another occupier or buyer will have to pay fully for the water bill of another person who had occupied premise before. In respect of the new Section 29(3)(d)(ii), there may be many reasons as to why people are not paying the water bill, many times the consumer found that the amount is not reasonable due to some leakage some where and if it is recorded and the leakage is after the meter than the consumer is asked to pay.

But the consumer him or herself may not even know about the leakage until the bill comes and the amount would be unreasonably much to pay and when there is no waiving of the charge or a discount for a mistake which one never really intends to make or even know about, that is when arrears occur, that is why then it is better just to solve the problem than to pass law and demand for payment highly handedly like this Bill.

Arrears could be caused by consumer not willing to pay a sudden high bill caused by leakage. The Water Supply Authority can educate the consumers by organizing campaign or sending out leaflets to them every now and then so that it can safe the leakage.

Sometimes the consumer get very frustrated because of the poor services as being provided by the Water Supply Authority, as sometimes you get yellowish water supply in the pipe, or water interruptions when you are not aware of while you are in the middle of cooking, or low water pressure during certain period of the day. The Water Supply Authority really cares about your comfort and welfare, they could have put in the tank nearby the main supply line to supplement water supply during low pressure period or other ways to solve the water pressure problem so that everybody in the housing estate along the road or the housing flat area would have plenty of good water supply or they could just be frustrated by so many trenches on the road surface left behind by the water works people when they dug up the road for pipe crossing but never put back properly.

Tuan Speaker, water supply authority could also designate more places for bill payments so as to make the payment of bills easier. What about paying through the internet, especially when so much is talked about the development of ICT in Sarawak, when will that be operational so as to enhance the payment of bill and minimize the problem of collection.

Good customer service and good customer satisfaction will get the consumer to come back, and pay promptly.

How about arrears that are more than three years old with the passage of this bill would the water supply authority still be able to collect the money and if not then why bother writing a bill like this as it really does not actually solve the whole problem.

The whole Clause 2 here, deal with money owed to the water supply authority. In businesses, goods are sold and money are owed everyday and yet they survived and the business grows, as that is just part of the thing of doing business, Tuan Speaker. The water supply authority can learn from businesses, work like an business entity and especially learn how they collect money owed to them.

Tuan Speaker, touching on Clause 3 of the Bill introduces a new Section 29A, into the ordinance, by this clause, any person who connects or permits or causes to be connected, a supply pipe to any water works so as to enable water to be supplied to premises owned or occupied or used by him, in contravention of Section 29(1) or (3) commits an offence.

Tuan Speaker, what if there is a leakage before the meter and the event had been reported to the water supply authority but the water supply authority had not come and had unreasonably delayed or refused to do the repair works and at the mean time the consumer is in urgent need for water supply, should he or she be punished for connecting or reconnecting the water supply from another supply pipe which is near by. After all he has informed the authority concerned and has no water for his daily needs.

Why should it be unlawful for the people of the shack housing or squatters area to connect pipe for their use. If connecting the water for his use is unlawful, then it is the water supply authority that has made them unlawful because you all do not want to supply them the pipe water even though they have begged and begged you for it.

They are asking you for pipe water so that they do not have to do their washing in the streams nearby, where up the stream some people or other activities on the nearby land, had dirtied the water while down streams people do their washing pretending not to see the dirty things that are coming and floating down the stream.

They are asking you for pipe water so that their children could bath in the home like all of our children and do not have to bath in these streams or the stagnant pond near by as where else can they go to do their bath.

They are asking you for pipe water so that the husbands after a hard days work do not have to carry a full tank of water over his shoulder for the cooking needs of the house.

That is why I have been saying that we should let these our fellow brothers and sisters who had come from the rural area to look for a living and who hardly have any money to have pipe water supply. Accept their applications which they have sent in for so long so that they are not made to be unlawful, let us make them lawful, after all what they need is just water, the source of life. It is already hard enough for them to come down to town looking for a living and why make it harder for them by not allowing them to have water. I do not know how sometimes we could be so unkind as even to deny our fellow countrymen of water the basic needs of life.

Tuan Speaker, the new Subsection 34(2), provides in giving of notice, but the provision does not state clearly the length of the notice. It could be abused. For example, to require the breach to rectify within certain hours, only, a task that would be impossible or unreasonable to perform.

Tuan Speaker, Clause 6 of the Bills 60 addition of a new 36A, concerning a special powers during the emergency. People, our people should be the ultimate consideration in any emergency. We must make sure that the people are protected first during emergency time and that they have water to use at all time.

This special power should not be used to prohibit or restrict the use of water in the residential or shops so that big industrial water user can have water to use while they don’t. In another words, just so that the industry must make the money never mind our people, let them go on with no water or tighten their use of water, that would be an abuse of use in this section.

Tuan Speaker, I remember a few years ago in Bintulu, there was a water shortage as the weather was very dry. As one of the chemical plants have to use so much water daily, as a result, the Bintulu people was much restricted in their water supply. While the chemical plant enjoy full used of unlimited water supply so that they can go on operating.

Tuan Speaker, the new subsection 36A(1)(b)(iii), gives the Minister power to impose in any specific area or throughout the state any other conditions as the Minister may think fit with due respect to our Yang Berhormat Minister this is like giving the Minister an open check and should be more specific. This is my humble observation with concern to this proposed amendment. Thank you very much, Tuan Speaker.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Pujut.

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: … (Inaudible)

Tuan Speaker: I can’t hear you. Is your mic working? Then, you can swap your seat. Is the mic next to you working? No? Is the entire system down? Can you all hear me? Well, Member for Kidurong, after you spoke, there seems to be a problem with the mic. Shall we have … (Inaudible)

(Mesyuarat ditangguhkan pada jam 3:08 petang)

(Mesyuarat dimulakan pada jam 3:52 petang)

[Tuan Speaker mempengerusikan Mesyuarat]

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Members, I am sorry for the breakdown in the system. It was caused by two many buttons being pressed simultaneously. Honourable Member for Pujut.

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: Thank you, Tuan Speaker. I rise to participate in the debate to support the Water (Amendment) Bill, 2006 which has been tabled by the Honourable Minister for Public Utilities. It is noted that various amendments under the said bill will provide the state water authority with more technical enforcement powers to manage the state water resources and at the same time introduce more determined penalties for offences under the Water Ordinance, 1994. I can see that the said amendments will kick start a new water management strategy to ensure that very important water resources of our state is preserved, protected and utilized efficiently and at the same time leading the state water authority to be financially independent.

This I must say, augurs well for the future of one of the state most important natural resources. I must congratulate the Honourable Minister and the team for taking the initiative to introduce the Water (Amendment) Bill, 2006.

Tuan Speaker, I wish now to highlight some of the amendments together with my observations.
Clause 3 introduces a new section 29A dealing with unlawful connection of water supply. Subsection 1 introduces different scale of penalties from different users of water. I fully subscribe to the intention to impose lower penalties for domestic users. Though we should not condone any illegal acts at all, we must realize that many domestic users are poor and are in need of help. We should exercise more understanding and care when dealing with those in the poverty group. Therefore a lower penalty for the domestic users is a clear indication of Barisan Nasional Government’s caring attitude for the general public especially those in the lower income group.

Subsection (2) gives the court the power to order the licence of pipe fitters and man layer to be suspended for such period of time as the court may determine. This means that the licence may be suspended for life. I would request the Honourable Minister during the enforcement of this ordinance do consider advising its administrative office to set a guideline for suspension time frame instead of leaving the task to the court to decide.

Clause 4 which introduces a new Section 34 to substitute the old one deals with the disconnection of supply pipes. Section 34(1)(a) states that the water supply authority shall give a written notice to the consumer to remedy or rectify the default or contravention within such a period as may be specified in the notice.

I notice that no time frame is mentioned in this amendment clause. I would request that the Honourable Minister do insert a specific reasonable time frame for this notice when the administrative officers carry its duties so that the consumers will not suffer, the notice being received too late syndrome.

Clause 6 deals with special powers during emergency. I believe this is aimed at addressing the problems of water shortage during drought or technical breakdown. We all know that the world weather has changed and the Borneo Island is not spared. Sarawak has experienced occasionally abnormally long spell of dry weather during the last 15 years. Miri Division had in fact experienced a very long dry spell some ten years ago when water supply had to be rationed and controlled.

It was the abled Barisan Nasional Government that managed the limited water resources carefully during the emergency that saved the day. Of course, the same government took one step further to carry out the proactive step to locate and connect a new water source to the reservoir to virtually eliminate any possibilities of future water shortage in the Miri area. Having said that and having personally experienced the water shortage emergency during that time, I would strongly support the introduction of this new Section 36A.

Clause 11 deals with the offences relating to water meters by introducing a new Section 42A. This new section brings with it hefty deterring penalties for theft of water meters. The introduction of this new section is timely as Sarawak experiences an increasing rate of theft of water meters. 29 water meters were stolen in Miri during the first six months of this year alone compared to only 17 for the whole of 2005. I hope that the new penalties will address this increasing problem.

Clause 14 deals with the increase of penalties under Section 45 of the Water Ordinance, 1994 for causing pollution to the water works which is costly to rectify and may be extremely harmful to consumers. The increase penalties will hopefully be a deterrent for negligence or wrongful act by those who have commercial, agricultural or industrial activities near to the water catchment area.

Clause 14 deals with the increase of penalties under Section 45 of the Water Ordinance, 1994 for causing pollution to the waterworks which is costly to rectify and may be extremely harmful to consumers. The increased penalties will hopefully be a deterrent for negligence or wrongful act by those who have commercial, agricultural or industrial activities near to the water catchment area.

Clause 15 introduces new Section 46A giving powers to authorized persons to compound offences under the Ordinance or regulations made thereafter. Understandably, this is introduced to enhance the efficiency of the administration of this Ordinance. The maximum compound which is one half of the maximum fine prescribed is RM10,000.00. This is by no account a small sum. We must therefore ensure that the administration of this Ordinance is properly carried out to avoid unfair or incorrect penalties being charged on the innocent.

Tuan Speaker, wet years can bring flood and drought years put pressure on available water supplies. Either extreme means trouble for the people. The State Water Authority has done a reasonably good job to ensure that the State can meet the demands of water consumers. I must congratulate all past and present officers and staff of this Authority for an excellent job well done, although they faced many constraints along the way. The big challenge now and for the future is to make sure that water and good quality water for that matter is in the right places at the right time. In future, water management challenges will be more complex as population increases, demand pattern shifts, environmental needs are better understand and global climate changes. As we add a new bill to administer the water resources, we must also educate the people on efficient water usage, we must protect our water quality and we must support environmental stewardship. We must also promote coordination and collaboration among the local agencies and government to preserve and enhance our water resources. Let us all work together to have a well managed strategy to ensure that we have continuous abundance quality water supply for our people and our growing economy. We must secure this for the benefit of all future Sarawakians. With these comments, Tuan Speaker, I fully support this Water (Amendment) Bill, 2006. Thank you.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Kalaka.

Y.B. Encik Abdul Wahab Aziz: Tuan Speaker, saya bangun untuk mengambil bahagian dalam perbahasan mengenai rang undang-undang, Water (Amendment) Bill, 2006. Masalah yang dihadapi oleh badan-badan air seperti yang dinyatakan adalah seperti yang berikut:-

(1) Pengguna tidak membayar mahupun lembab membayar caj kepada air yang telah digunakan kepada badan pembekal air berkaitan;
(2) Menyambung bekalan air secara haram ataupun mencuri air yang mengakibatkan kerugian yang besar dari segi pendapatan kepada agensi-agensi bekalan air; dan
(3) Masalah kecurian meter bekalan air dan keempat, memperbaiki prosedur penguatkuasaan supaya lebih efektif ataupun berkesan lagi.

Tuan Speaker, rang undang-undang, Water (Amendment) Bill, 2006, ini akan dapat menangani masalah-masalah yang saya katakan tadi. Tetapi tidaklah boleh dipastikan seratus peratus dapat diselesaikan. Pelaksanaan rang undang-undang ini kelak akan dapat mempastikan badan-badan pembekal air menjadi lebih efektif dan efisyen lagi. Kita memerlukan banyak peruntukan kewangan untuk mengatasi masalah bekalan air bersih di bandar mahupun di luar bandar. Dari itu usaha-usaha harus dilakukan untuk membendung kerugian yang sering dialami oleh badan-badan pembekal air. Orang-orang yang tidak bertanggungjawab harus diambil tindakan dengan tegas. Pihak badan pembekal air harus dilihat sebagai agensi yang bertanggungjawab bukan sahaja mengatasi keperluan rakyat untuk mendapat bekalan air yang bersih tetapi juga mengambil tindakan yang tegas terhadap pelaku-pelaku yang membawa kerugian ke atas pendapatan dan harta benda badan-badan pembekal air.

Dalam melaksanakan kuasa, pihak badan pembekal air tidak akan bertindak dengan sewenang-wenangnya. Misalannya, sebelum memutuskan bekalan, notis akan diberikan kepada pengguna untuk menyelesai atau membaiki kesalahan, Seksyen 34(2).

Tuan Speaker, saya sekali lagi ingin menegaskan bahawa saya menyokong rang undang-undang Water (Amendment) Bill, 2006 untuk diluluskan. Terima kasih.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Pending.

Y.B. Cik Violet Yong Wui Wui: Thank you, Tuan Speaker.

Tuan Speaker, I also rise to make some observations on the Water (Amendment) Bill, 2006 that was tabled by the Honourable Minister.

First on Clause 4 of the Bill: Clause 4 of the Bill seeks to substitute Section 34 of the Ordinance. By the new section, it shall be lawful for the water supply authority to disconnect from the waterworks the supply pipe to any premises, if the consumer fails to settle the amount due for charges for the supply of water and meter rent or for services rendered, fails to pay deposit, or if the consumer is found to be willfully or negligently wasting water and etc.

Tuan Speaker, I agree that consumers have to pay for what they consumed. I also agree that it is unwarranted to waste water. But there is another aspect of life that we must consider. Water is a basic necessity of life.
To deny a person of water is like denying one’s right to air and a denial of the basic human right. That is why we have to be very careful about cutting water supply off another person.

Because water is a basic necessity, supply should not be cut off in the event that the consumer fails to pay the bills or the deposit or unnecessarily waste water. There could well be many reasons behind these, and it is necessary for the water supply authority to find out why.

Tuan Speaker, like you, I have the privileged to read law. I understand that in 2004, the High Court held that Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang Sdn. Bhd.’s attempt to cut off the water supply was an oppressive act done with the interest of pressuring the consumer into submission and making the payment. Because it was an oppressive act, it was not permissible to cut off the water supply.

If people do not pay up for money owed to the water supply authority, the authority can always go to court to recover the debts and there are procedures or orders that the court could make to enforce the recovery of such debts.

The court provides the avenue for justice for all parties concerned. Let the court hear it out and decide instead of one being twisted in the arms of threats of no water supply.

There is therefore not a need for us here to amend the law to the extent of disconnecting one’s water supply for the money he owed.

I heard that in some countries water for domestic use is free but look at where we stand in our proud State of Sarawak where rainfall is among the highest in the world.

To disconnect the water supply to the premises may affect lives of the people. We should not enact laws that will take away our rights to our basic amenities.

Tuan Speaker, I now proceed to touch on Clause 11 of the Bill. Clause 11 adds a new Section 42A – Offences relating to water meters.

Theft of scrap metals and metal covers had become very rampant nowadays. Once there is supply, there is demand. Offenders are those who steal and those who buy the scrap metals.

Now, theft of water meters have become rampant also. I have been told that unlike scrap metals, water meters fetch a high price because the metal is of far more superior quality.

I agree that those water meter thieves ought to be punished. On the other hand, we must also realize that is it so easy for the dealers of scrap metals to distinguish water meters from scrap metal. They only need to spend a little time to look into the pile of metals brought to them … (Interruption)

Menteri Muda Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Encik Sylvester Entri anak Muran): Tuan Speaker, clarification.

Tuan Speaker: Are you taking it? Okay.

Menteri Muda Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Encik Sylvester Entri anak Muran): Just now the Honourable Member for Pending said that in other developed countries the water free and also in Sarawak we have plenty of rain. Does the Honourable Member for Pending said that the government should provide free water in Sarawak?

Tuan Speaker: Are you advocating free water?

Y.B. Cik Violet Yong Wui Wui: If the government can do so, why not? We should. We have the highest rainfall in the world. So I may proceed.

Tuan Speaker: Proceed.

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan): Tuan Speaker.

Tuan Speaker: Yes. Are you giving way?

Y.B. Cik Violet Yong Wui Wui: Ya.

Tuan Speaker: Okay.

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan): May I ask which country gives her water free? To the … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Which country is giving water free?

Y.B. Cik Violet Yong Wui Wui: New Zealand. New Zealand.

Tuan Speaker: New Zealand?

Y.B. Cik Violet Yong Wui Wui: Yes … (Interruption)

Y.B. Datuk Haji Talib Zulpilip: Tuan Speaker, I am New Zealand too and I don’t believe its water is free…(Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: One at a time. And then one word of caution, don’t press too many button simultaneously. Otherwise it doesn’t work. One at a time.

Y.B. Cik Violet Yong Wui Wui: Tuan Speaker, I think that..(Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Pujut. are you giving way? Pujut. Member for Pujut. Okay.

Y.B. Cik Violet Yong Wui Wui: Pujut? Okay.

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: Thank you, Tuan Speaker. I would like to ask the Honourable Member for Pending, when she said rainwater is abundant, the water should be free. How does she propose to cover the cost of turning the water, raw water into consumable water? Thank you.

Y.B. Cik Violet Yong Wui Wui: If I may emphasise on don’t spend too much money in building the new DUN building, then we have the money … (Applause)

Menteri Perumahan (Dato Sri Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Abang Haji Openg): It is irrelevant … (Laughter)

Y.B. Cik Violet Yong Wui Wui: Tuan Speaker, I now proceed to touch on Clause 11 of the Bill. Clause 11 adds a new Section 42A – Offences relating to water meters.

I agree that those water meter thieves ought to be punished. On the other hand, we must also realize that is it so easy for the dealers of scrap metals to distinguish water meters from scrap metal. They only need to spend a little time to look into the pile of metals brought to them.

I concur that heavy penalty must be meted out to the thieves so that people are deterred from committing the crime. In fact, the dealers must be equally punished if they are found buying the water meters without taking reasonable steps to ensure that they are not accomplice to the crime.

Just like it is an offence to sell turtle eggs without permit, it should be equally an offence to buy them.

But the law must be properly enforced. The existence of the law is not of any use if the law is not enforced.

I now come to Clause 16 of the bill. It provides by a new Section 47B the power of arrest. As with all criminal procedure, I urge that whenever any authorized officer wants to make a search on any conveyance, building or facility it should be armed with a search warrant. Otherwise, the power may be easily abused.

In an application for a search warrant, credible information, reasonable complaint, reasonable information of offence must be received before a search warrant to be issued.

Lastly, the person arrested must be produced to the court within 24 hours after being taken into custody by the officer in charge of the police station.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Jepak.

Y.B. Datuk Haji Talib Zulpilip: Thank you very much, Tuan Speaker. I hope I don’t damage the PA system while talking about water. After my neighbour from Kidurong spoke, the PA system broke down. If it happens after me then people from Bintulu, they restore their power, supernatural. So we are not those gangs…(Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Maybe Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Jepak wouldn’t be too watery.

Y.B. Datuk Haji Talib Zulpilip: No. It is watery subject we are talking about so it has to be a bit watery. That is a very fluid sort of discussion I can assure you.

Now, let me start. Water is a precious item, a precious commodity. It is good that we have this amendment. If you look at new Section 29A, this is to stop theft. Thievery or theft of any commodity is important in any society. If there is unlawful connection, we have to stop it and preventive measure is important but I would like to draw your attention to (1)(c). If I am not exceeding RM50,000 or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both such fine and imprisonment if the water is used by him for industrial purposes. I don’t know how rampant but I have read in newspapers there is such thing people tapping water paying domestic rate for industrial purpose. Lets talk about big factory. If they are allowed to get away with it, they will be stealing a lot of water. So, I am of the opinion that RM50,000 might be too lenient. I would like to say if the fare has gone to hundreds of thousand, they should be fined hundreds of thousand, not 50,000. Why not imprisonment as well? This is to discipline people and to stop theft. If people want to argue with me, feel free. If you want people to allow theft, I don’t agree. So, it should be increased.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Thank you, Ahli Yang Berhormat. Even if the penalty is too stiff, you know, officers enforcing them tend to come in the bumper. Then they reap a good crop out of it. I believe you mean the possibility of corruption is there.

Y.B. Datuk Haji Talip Zulpilip: Okay. My friend Bukit Assek, I don’t believe that is true in all cases. There are honest officers, you know. Yes. Let us give them an applause. There are honest officers, government officers in this room. (Applause) Now, many I can assure you if not some.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: But as I said, there are some not honest.

Y.B. Datuk Haji Talib Zulpilip: The naughty ones…(Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: You will also agree with me.

Y.B. Datuk Haji Talib Zulpilip: Okay.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Thank you.

Y.B. Datuk Haji Talib Zulpilip: The naughty ones can be caught. No problem there but we are dealing with those stealing so that where the amount comes in…(Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Bukit Assek, you seem to have a particular liking for Honourable Member for Jepak. (Laughter)

Y.B. Datuk Haji Talib Zulpilip: Thank you very much.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: We have to prove that “liking” in specific context.

Tuan Speaker: Alright.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: In the sense that Honourable Member for Jepak is a very honourable man and he doesn’t mind. He even said “Okay. In the event you want to come and interrupt, by all means do.” So I think that is very gentleman of him. In that sense, yes I like him. (Laughter)

Tuan Speaker: Please proceed.

Y.B. Datuk Haji Talib Zulpilip: Thank you very much for the compliments, Honourable Member for Bukit Assek and I can assure this august House, our liking is not that way incline. We are both straight. (Laughter) Now, I don’t have to amplify that, do I?

And the next point I would like to raise is this. There was some dissension with regards to this connection. To me, we shouldn’t worry too much because it is provided here, the Subsection (2). Before exercising its powers under Subsection 1, the water supply authority shall give a written notice to the consumers to remedy or rectify the default or contravention in such period as maybe specified in the notice. Thus, very humane and very reasonable way to implement. And if you read the Subsection 3, if on the expiry of the period specified in the notice given under Subsection 2, the consumer fails to remedy or rectify the default or contravention, the water supply authority may proceed to disconnect the supply to the premises. I believe this is a very reasonable pace of legislation.

Now, a few things I would like to amplify. My neighbour from Kidurong mentioned about water supply supplied to big industries during the drought. This is not uncommon because if we kept the water to ammonia urea, to LNG, it will cause even more hardship to the people because many jobs will loss. Now, if we recall there was an earthquake in Taiwan cutting power supply. The first power supply was restored to the industries, to the hi-tech industries. So in allocating resources, we have to give priority where economic importance which is of greater interest to the greater population will be given priority.

Now, Honourable Member for Pending, is it? Oh, she is not here. Never mind. She mentioned about free water in New Zealand. I would not quarrel with her but as far as my recollection, it is like this. Those who live in farm, they drew the water from the ground, they don’t have to pay anybody but they get permission. Those who live in cities, well, I lived in city when I went to university, we had to pay for water. I don’t know where, in what flat, in what city you can get free water. I would like you to enlighten. Thank you very much. I support the amendment.

Tuan Speaker: Any other Honourable Member wishes to speak? Honourable Member for Asajaya.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: Terima kasih, Tuan Speaker, kerana memberi peluang kepada saya untuk turut serta dalam perbahasan rang undang-undang ini.

I rise to participate in this debate on the Water (Amendment) Bill, 2006 which was first presented in this august House yesterday. This bill which I see as timely and appropriate seek to amend the Water Ordinance, 1994 and strengthen the position of our water supply authorities and I must congratulate the Honourable Minister for Public Utilities and his ministry for coming up with this bill. Among others, this bill hopes to increase the water supply authority’s offer, especially in relation to recovering various of water charges and monies owed to the water supply authorities, by its consumers. The bill also hopes to deter unlawful and unauthorized connection of water supply or theft of water and also hopes to deter theft of water meters, which is quite rampant nowadays, and for better enforcement procedures of the water supply authorities.
Tuan Speaker, there are three sections which I find of significance which come under the purview of this bill, namely Section 29A, Section 34 and Section 42A.

Section 29A relates to unlawful connection of water supply. It stipulates that any person who connects or permits or cause to be connected a supply pipe to any water works in contravention of Section 29(1) or 29(3) of the Principal Ordinance, commits an offence. Section 29(1) reads “any consumer shall make arrangement with water supply authority or a licensed pipe fitter to construct or supply pipe in any premise for the supply of water from the water works and Section 29 Clause 3 reads “when the construction of a water pipe and fitting has been completed to the satisfaction of the water supply authority, it shall be connected by the water supply authority to the water works. Any person who has committed an offence under this Section and upon conviction shall be fined not exceeding RM1,000 or one month imprisonment if the water is used for domestic purposes; RM10,000 or six months imprisonment if the water is used for commercial purposes and RM50,000 or one year imprisonment if the water is used for industrial purposes.”

Tuan Speaker, the time has come for the government, as well as the water supply authority, to be most forceful to clamp down on water theft. It happened in the city, it happened in the villages, as well as it also happened in the towns. As of how this is being done, there are many ways of how water thefts are being done but the most of common way is by way of bypass. If human being who has got a heart problem, sometimes they would undergo what we call heart bypass and for water theft this is also done by doing a bypass of the pipes. So they will bypass the meter and in this way the meter will not be reading the correct amount of water that is being consumed. So, probably if you do bypass of the water, there will be no more heart attack for you. With this new provision as provided by this Amended Bill hopefully the illegal connection as well as water theft could be very much reduced. I guess this is one of the reasons why we have come up with this amended bill.

Section 34 of the Principal Ordinance is amended and substituted with Section 34, which incorporates in this bill, to empower the water supply authority to disconnect the supply pipe to any premises if the consumer fails to settle amount due for charges to that premises or to any other premises under the consumer’s name.

The other section that I was referring to just now was Section 42(A) which relates to theft of water meters - Section 42(A) offences relating to water meters. It reads: “whoever without the approval of the water supply authority or the consumer removes or takes away any water meters fixed on or outside the premises of the consumer pursuant to Section 33(3) or has in his position a water meter which does not belong to him or which is not for the measurement of water supplied by a water supply authority to him as a consumer shall commit an offence and shall upon conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding RM20, 000 or to imprisonment not exceeding twelve months. It is very timely that the ministry comes up with this provision, with this clause because as we can see nowadays there has been a rampant theft of water meters.

I checked yesterday with Samarahan police, up to yesterday not less than 60 water meters have been stolen in Samarahan and Asajaya district itself. So we can see with this rampant theft of water meters there is a dire need of this provision or the passing of this law, of this bill to curtail the theft of water meters.

Untuk menggulung, Tuan Speaker, saya ingin mengingatkan juga bahawa badan pembekal air perlu juga untuk mengatur pentadbiran mereka kerana as we all know laws we can have, all kind of provision being passed, we can have all kind of laws being passed whether in this august House now or the existing laws that are available. But the question of whether we can have a good water system ataupun pentadbiran air memerlukan pentadbiran yang baik daripada badan-badan pembekal air. Inilah yang amat perlu, yang kita perlu aturkan kerana saya dapat melihat pada masa ini ada sedikit kelemahan dalam badan pembekal air semasa mereka mengurus pentadbiran mereka kerana inilah yang amat perlu kita aturkan. We can have all these laws but if we do not have proper enforcement or if we do not have proper administration of the water board or of the water authority, all these laws will not come to anything. Inilah yang amat kita perlu lihat di sini kerana kalau kita mahu ataupun kalau kita mahu mendapat balik arrears yang telah tertunggak pada masa ini, badan-badan pembekal air perlu melihat dimanakah arrears ini ataupun badan-badan yang manakah banyak tertunggak arrearsnya sama ada ia adakah agensi-agensi kerajaan, adakah ia kilang-kilang ataupun konsumer-konsumer persendirian. Kalau agensi-agensi kerajaan ataupun kilang-kilanglah yang banyak tertunggak sehingga menyebabkan tunggakan berjumlah melebihi daripada RM20 juta kita perlu mengatur sedikit supaya badan-badan ini dan juga kilang-kilang ini membayar tunggakan dan juga mengatur pembayaran bulanan yang teratur seterusnya.

Saya juga amat suka melihat dalam rang undang-undang ini ada proviso yang membolehkan badan yang bertindak ataupun badan pembekal mengkompaun ataupun all the offences that are available under the amended ordinance are compoundable, yang ini akan memboleh, memberi peluang kepada mereka yang akan diambil tindakan baiknya kilang-kilang ataupun agensi kerajaan ataupun juga orang perseorangan dapat mengurangkan denda-denda yang akan didenda terhadap mereka yang saya fahami dalam clause untuk kompaun adalah new Section 46(A) yang mengatakan; “The State Water Authority may by order prescribe any offence under this ordinance or regulation made under this ordinance as compoundable offences and the procedure for compounding such offences”. Dan selain daripada itu ia juga membekalkan dalam para yang kedua bahawa jumlah kompaun yang boleh dikenakan terhadap sesiapa yang telah melakukan kesalahan adalah jumlah tidak melebihi daripada separuh daripada jumlah maksima yang boleh ditetapkan terhadap kesalahan tersebut. Ini sekurang-kurangnya boleh meringankan beban mereka yang sudah saya percaya tunggakannya amat tinggi sekali ataupun yang telah timbul sehingga kini. Dan sedikit sebanyak saya rasa boleh meringankan apa yang telah dihuraikan oleh Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat daripada pihak pembangkang yang ada bersama-sama kita dalam Dewan yang mulia ini.

Dan dengan ucapan yang sedikit ini saya ingin merakamkan sokongan terhadap rang undang-undang ini. Sekian, terima kasih.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Tarat.

Y.B. Encik Roland Sagah Wee Inn: Terima kasih, Tuan Speaker. Tuan Speaker, my observations on the spirit and attainment of this bill is centred primarily on four main teething issues.

(1) It is intended to prevent illegal taping of water. I am sure the Honourable Minister could tell us that it is not intended to go against or to go for the ordinary consumer but rather for those who does it illegally and on a bigger scale. And I am sure you could tell us also that we have suffered many losses from these actions. This provision in the bill here, Sir, is very comprehensive and it gives the mechanism for the government or the water authorities to address these problems.

If I may comment just now on the matter raised by the Honourable Member for Kidurong about giving free water to the squatters. Of course, water is a very basic thing which all of us need but at the same time also if any other people have to pay for it, I think there should not be others who should have it free. If you want it free as the Honourable Member for Pending said it was in New Zealand but corrected by the Honourable Member for Jepak, I think in the kampung we still have free water and she is invited to come to kampung to have free water. (Applause).

So back to the matter raised by the Honourable Member for Kidurong about giving them pipe water, Sir. I think we do have this problem also where we give pipe water to squatters then they become permanent squatters. Then they will ask for more things, they will not ask just for the leg. Next time, they will ask for the betis until it reaches your head. I think we can’t allow this sort of illegal occupation, illegal action. So, I am sure there are other ways where the government can assist these squatters in a more proper manner but not by giving them this water and allowing them to tap it illegally.

(2) The second issue, Sir, is it adjusts the current problem which is very rampant and very recent, theft of water meters. Several Honourable Members have mentioned that it must have been that the meters are very valuable and that is why there will be a lot of cases of theft of these water meters. And I think it is appropriate and at the right time that the water authorities have to nip this matter at the bud. I think before nobody wants to steal water meters but somehow recently this is something which has become a fashion among those who want to profit from this trade. And it is also appropriate that not just those who steal but I think this will also cover those who buy and store and keep these water meters.

(3) The third issue, Sir, it provides for a more effective and efficient mechanism for the collection of revenue from water. Previously I think we do not have in the principal ordinance such a provision to set off or to get these several bills that are being owed under one person’s name or under one company’s name to pay together or in a collective manner but I think this time we have the mechanism to let this be done so that they cannot move from one place to another and leaving a trail of unpaid bills behind them. Because, if I am not mistaken, Sir, there are millions being owed to the government just because of unpaid water bills. And I think, Sir, this one should be collected so that the water authorities can have more fund for the maintenance and for the treatment of water. And further to give more services to the public at large. Why should we allow just a few people to escape and yet this is very important for the general public, for all of us.

(4) And fourthly, Sir, there is exception provision here and it is very comprehensive in relation to prosecution of offenders. So I don’t think we have any qualms about this. Furthermore it is fortified by references here in the amendment that whatever investigation, whatever warrant arrest, whatever actions that are to be taken by the relevant offices have to be in compliance with the CPC (Criminal Procedure Code) and I think that has been accepted by everybody in this country in relation to criminal offences.

Further, Sir, we could see that there are provisions for compounding of offences. This just shows that the government, Sir, is also sympathetic to consumers whether they are big or small. So, if they can comply and compound and correct their unlawful ways, they can get their reconnection faster I believe in this sense.

So, with those observations, Sir, I would also strongly support this Water (Amendment) Bill, 2006. Thank you.

Tuan Speaker: Any other Honourable Member wishes to speak? If not, I shall call upon the Honourable Minister to wind up.

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan): Terima kasih, Tuan Speaker. Saya ingin mengucapkan terima kasih kepada Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat yang telah pun membahaskan Rang Undang-Undang (Pindaan) Air, 2006 ini. Banyak cadangan yang baik dan kita akan pertimbangkan segala cadangan-cadangan yang telah pun diberikan. Dan saya dapati ada juga cadangan-cadangan yang tidak begitu munasabah. Ya, kita akui bahawa di Negeri Sarawak ini kita mendapat hujan yang banyak dan ada masanya juga kita dalam keadaan kemarau misalnya. Kita kekurangan air. Jadi saya tak tahu bagaimana kita boleh memberi air secara percuma.

Nak dapatkan air hujan pun saya rasa kita terpaksa belanja. Nak beli tangki air, nak beli tempayan. Apatah lagi nak membuat loji-loji air. Dari itu saya menganggap bahawa ini merupakan cadangan yang tak begitu munasabah.

Tuan Speaker, saya rasa tak perlulah untuk nak menjawab point by point apa yang telah pun dibangkitkan oleh Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat. Basically, the intention of the bill is to eliminate theft of water and theft of water meters. The law will be imposed rigorously but fairly. Termasuklah emergency power yang diberikan kepada Menteri. Ini perlu misalnya pada musim kemarau, kita perlu mencatu air dan dengan itu kita mahu mempastikan bahawa pengguna-pengguna air ini tidak akan menyalahguna air misalnya digunakan air untuk menyiram kebun-kebun, mencuci kereta dan sebagainya sedangkan kita berada dalam keadaan yang mendesak, musim kemarau. Dari itu kita perlu ada emergency power ini untuk menangani masalah-masalah tertentu dan ini untuk kepentingan semua.

Tuan Speaker, while we appreciate water is an important commodity, people must be law abiding. Those who need water will be supplied with water but they must not be involved in illegal tapping or misuse water or participate in any activity which cause losses to our water supply authority.

Tuan Speaker, saya ingin memaklumkan kepada Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Kidurong, pembayaran bil melalui internet. Ia ini sudah kita jalankan melalui Programme Pay Bills Malaysia khususnya pada mereka yang mempunyai kemudahan ini dan kita akan terus mempastikan sistem pembayaran bil ini dapat dikemaskini dari semasa ke semasa. Tapi kita tidak dapat melaksanakan ini bagi kawasan-kawasan di luar bandar di mana mereka tak menikmati kemudahan-kemudahan seperti ini jadi kalau kita nak laksanakan semua meliputi semua kawasan, saya rasa buat setakat ini belum dapatlah kita nak laksanakan semuanya.

Tuan Speaker, saya mengucapkan terima kasih kepada Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat yang telah pun memberi pandangan yang begitu baik dan kita akan terus mempastikan dengan kelulusan rang undang-undang ini bahawa pentadbiran di semua water authority akan dapat diperkemaskan demi untuk kepentingan kita semua. Kelulusan rang undang-undang ini akan membantu dalam mencapai objektif untuk mengurangkan secara significant amaun tunggakkan yang dihutang oleh pengguna air kepada pihak berkuasa bekalan air dan untuk menghalang penyambungan yang tidak sah atau tidak dibenarkan bagi bekalan air atau kuciran air yang merupakan kerugian besar dari segi hasil kepada water authority dan kita juga berharap dapat mengatasi masalah kecurian air. Cadangan pindaan akan membolehkan prosidur penguatkuasaan yang lebih baik supaya peruntukan-peruntukan baru bertulis secara berkesan. Pegawai-pegawai awam atau pegawai-pegawai dari mana-mana water authority yang telah diberi kuasa oleh pihak berkuasa air negeri akan diberi kuasa untuk menyiasat sebarang kesalahan dibawah ordinan ini dan menangkap tanpa waran sesiapa yang disyaki melakukan kesalahan tersebut.

Tuan Speaker, pindaan Rang Undang-Undang ini cuba mengatasi masalah-masalah yang kita hadapi sekarang dan kita memerlukan kerjasama dari semua pihak. Jika sekiranya berlaku kebocoran air maka mereka hendaklah melapor kepada water authority dan kita akan pastikan untuk mengatasi masalah-masalah itu. Dari itu kerjasama semua pihak adalah begitu penting sekali.

Tuan Speaker, dari itu maka saya mohon untuk mengesyorkan agar rang undang-undang ini diluluskan. Terima kasih.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat, the dewan will now resolve into the Committee of the Whole House to consider the bill which stands committed to the committee.

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE

[Tuan Pengerusi mempengerusikan Mesyuarat]

Tuan Pengerusi: The Dewan will now consider the Water (Amendment) Bill, 2006.

Clauses 1 – 17

Tuan Pengerusi: The question is that Clauses 1 to 17 be ordered to stand part of the bill.

Question put and agreed to

Clauses 1 – 17 stand part of the bill

Enacting Clause Intitule

Tuan Pengerusi: The Dewan resumes.

HOUSE RESUMED

[Tuan Speaker mempengerusikan Mesyuarat]


Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y. B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan): Tuan Speaker, I wish to report the Water (Amendment) Bill, 2006 has been considered by the Committee of the Whole House and agreed to without amendment.

RANG UNDANG-UNDANG KERAJAAN —
BACAAN KALI YANG KETIGA

WATER (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2006

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y. B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan): Tuan Speaker, I beg to move that the Water (Amendment) Bill, 2006 be now read a third time and do pass.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat, the question before the Dewan is that the Water (Amendment) Bill, 2006 be read a third time and do pass.

Question put and agreed to

Bill read a third time and passed

USUL DARIPADA AHLI DEWAN BIASA

Tuan Speaker: Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat, continuation of reply by Ahli Yang Berhormat Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam on the motion by Ahli Yang Berhormat Encik Chong Chieng Jen. I am governed by Standing Order 29, that no reply shall be accorded to the mover of the motion, Standing Order 29. I shall now call upon the Minister.

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y. B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): Tuan Speaker, I was on suspension at the eventual abolition of local authorities election last night. So I will start where I stopped last night.

Local Government elections involve people at the local levels. Electoral wards have, out of necessity, to be very small. In rural areas, each ward may only have a few hundred voters (bearing in mind that some State constituencies in remote areas only have a few thousand voters). One or two longhouses or kampungs may form one electoral ward. Elections against such a background would invariably divide the people, living in close proximity to each other, along political or even communal or religious lines, and be a recipe for discord and bitter disputes. These conditions could only cause political instability and perhaps communal misunderstanding. If local elections are to be held, like in the 1950s and the early 1960s every three years, the likely scenario would be that tension on the ground will cause political instability, security problems and disunity – elements which gave rise to the original suspension of local government elections in 1971, recurring.

The Government’s firm and well considered view points is that the re-introduction… (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Ya, I would like to seek clarification. Is the Honourable Minister saying that even now at this stage, after 40 years of independence, the rakyat are still not matured enough to have election and that Local Government Election will cause hard tension because that was not the reason given for the suspension. The reason was because of the confrontation and what about the State Election and Parliamentary Election?

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): I just mentioned that this is a possibility and let me go on. You have your chance later on. It’s a possibility. Thank you.

The government’s firm and well considered view points is that the re-introduction of local government election will not be beneficial to the state and whatever little intangible advantage that may be gained from having this election will definitely be outweigh by the deficitness and hardship that would result and the detriment that would be caused to the stability and peace which have to prevail in order for Sarawakians to enjoy progress and development. Tuan Speaker, an ad hoc committee was established by the State Government in 1973 to review the structure of local government in Sarawak. In the light of the Royal Commission’s report on local authorities in Semenanjung Malaysia. The Commission’s report was used as a reference point and guide for the improvement, development of controlled of Local Government in Sarawak by the committee.

Tuan Speaker, consequently the then Minister for Local Government, Tan Sri Datuk Amar Leo Moggie anak Irok presented the Kuching Municipal Council Amendment Bill 1977 and the local Authority (Amendment), Bill 1997 to restructure the local authorities. The two bills with similar objectives were duly passed and they effectively signal the demise of local government election for councilors in Sarawak. The amendments came into force on 15thOctober, 1981 when the nominated system for local authorities became a reality. In his speech to the Dewan, the then Honourable Minister for Local Government said, I quote:

“Mr Speaker, Sir, the most important criterion to an effective administration of the local authorities in addition to having adequate financial resources is the need to have efficient councilors and personnel. It is with this objective in mind that the Local Authority (Amendment), Bill 1977 is now introduced. The object of the bill is to enable the government to restructure the local authorities in the state so that these local authorities can function more efficiently and effectively within the framework of national objectives. The bill provides for unified structural pattern of local government throughout the state based on the outline to local government act 1976 of Semenanjung Malaysia. In essence, Mr Speaker, Sir, the effects of the bill is to change the system from an effective to a nominative local government administration”.

He continued, Tuan Speaker; “I have already indicated some of the main arguments against the continuation of an elective system of a local government administration. Surely, Sir, local democracy is not dead, neither it is dying for the simple reason that we have taken away the elective practice in local administration. Democracy will still continue because our elective practice will still continue for our Council Negeri and the parliament also”.

Then he further added, thirdly, Tuan Speaker, the payers of a council controlled by party politics will not be discussed and resolved on their merits and quite possibly they are mainly determind by political consideration and also there is the administration. Affairs which are parochial in nature and affairs which are service possibility that party politics will create political fractions within the council or a local authority and there will be opposition for opposition sake. This is also one possible weaknesses of a politically controlled and elective council administration but again, Sir, the most important reason is the affairs that are handled by local government oriented. He continues “a local government’s role basically is not a legislative one, it is not. It is largely deliberative, it is mainly administrative. There is no policy involved in trying to make sure that the roads, the potholes in the roads are being mended. These are activities purely of administrative nature. That type of activities does not require a policy decision but an elective politically managed local government administration entails. Neither do for that matter, elective councils ensure the election of good councilors.

Tuan Speaker, on the strength of a convincing argument by the then Honourable Minister for Local Government who was a Member of this Dewan for Machan. The two bills which contained provisions to abolish local government election was passed by this august House in 1977. As a matter of interest and for the benefit of the Honourable Member for Kota Sentosa, among those who supported the Authority (Amendment), bill 1977 was the then Honourable Member for Repok, Encik Chong Siew Chieng, father of the Honourable Member who today moves the Motion to reinstate Local Government Election. It’s your father (Applause). The then Honourable Member for Repok, Encik Chong Siew Chieng said and I quote from the Hansard, I believe that there was no family discussion before this …

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: May I seek clarification because this is getting personal? Now it’s Ok now, I am not being offended but I just …

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): Nothing personal…

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Just that I believe during those times, that is 1974, 1975, 1970’s, those are very tumultuous time.

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): I agree.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: There are communist.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Kota Sentosa, let us hear first. I will give you a chance, let us hear first.

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): I agree and that is why I say that this was not discussed or either you have decided, Member for Kota Sentosa had decided to defer from what his father stood by in 1977. Corrected?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: And he is my father. Alright, now the thing is that those are times when there were communist threat, whereby I believe SUPP is the party is threathening the stability of this country, of course, of course but now we have progressed to the 21st century already. We should leave those unhappy history away and … (Interruption)

Menteri Muda Perumahan dan Menteri Muda Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Dr. Soon Choon Teck): Point of clarification, Tuan Speaker, Is the Member for Kota Sentosa saying that SUPP was threatening the peace of Sarawak at that time? 1977? Are you saying that?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Before…

Menteri Muda Perumahan dan Menteri Muda Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Dr. Soon Choon Teck): I think if he reads the history right it is SUPP that restore the peace in Sarawak. I think SUPP’s contribution to the peace of Sarawak is recorded in the history.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I think it is a subjective opinion.

Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. (Dr) Lee Kim Shin): Tuan Speaker, point of clarification. In fact SUPP rejoin the coalition government in 1970, for your information.

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): Ok, Tuan Speaker, I quote here from the Hansard:

“Mr Speaker, Sir, I would like to comment on the Local Authority (Amendment), Bill. The main and the most important change is the constitution of the local councils, that is to say, from elective system into nominated councils in view of the unsatisfactory management of most councils, changes in the structure of the local authority in Sarawak are, therefore, highly, timely and desirable”.

Three very important words, highly, timely and desirable.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Ya, timely, now it is timely to change it to local government election. Now is timely. At that time it was timely to suspend it, now it is timely to restore it as what we are arguing for.

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): Ok thank you.

Tuan Speaker: Member for Kota Sentosa you can raise point of information but not rebuttal. Yours is a rebuttal.

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): He continues, quote:

“The object of this bill, Mr Speaker, Sir, is intended to remedy all the defects of the local authorities by restructuring and reorganising the local authorities that provide efficient and effective services to our communities. In this connection, Mr Speaker, Sir, I would like to refer especially to Section 3(g) which is based on the lines of the local government act Section 7 of Semenanjung Malaysia which provides all councilors shall be appointed by Yang diPertua Negeri for a term not exceeding three years”.

I am not aware of any subsequent statement by the former Honourable Member for Repok, Encik Chong Siew Chieng, contradicting what he had said in this august House in 1977. I can safely assume that if he were to be here today, I think he would stand by by what he said in 1977 (Laughter).

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: That is a wrong assumption. That is a wrong assumption. I have discussion. We have discussion of political matters…

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): Oh, you have discussed with your father ..

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: At that time it was necessary but now it is not and that after twenty years of trying… (Interruption)

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): I just want to ask you have you discussed this with your father before you make the move?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Oh surely, surely …

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): So your father agrees with what?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: He agrees with my stand now because at that time, at that time, he thinks that’s alright we try a new system by appointment but after twenty years or more than twenty years of experiment, it has proven a failure. It is worst than before, therefore, he said that he agrees with me now. Time has progress, we must progress and democracy must progress in this country. That is his position now.
Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): Ok thank you, thank you.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I will clarify that.

Role, Functions and Funding Of Local Councils

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): Tuan Speaker, I will touch on the role of local authorities eluded by the then Honourable Minister for Local government at a later stage but for the time being I am to point out that it was the shortcomings of elective system of local government as highlighted in the speeches of the then Honourable Member for Repok and the then Honourable Minister for Local Government that led to the abolition.

These failings of the previous elective system of local council will certainly rear their ugly heads once we have local/grass root elections. Not only that, as the frequency of local election is once every three years, and such elections would be in addition to elections for Parliament and election for Dewan Undangan Negeri which are held every five years, this could give rise to a situation that, from time to time, there could be elections of one form or another, either for Parliament or Dewan Undangan Negeri or Local Authority, every year. By virtue of Regulation 13(1) of the Local Government Elections Regulations 1963, as amended in 1967, local council election could be held any time six months after dissolution of Dewan Undangan Negeri. This means that we have the election in May, so for our local council we have another election within this year, if we have local election. Because this is required in the Ordinance.

So, Tuan Speaker, this means, we, in Sarawak, could have a situation whereby elections to this Dewan and local council election could be held within the same calendar year. All these situations would present the people with a hefty, dangerous overdose of electioneering. Overdose, actually Sarawak is having overdose already.

Besides, in these circumstances, not only communal or religious polarization, which I have already mentioned, would surface, but continuous politicking at grass root level and also within the council will damage the running and management of the councils and impair their ability to serve the people. At the end of the day, the rate payers will suffer from too many elections, political arguments and divisions amongst politically motivated Councillors and inevitably poor service performance and delivery will result. It is just the contrary of what the mover of this bill wants.

The people or the rate payers will be paying a heavy price and subject to plenty of hardship just because the politically inclined wants to have local elections. The people would blame this government for repeating the mistakes of the colonial government for any re-introducing local government elections in Sarawak.

Tuan Speaker, in Malaysia, there is a three-tier system of government administrations,

(a) The Federal Government;
(b) The State Government; and
(c) The local authorities or sometimes called, the local councils.

The relationship between the Federal and State Governments is regulated by the Federal Constitution and the division of legislative powers of Federal Parliament and State Legislatures are clearly spelt out in the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution. The financial obligations of both Federal and State Governments and the division of revenues are governed by the Federal Constitution and particularly in the Tenth Schedule thereof.

Tuan Speaker, in the colonial days, local authorities were called “Local Government”. That terminology is no longer applicable because local authorities no longer govern as such. Their functions, duties and powers are spelt out in the relevant laws. Section 97(1) of the Local Authorities Ordinance 1966 provides that no local authority shall exercise any power or perform any duties not expressly provided for under that Ordinance or any written law. Under Section 97(2) of the Ordinance, if a local authority is in doubt as to whether it should exercise any power or perform any duty it shall seek a ruling from the State Cabinet before it proceeds to exercise such power or perform such duty and the ruling of the State Cabinet shall be final and binding on the local authority. No local authority, by virtue of Sections 92 and 93 of the said Ordinance, can make any by-law or make amendments to such by-law or revoke the by-law without the approval of the Yang di-Pertua Negeri, who acts on the advice of the State Cabinet. Therefore, local authorities have no legislative powers and can only perform such duties or carry out such functions which laws made by this Dewan authorize them to do. Thus, they do not govern but they administer the areas under their jurisdiction in accordance with the laws passed by this august House or in some cases, by Parliament, or in accordance with by-laws made with the approval of the Yang di-Pertua Negeri acting on the advice of the State Cabinet.

Tuan Speaker, today, as stated by the then Honourable Minister for of Local Government in this august House, as far back as 1977, local authorities are mainly administrative bodies. Their duties are to provide services, such as waste management, maintenance of public facilities like public parks, markets, hawker stalls, public car parks, public roads under their jurisdiction, cleanliness of public places, provision of street lightings, public amenities like swimming pool, recreational parks, playgrounds, public toilets and bus stations and shelters. They carry out licensing of certain establishments, and collect fees which are fixed by the State Cabinet. They approve building plans and issue occupation permits under the Building Ordinance 1994 and they enforce certain laws relating to parking, public cleanliness, nuisance and unlawful building structures. Under the said Ordinance the Government vests land in local councils to be maintained by them as public parks, car parks and the like. In these circumstances, Tuan Speaker, local authorities must be viewed as an extension of the State Government or as agencies to provide services, amenities and other essential facilities to the people, to licence premises used for certain trades or occupations and to enforce certain rules and regulations especially those relating to public health and cleanliness. Local authorities, therefore, I repeat do not govern. They carry out duties laid down by legislations or as spelt out in by-laws made by the Yang di-Pertua Negeri on the advice of the State Cabinet.

Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. (Dr) Lee Kim Shin): Tuan Speaker, point of clarification. Yesterday the Honourable Member for Kota Sentosa said that there is no difference between local government and local authorities. So is the Honourable Minister now explain to him the difference between the local government and the local authorities.

Tuan Speaker: Minister, please continue.

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): Thank you. Tuan Speaker, the Local Councils derived their revenues principally from assessment rates, licence fees, stall and market rentals, and any services provided by the Councils. Apart from a few major councils, such revenues are hardly sufficient to cover the councils' operating expenditures in providing basic services for the people in their areas of jurisdiction. Councils, especially the smaller one in the rural areas always often incur substantial deficit each year and have to depend on government financial support in the form of grants or loans.

No Local Authority in Sarawak is financially autonomous. The Local Authorities, inclusive of all City Councils and the smaller Local Authorities, received the operating grant and development grants from both State and Federal Governments. Operating grants are solely provided by the State Government. Developments grants are received from both the State and Federal Authorities. Example, during the Eighth Malaysia Plan period, i.e. 2001 to 2005, a total sum of RM984.7 million was provided by the State Government in the form of grants to local councils. The Local Authorities also received a total sum of RM152.4 million as Federal grant during the same period to finance the various development projects within the respective councils’ areas of jurisdiction. The detailed breakdown are as follows:-

(i) State Operating Grants - RM381.0 million
(ii) State Development Grants - RM603.7 million
(iii) Federal Development Grants - RM152.4 million
Total - RM1.137.1 billion

These amounts include provision of State and Federal grants to Bintulu Development Authority or BDA.

Tuan Speaker, in this scenario, it is imperative that for local councils to carry out their duties and functions effectively and efficiently for the benefit of the people, that they must work with the State Government, they cannot afford to be in Opposition. To have local authorities who are unwilling or not prepared to work with the State Government would create unhealthy and hostile relationship that would be totally unacceptable and potentially cause not hardships these councillors but to the rakyat.

Financial Management and Accountability

Tuan Speaker, the Motion moved by the Honourable Member for Kota Sentosa seems to justify having local government elections on the ground that their restoration would ensure financial accountability, transparency and avoidance of corruption in local authorities. My first response is to repeat what the then Honourable Minister for Local Government said in this august House in 1977, that is, effective councils do not ensure the election of good Councillors. There are bound to be “bad” apples especially if people were elected on political platforms with agenda to pursue and electors in their own areas to please or to be taken care of. In terms of accountability and transparency, the Local Authorities (Financial) Regulations 1997, provide a comprehensive system for sound financial management of local authorities including accounting principles and standards to be followed. Procedures for procurement of good and services including appointment of Contractors and Consultants, tender and limits of financial authority are clearly set out in Part VII of the Regulations.

All local councils' annual budget and financial reports have to be sent to the Ministry for scrutiny and approval and in the case of the City Administrations in Kuching, these have to be sent to the State Cabinet for approval. The system embedded in the Local Authorities (Financial) Regulations is a good system that ensures prudent and well- regulated financial management of the local councils. Indeed no one, not even the Opposition, has alleged that there are any shortcomings or deficiency in the Local Authorities (Financial) Regulations, 1997.

All that needs to be done is to see that these Regulations are complied with and if they are not, the officers and councillors concerned would be penalised. I can say that it is a fair and transparent system. The government has always ensure that these regulations are complied with and the Internal Audit Department in the State Secretary's Office, conducts regular audit and surveillance of the local authorities to ensure compliance of these regulations. I cannot see how elected councillors can do a better job in this regard than professional internal auditors.

Tuan Speaker, as far as corruption is concerned, the government will not tolerate corrupt practices or indeed any form of malpractices in local authorities. Those who indulge in such practices, whether they are staff or councillors, will be severely dealt with. Under the Local Authorities Ordinance, any councillor who is found to have committed any offence relating to fraud, dishonesty or corruption, would be terminated. There is no compromise on this score. In any elective system, summary termination of a councillor by the government may not be possible, as the councillor is answerable to electors in his electoral ward. If he does not resign, there is very little the government could do to remove him except to report to the ACA.

Tuan Speaker, having reiterate that the government does not condone corrupt practices in local authorities affairs, I want to state that anyone who have evidence or proof of such practices should report them to the Anti Corruption Agency (ACA) or to my Ministry for action to be taken. The government will always co-operate with the ACA in their investigations. However, I urge the Opposition who tend to use weapon of mass deception to gain political mileage, not to make allegations of corruption which they cannot or are unable to substantiate.

Such allegations could have a demoralising effect on the local authorities' administration and politise the issue to nobody's benefit. I would like to urge members of the opposition, we admit that there are drains probably blocked, there may be flooding in certain cities but I would like to remind members of the opposition if there are two or three people get divorced does that mean that we should abolish the institution of marriage? That’s mean we change the system. It’s all because one or two drains are blocked, that’s mean we change the system from the nominated to the elective. I think I would like to urge the opposition members, if there is a credit, I think the credit should be given where it is due. Because all the times you have been mentioning about the bad things but you never actually appreciate what the council have done. Actually they have done good job. So please appreciate and by doing so I think they will also appreciate you.

25 Years of Nominative Local Councils

Tuan Speaker, years of nominative local councils, the performances. The system of nominative councils in Sarawak was launched on the 15thOctober, 1981 even though legislations to sanction the implementation of this system was passed in 1977.

Since the re-structure of Local Authorities in 1981, positive results are visible. In all urban areas, there have been improvements to public roads, better street lightings and maintenance of our roads, footpaths and drains. For instance, Kuching, Sibu, Miri and Bintulu are in much better shape than they were in the 1970s. The level of public cleanliness, the beautification efforts and healthy living conditions have improved not by 10% but by leaps and bounds.

The councillors had followed the policy directions laid down by the government in improving facilities, amenities, services and public health and cleanliness standards throughout the State. They have motivated the Administration and the staff of the councils in carrying out all programmes for the overall improvement of the areas under their jurisdiction, and encourage public cooperations and civic minded citizens to play their roles in providing amenities for the public. A lot of the amenities in Kuching, Sibu and Miri, for instance, were provided with the active support of companies and non-governmental organisations.

The close rapport between the councillors and the government, and between the councillors, staff and the public, have been responsible for the vast improvements we have seen in areas under the jurisdiction of the local authorities. In Kuching, we have the Hokkien Garden which was established through collaboration between Majlis Bandaraya Kuching Selatan (MBKS) and the Hokkien community and the Friendship Memorial Park which was created in collaboration with the Chinese Government in China. In Sibu, amongst others, we have Wong Nai Siong Garden, a joint venture with Foochow Association, Hing Hua Garden, Taman Harmoni and Ku Tian Garden. Additionally, many of our local authorities have received recognition in the form of awards from foreign institutions as well as from the Federal Government.












These awards are as follows:-

No. Awards Local Authority
1. WHO Regional Director Award - 2004
Outstanding Healthy City in recognition of its trade record for sustained improvement in the overall Quality of Life of its citizens using the Healthy Cities Approach. Majlis Bandaraya Kuching Selatan
2. National Bandar Lestari Award: - 2004
Winner of Physical Environment Category Majlis Bandaraya Kuching Selatan
3. National Maintenance of Building and Housing Estate Competition - 2003
(Government Office Category) Majlis Bandaraya Kuching Selatan
4. Anugerah Inovasi Perkhidmatan Awam Tahun 2001 bagi Tajuk Inovasi “Perangkap Sampah Air Buluh dan Kabel” Dewan Bandaraya Kuching Utara
5. Pertandingan Anugerah Kualiti Pihak Berkuasa Tempatan 1994 dan Kategory Anugerah Sistem Kutipan Hasil dan Tunggakan, Peringkat Nasional Majlis Perbandaran Sibu
6. Laman Design Award: The Malaysia International Landscape and Garden Festival 2006 Majlis Perbandaran Sibu
7. Pemenang Pertama bagi Pertandingan Landskap Peringkat Kebangsaan Tahun 2001 (Kategory Taman Bandar – Taman Miri City Fan) Majlis Perbandaran Miri
8. Silver Award bagi Laman Malaysiana Award untuk Kategori World of Garden – Festival Antarabangsa Landskap dan Taman Malaysia 2004 Majlis Bandaraya Miri
9. Silver Award bagi Laman Theme Award untuk Kategori World of Garden – Festival Antarabangsa Landskap dan Taman Malaysia 2006 Majlis Bandaraya Miri

So, if we say that … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I am impressed with all the prizes they won. However, despite all these prizes that they won the candidate in the last State Election or in all this bandaraya-bandaraya suffered, the ruling party, the Barisan Nasional’s candidates suffered a serious drops in their votes. I have not finish my question.

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): Ya, ya.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I have not finish my question.

Tuan Speaker: Okay, okay.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: In Kuching, even the Mayor has lost the election. Hasn’t the people told you something about that the Bandaraya Councillors are not doing their job? That is why, there is drop in the votes especially the bandaraya area and in Kuching is a classic case. Even Keadilan won their seat in the Chinese area. So how can they explain that? I think the service least much to be desired.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Permodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): Excuse me, can I have a point of order please? I must admit the opposition has very good propaganda machine.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Point of order Tuan Speaker. I don’t wish to draw into election machineries here. It is unfair to say that the opposition to have very good propaganda machine that’s why they won the election. I think the people, the people are the one who tell us exactly what they want, and exactly what has the government done and therefore election are not won because of propaganda alone. Thank you.

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): Tuan Speaker, let me answer first. Not answer, but to question from the Member for Kota Sentosa.

Do you mean that all these councillors are not qualified and you mean that the judges who award these awards to these councillors are not qualified? And they are not qualified to receive the awards. This is not done by us, you know! It is done by other international or national level….(Interruption)

Y.B Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Ya, ya, I, I congratulate, I congratulate all the award winning. I congratulate you on all the awards been won but just that, just that, even despite these awards, I am saying, even despite these awards, the people, the people, that is governed under all these bandaraya, Majlis Bandaraya, they…(Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Kota Sentosa, you have made your point. Let the Minister, ya. You have made your point.

Y.B Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Ya, ya. I want … (Interruption)

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): Let me continue. Tuan Speaker, there is no reason for the government to change the system. No system is definitely perfect. The world is not a perfect place in any event but whatever deficiency that maybe found in the system can always be remedied. It can be improved to discard the present nominative system of the local governments and to revert back to the old one that is the elective system, failed approach of electing councillors would only be a sure recipe to revive the problems of the past which were associated with elective system of local authorities.

Summary and Conclusion

Tuan Speaker, let me now summarise the reasons which I had advanced on behalf of the State Government against the restoration of the local authorities election.

(1) Local Government election is now the state’s responsibility. The state would have to provide funds to create the requisite infrastructure such as delineation of electoral wards, registration and publication of electoral rolls and the setting up of the essential machinery to organize and conduct such election. All these will take time and effort and potentially vast some of state funds could be applied for development projects or cover deficit incurred by many of the rural councillors whose residents could hardly afford to pay rates at the level needed by these councils to provide them with basic amenities and services. And these I have said that if one ward were to spend RM50,000, one council has to spend RM1.25 million per one election and the whole state will have to spend RM32.5 million for one election.

(2) Bearing in mind that local council election were held every three years and under Regulation 13(1) for the Local Government Elections Regulations, 1963 which decrees that local government election could be held anytime six months after the dissolution of Dewan Undangan Negeri, we in Sarawak could be having election almost every year for either Parliament, Dewan Undangan Negeri or local councils. If these were to happen, the people in Sarawak would experience continuous politicking electioneering and intensified activities by political parties and many other interested parties. Ultimately, the people will have an overdosed, I said overdosed again of elections. These unhealthy development would cause division, misunderstanding, animosity among our communities and our people as a whole. The resulting political instability which was prevalent at the time when local government elections were held in the 1950s and 1960s would badly damage our state economically and politically.

(3) Election of councillors is not the solution to check or eliminate malpractices or corruptions. There is in place laws and regulations such as the Local Authorities (Financial) Regulations, 1997 which provide a comprehensive system for sound, prudent and well-regulated financial system for local authorities in Sarawak. The government remains committed to see that these regulations are rigorously complied with. I repeat the words the then Minister for Local Government said in this august House in 1977, “that local council election do not necessarily produce the best councillors”.

(4) The current nominative system of local councils was instituted because the previous elective system had failed and created problems. Even the then Honourable Member for Repok, Encik Chong Siew Chieng acknowledged that the previous elective system for local councils had its problems and supported the abolition of local authorities election. Therefore, the government had no intention to set the clock back by reinstating local authorities election in Sarawak.

(5) The present nominative system of the government has proven to be successful especially in terms of delivery of services, implementation of projects for the benefit of the rakyat.

(6) Lastly, Local Authorities do not govern on their own. They are merely administrative bodies and an extension of the government of the state in a largely dependant upon the state government for funds to meet both their operating and development expenditures. Local Authorities do not have absolute local legislative powers. By-laws and regulations of local authorities had to be approved by the Yang di-Pertua Negeri on the advice of the State Cabinet. Hence by not having a legislative role but merely administrative and implementation functions. It is not necessary for councillors to be elected.


For all the above reasons which I have given in great details, the government has taken a firm stand that is Local Government Election should not be restored as it is not in the interest of the people to introduce local authorities election. This issue actually has been raised up in the Federal Parliament and it was rejected. Therefore, the government will oppose the motion and I, as Minister responsible for Local Government urge Honourable Members including those from the opposition to reject this motion proposed by the Honourable Member for Kota Sentosa. Local Authorities in Sarawak needs fund not election. Thank you, Tuan Speaker.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Tanjung Datu.

Y.B Dato Sri Haji Adenan bin Haji Satem: The Minister concerned has given a very comprehensive, very profound, very full answer to the motion. In fact, there is nothing left for me to say. Without wanted to say, all that remain to be done is for my fellow Barisan Members of this House to support the rejection of the motion as suggested by the Minister. So, there are few things I wish to say but it has already been said and said very well by the Minister concerned. So, there is no need for me to add on to that one.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Repok.

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Tuan Speaker, I caught your eyes. Tuan Speaker, I participate in the debate on the motion that the central piece of argument in moving this motion by Member for Kota Sentosa is that essentially elections, only elections could stop corruptions in a short form. This is a statement of fallacy. Throughout history, many years to come, there will still be members, elected leaders being convicted for abuses, corruptions and malpractices.

For the information of this House, it is interesting to note that under Sarawak current nominated system of councillors for the past 20 over years, there was only one known case of councillor being convicted for a very minor offence. Now, we have also heard statement brought up by Member for Kota Sentosa. Statement made by Datuk Kaveas, very sweeping statement saying that: “Local Governments are corrupted goods”. Now, I would like to state here that Sarawak Local Authorities has never been part of the National Local Government. It is purely a state affair within the jurisdiction of the state. So I believe what Datuk Kaveas might have said is referred to the cases, situation in West Malaysia. So the facts spoke for itself, that, there was only one case of councillors being convicted. Well, we are not saying that this is a good record, we are not saying that but we believe that under the current systems, it is manageable.

Y.B Encik Wong Ho Leng: Tuan Speaker, if I may, Ahli Yang Berhormat for Repok seems to say that there is only one case of corruptions?

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Tuan Speaker, Member for Bukit Assek, you are a lawyer yourself. You might be … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: I am asking a question whether are you saying that there is only one case….(Interruption)

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): There is one known case of councillor year 1989 … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: In the council?

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Ya.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: The Hansard seem to say differently.

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): What the answer say in the Hansard?

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: I remember between 1996, around 1997, 1998, I raised a question about corruption in local councils and I thought the answers that were given to me was there were more cases than one. Can I have some verification?

Tuan Speaker: Convicted is it? Charged or convicted?

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): I think it is for the Member for Bukit Assek, bring out the facts from the hansard and then we will argue about that may be in the next session, right! Whoever asserted, must prove.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: I am not making an assertion. I am seeking a clarification whether Ahli Yang Berhormat for Repok was saying that throughout all these years, there was only one case of corruption in the councils which resulted in conviction?

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Can I, can I … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: That is why I am seeking a clarification. I am not making an assertion.

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Can I state very clearly that there was only one case of councillor being convicted since the year 1989. Right, before that…

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: May be, Tuan Speaker, can we have a-three minutes adjournment, we check the hansard and we see whether the hansard that I had … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: You check the handsard, the Minister continues.

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Ya, I think that is fair. That is fair. It is easier, Tuan Speaker.

Tuan Speaker: You can check. The Minister can continue.

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Now in trying to make up a case for the motion for Honourable Member for Kota Samarahan has spoken, oh, sorry, Kota Sentosa, I beg your pardon, have spoken a lot on the land issue at Tabuan Laru. Now before I proceed further, I would like to call upon Member for Kota Sentosa to confirm the statements of allegation that was made yesterday, whether he still stand by those statements.

Now, I particularly like to refer to subject of malpractices against the three councillors, page 49. Now I need the facts to be further confirmed while I proceed to argue otherwise. Now page 49, it says “I think this is a malpractice, it is a malpractice, malpractice”.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I stand by what I said.

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Page 49 of the hansard. Well, you need help?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I stand by what I said.

Tuan Speaker: You stand by what you said.

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Then we move on to page 49, subject on SUPP. It was stated that SUPP involved. I believe the three councillors are appointed by SUPP. SUPP involved?

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Kota Sentosa, the Minister is asking, you stand by it?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: As far as the involvement is concerned, it concerned the appointment, the appointment of these councillors, not the recommendation of these councillors, as recommended by SUPP … (Interruption)

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Never mind, we will interpret it differently … (Interruption).

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: You go on with the argument, you go on with the argument.

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Now there is another third statement against or relating to MBKS, page 51.

Tuan Speaker: Page?

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): 51.

Tuan Speaker: Ya.

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Page 51. It relates because MBKS is building a market there and also further down fourth line, spoken by the Honourable Member also, the inference is clear, is as clear as water.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I think the record is correct.

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Record is correct, so what you say is you stand by it. Correctlah.

Now in order to make up a case for the motion, Member for Kota Sentosa has spoken gradual on this Tabuan Laru land case. Now for record purpose, I would also like the Member concerned to state the name of the three councillors, the name of the three councillors here has never appeared in the handsard. You give us the name of the councillors whom you alleged could have committed conflict of interest.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I would decline to name the names but you know the names.

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): I don’t know the names, whoever accused must substantiate.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: The names of the company which was, I will go to that, I will go to that, which was alienated with the land is Urusan Lengkap Sdn. Bhd. and their shareholders at that time, their shareholders were Philip Chan, a councillor, Pang Kim Soo, another councillor and one more, Lo Kong Seng. Let me mention the name properly, Lo Kong Seng. These are the three persons who are the shareholders of this company.

Tuan Speaker: You are mentioning the shareholders or the councillors, the three names?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Pardon?

Tuan Speaker: The three names are councillors or shareholders?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: They are shareholders, they have been councillors.

Tuan Speaker: Okay.

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): So these three councillors were alleged to have committed conflict of interest.

Tuan Speaker, I stood here not in defence of the three councillors. But more important to inform this august House on the real, true and correct facts surrounding this incident.

If the facts are not going to be clearly stated in this august House, wrong and unfair conclusion such as accusing local authorities or its members of corrupt practices would be drawn against Barisan Nasional Government as a case to support the motion and more important, this august House could be misled into judging or thinking that these three councillors did commit conflict of interest and guilty of malpractices. I am duty bound here to inform this House on the actual case, the facts of the case to prevent the privilege of this freedom to speak in this House from being abused. On the facts of the case are as follows:

(1) The land in question is state land. It has never been MBKS land;
(2) MBKS did not deliberate or decide to build market on the said land, therefore they never apply to Lands and Surveys for the said land;
(3) The three councillors are professional in their own rights, they have every right like any other citizens to apply to Lands and Surveys for state land and plan approval. They have done so by submitting proposal in their own names and capacity. Never, had any at time, that they submit it in the name of the council or in the name of SUPP;
(4) Land and Survey Department has approved their application, has imposed conditions that they must build at their own cost and then hand over one market to the government free of cost for community purposes. The companies are also required to pay for the full premium and took the normal risk of business. SUPP as a political party has never been involved financially or otherwise in this project.

For record available, there is no case of conflict of interest. If the Member for Kota Sentosa feels that these councillors have committed offences in one way or the others, no allegation of criminal act should also be made in this House because they are not here to defend themselves. This is … (Interruption).

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I have said that if their act may not amount to corruption per se but it is a conflict of interest in the sense that they are councillors and they know that there is a need for a market in that area. Alright, now, you are in the office, the councillors’ office, there is a project here, which could bring benefit and profit to councils or to yourself if you apply in your own name or in your company’s name to yourself, then you will bring profit to yourself. Fair enough, if you are not a councillor, nothing wrong.

But if you are a councillor, then choosing between profit to yourself or profit to the organization which he belongs, I believe for us involved in politic, we should put the interest of the organization which we are serving as a politician above our own interest. That is what we called political morality, political morality. Of course, you can choose here, it may not amount to corruption but there is a choice now, to profit for your own personal profit or for the profit of the organization which you represent. In this case, it is council. Well they choose for their own profit, submit the project in their own name instead of in the name of the project, in the name of council. Had they choose it in the name of the council, the council could have made RM30 million but they decided to submit it in, in their own name. That is my case.

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Tuan Speaker, this argument has been stated during your interaction of this matter. Now, the Member does accuse them of malpractices, malpractices stated in the hansard. Malpractices in law amount to criminal offence. The better course of action in this particular incident as alleged against the three councillors as they are not here to defend themselves, the option is opened to the members either to withdraw the accusation of malpractices or to give a fair hearing to all parties concerned who will advise Member for Kota Sentosa to repeat the exact and specific accusation against the three councillors and it is for them, it is for them to take whatever actions they deemed fit. It is no point for members here to debate on the issue when parties concerned are not available, detailed facts are not available.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: What I have said here was said many, many times during ceramah times and yet those are all reported, so I don’t see the necessity to repeat it again while it has been said over and over and over and they don’t come up to defend themselves. That is all. If you think that this is not a proper forum to debate on this, then you raise your case that is it.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Pujut.

Y.B. Encik Andy Chia Chu Fatt: The Honourable Member for Kota Sentosa had said that he had said the matters many times outside the Dewan, so I would urge him to say one more time outside the Dewan today. Thank you. (Applause).

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Now in the case of allegation against SUPP, it is stated in the Hansard page 51, sorry, page 49, SUPP involved. Now as I said earlier, this House should never become a hideout for members to throw unfounded accusations and hide behind the privilege of freedom. As I said particularly that SUPP is no part involved in that, on behalf of SUPP, in order to clear the good name, we also would like Member for Kota Sentosa to repeat the exact accusation against SUPP outside the House or the matter be rest forever here and hold the tongues forever here.

Y.B. Encik Voon Lee Shan: Tuan Speaker, may I interrupt for a while. What I think it is clear from the records here is that they agreed as a whole what the Yang Berhormat for Kota Sentosa stated is that it was appointment only, the three were appointment, touching on the appointment only. That’s all.

Tuan Speaker: We have past that. Now the two Members are asking Member for Kota Sentosa whether he is prepared to repeat it outside the House today.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: You can be rest assured that this matter will be repeated.

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Repeated?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: It will be raised again.

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Outside the House?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Outside this House. Ya, you can be assured.

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Now, under the current nominated system, State Government will stand to account for the performance of the local authorities here. It has already sufficient built up checking system to safeguard the financial management of local authorities as explained in great length by the Honourable Member for Environment.

During our constant monitoring of their performance, we are able to take off inefficient or bad apples at any time by summary termination of their appointment. And we have done that. Whereas if councillors are elected, there will be no way of termination against those defaulting councillors because they as elected Members will continue to serve for the remaining period of their terms.

Now in many councils arrangement has also been made to assign different councillors to take care of different areas, many councils. And then the residents will know who the councillors responsible are. The area of jurisdiction of service by local authority in the State of Sarawak cover every inch of the land. Whereas the local authority in West Malaysia will basically cover urban or suburban areas or part of the districts.

For those who have eyes could definitely see the tremendous improvement in the quality of life as has been said much earlier. We have Members from a rural area, Members from Engkilili I believe, I believe were able to see the great services extended to the rural populations.

As for the urban area, as has been said much earlier, a great deal of quality of life has been improved. People appreciate the good performance in Kuching. Yang Berhormat for Kota Sentosa, being the MP for Kuching, should also be part of the efforts to help and to protect the image of Kuching.

We used to see Member of opposition going around pinpoint fingers at longkanglah. I remember many, many years ago when Barisan Members, Council Negeri Members went around together with the staff looking and visiting trying to improve the longkang, we have been ridiculed as Yang Berhormat Longkang.

Now, we have also seen Member from opposition doing exactly what we have been doing… (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Yang Berhormat, in the event the local councillors are doing their job properly, in the event that the people now know how to contact them, in the event the people have their telephone numbers and be able to contact them I think there should not be any Yang Berhormat Longkang around.

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): As I said earlierlah, many councils have the practice of assigning the councillors to do it.

Now, the duty of Members from opposition should not be confined just to get the photo, point their fingers, their service has to go beyond that. I would like to see them at the local authorities by doing follow up, by senior officers concerned, by talking to the rakyat.

There was a mention that one dengue case, one dengue … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Yang Berhormat, before the dengue case is touched upon, Ahli Yang Berhormat seems to say that we should do more follow up. Yes, we do. We do a lot of follow ups. Just about a month ago, I was called to a place where the drains and ditches were seriously clogged. They were really badly clogged. I phoned up the local authority in Sibu. I phoned up the Chairman. I phoned up the person in charge of health. They didn’t bother to turn up to have a look. He expects us to follow up and yet they thought just because we are from opposition therefore they thought that it is not their job to cooperate with the opposition. I really appreciate the statement saying yes we should do the follow up. We should, and in fact, we will. I can assure you that. But please, in order to ensure that the people throughout Sarawak, the rate payers got some advantage from their rate payment, I think not only follow up has to be done, services for the benefit of the rakyat transcends political boundaries. We have to make sure that those people the rate payers are really looked after. Therefore, I must reiterate, yes we appreciate your statement, Ahli Yang Berhormat. And from now onwards hopefully whenever there are phone calls or letters coming request for assistance in a particular Kawasan, please there must be some directive that local councils should respond. What I got on that particular day, Tuan Speaker, and for the benefit of Ahli Yang Berhormat for Repok was, you must write in, in black and white, only then they would respond.

Now, in the event of flood for instance, you expect a wakil rakyat visiting their area seeing that the people, the residents are in big danger of you know probably drowning and yet you get a computer out or typewriter out, type out a letter of complaint send it in black and white to local council, of course you can’t expect to do that. We must be more responsive than that. Thank you, Ahli Yang Berhormat.

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): There are hundreds and thousands of drains. State Government has been subsidizing the local authorities for all these roads, drains, parks, etc. maintenance because for a long time we did not increase the rates for or relevant to the services provided.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chien Jen: I don’t think that the government has not increased the rates, the assessment rates for a long time. It was increased for the last five years. I believe there was if I am not mistaken is two or three times. And I have a complaint here also. I received a notice of new assessment rates which is increased by four times based on new value, increased by two times based on new valuation.

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): Tuan Speaker, can I clarify here. I think a lot of people still do not know what it means by increase. Actually the assessment will be based on two things.

Tuan Speaker: Is your mic on?

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): Assessment will be decided by two things. One is the ARV that is the Annual Rateable Value. Two, is the percentage of rate decided at the time.

The ARV was decided in 1966. The TONE. T.O.N.E. that is the technical term used in the list was decided in 1966. So I just want to tell you an example. If there is a residential house which has an area of, floor area of 1000 sq. ft. and the TONE in the list was decided RM1.00 per sq. ft. at that time, so that rate will be, the ARV will be 1000 x 1 that is RM1,000.00. And if that house was built in 1966, and at that time, they wanted to charge the rate, say 5%, so we times 5%. That is RM50.00. That will be the assessment.

But, if there is another house with the same floor are,a built last year in 2005, 1000 sq. ft, we still have to use the TONE in the list RM1.00 per sq. ft. But we cannot afford to charge 5% any more because there is a demand for increase in this increase in that. So that’s why the council started to increase from time to time the percentage charged. So if the percentage charge now is 28% then it is 1000 x 1 x 28% that is 280. So the house built in 1966 which has the same floor area and the house built last year with 1000 sq. ft. will have the same value, assessment 280 … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chien Jen: I … (Interruption)

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): Let me finish. You, let me finish. So this is the case in Sarawak. In the case of Semenanjung, actually we cannot really make comparison because the annual rate in Sarawak has never been reviewed since 1966. But in West Malaysia, most local authorities actually have reviewed their annual rate, the revaluation exercise once in every five years which was stipulated in the statutory provision. So if you say that the rates charged here is high much higher than those in Semenanjung, the actual assessment may not be higher. It may be lower than those charged in Semenanjung Malaysia. Thank you.

Tuan Speaker: I shall extend the sitting slightly beyond 6:30 to enable the voting. As soon as the Assistant Minister and Honourable Member finish, I will put the question. Please conclude your remarks.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I just seek clarification on what I have said just now. I have two houses, not mine. I have two houses adjacent to each other along the same street. One was constructed in 1980 completed constructing. One was constructed in 2000. Though the surface area may be the same, the later one maybe a bit bigger, but the ARV was 30% higher than the previous one, the one, the house that was completed in 1980 and when the owner went to appeal because once you have received the evaluation, went to appeal to council on the Annual Rateable Value on the difference, they were informed that because your house was built later and is slightly bigger and also two reasons were given. One is slightly bigger and one is because your house was built later. So, I mean that was what was told by the MBKS officer because your house was built later therefore a higher rate was charged. So, I don’t think what the Honourable Minister has said is correct.

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): What I said, I stand by because a consultant, the three valuers and all MPP, MBKS and DBKU practise the same system. The tone, they called it, that is the technical term the tone in the list is still the one that was decided in 1966. It has never been revised.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Repok.

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): In connection with the rate assessment collection, maybe it is a fortunate time to explain the formula and then to call upon the members of opposition to support the government when we do decide to go for revaluation exercise. Now, the factors is as follows:-

Properties completed before year 1966 will all be valued with its rateable value as at 1966. If a shophouse or a row of shophouse is subsequently built at the year 2005, the rentable or rateable value that this new shophouse could command will be at the prevailing market price or valued at year 2005. Now, the intention of government will be to value all those properties, all those properties, being their value updated to the year assuming that we do it say two years’ time, we will revalue it in two years’ time. So the rateable value will be more uniformed between two different rows of shophouses built of different times.

Now, by so doing, the property of rateable value will be higher, the council will be able to impose a lower percentage charges. There are two factors here. One is the value of the property and the other one is the percentage charge. We can lower the percentage charges if the value can be valued upwards. What is most importance is the ultimate assessment rate is payable. Now on the question of …(Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Yang Berhormat, Ahli Yang Berhormat was asking for support of the rateable value. Now, we have not seen any document from the government or local authority on how and in what manner those rateable values will be determined. Maybe Ahli Yang Berhormat would be kind enough to forward to us those complete documents for us to really study. We just cannot stand up here and say “look, cannot. We are going to give you our support or we are going to give you our opposition.” We don’t do that. We must study those papers in black and white. On the other hand, we talk about 1966 value. But if those houses built in 1966, were built, lets say, in some areas of Bukit Assek only half a house left. We can’t blame it, support something which we have not seen. So please give us the documents. We will just study that and I will guarantee you our party will study that very conscientiously and in the event that it is worth support, we will give you our support. In the event that you are able to entertain us with our views, we shall do so. Thank you.

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Can we move on to another subject brought up by Ahli Yang Berhormat for Kota Sentosa. He was mentioning the case of dengue fever. Attributed that it was the blocked drain. The drain being blocked.

Now, the dengue fever known is caused by Aedes mosquitoes which will breed in clear, clean and stagnant water. The peaty soil condition of the land here do cause some difficulty in the natural flow of water. I will look at Singapore which is supposed to be cleaner, that is supposed to have maintained the drains well and last year they have an upgrade case of 10,000 cases of dengue fever in Singapore. So these dengue cases could not be attributed solely to the blocking of drains.

I would also like the members of the opposition to help governments to educate our publics. Many of these road potholes, many of these drains being blocked is not because councils or its contractors are not doing a good job. There are many times it is the public spirit or civic-minded problems, the culture of our rakyat. So as part of the component in ensuring the well being of the environment, member of opposition should not just point at the drain and put exclusively the blame on the government. There are hundreds and thousands of drains, there are thousand of kilometers of roads and a lot of them have been well maintained. Rakyat has appreciated in silence in most of the times of the services, efforts made government. Members of this House should be honourable enough sometimes to extend some credits to the government when credits are due.

Before I end, I would urge the members of this Dewan to reject this motion … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: There are some more clarifications.

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Ya. There are things that council may do right but what we are saying here is now we want a better system whereby there is truly transparency accountability, accountability. As it is now the councillors that are appointed, they are accountable to the party which has recommended their appointment. Not accountable to the people directly. That is why … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: One more question.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli Yang Berhormat, you mentioned that yesterday.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I just … (Interruption)

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Can I just carry on?

Tuan Speaker: Ya.

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Now, Barisan State Government here stands accountable for the performance of our local authority. We stand accountable and we will be responsible to monitor to ensure that the performance and services provided meeting the standards of our Barisan Nasional.

Now, before I sit down, there is one statement which I wish Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Kota Sentosa to respond. During your debate with the Yang Berhormat Minister for Environment, you alleged that SUPP is threatening the security of the State. Now this is a very, very serious, damaging and hurting statement. I would like to call members whether you wish to withdraw this very damaging, serious, baseless statement or you repeat it outside the House and substantiate your allegations. In fact, you cannot make any baseless, this is a very serious allegation against the party who was threatening the security and peace of the State. We can be regarded as treason.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I was talking about history. We can refer to history, alright? We can refer to history but it takes a historian to study whether … (Interruption)

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pemodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hon Nam): Don’t beat around the bush. Please answer the question.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, no. I was referring here. I was referring to history at that time. The SUPP were threatened.

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Very simple.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Yes.

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Could you repeat the same allegation outside the House during the press conference?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Alright. Wait and see.

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Alright.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Members, the motion in the name of Yang Berhormat Encik Chong Chieng Jen for Kota Sentosa. I shall now put the question. The question is that the State Government restores the Local Government election to ensure accountability, transparency and avoidance of corruption amongst the Local Government in Sarawak.

Question put and Motion rejected

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Tuan Speaker, I ask for a division.

Tuan Speaker: Division is at the discretion of the Speaker if there is a request of ten votes, ten members.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: 10:10, is this the discretion of the Speaker?

Tuan Speaker: How many? Under Standing Order 41, is just by majority, it is no need for a division. So I rule there is no need for a division. Sitting … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Are you ruling on that?

Tuan Speaker: Sitting is suspended. We resume our meeting at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.

(Mesyuarat ditangguhkan pada jam 6:41 petang)


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Mesyuarat DUN Sarawak 24 Julai 2006
Date: Jul 30th, 2006 4:22:38 am - Subscribe
Mood: wired


(Mesyuarat dimulakan pada jam 10:35 pagi)
[Tuan Speaker mempengerusikan Mesyuarat]

PEMASYHURAN DARIPADA TUAN SPEAKER

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Members, I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate you for your election by the people to represent them in this Honourable august House. Your election has certainly brought you into an atmosphere where you are expected to perform vital roles towards the fulfillment of the trust given by the people. Hence, as elected representatives of the people, you are aware of the needs and aspiration of those whom you represent.

Honourable Members, on seating arrangement of Members. Under Standing Order 2 of the Dewan’s Standing Orders, it reads as follows: “On the first day of the meeting of the Dewan after a general election or prorogation and thereafter, members shall be seated in accordance with such arrangements as may be determined by the Speaker whose decision thereon shall be final.” The Chair had already determined the seating arrangements for all Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat in this august House. The seating plan has been issued by the Dewan secretariat under the direction of the Chair. All Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat are now seated in accordance with the arrangement determined by the Chair and that decision is final.

It is noted from press statements that some quarters of the opposition are not satisfied with the seating arrangements. A letter had been received from someone whom the Chair considers to be a stranger, that is not a member of this august House, calling for certain members of the opposition who belong to the Democratic Action Party to be seated together in accordance with “parliamentary convention and precedence practised by all commonwealth countries”.

In the Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak, Government Ministers and Assistant Ministers are seated together so that they have the assistance of the government officials during the sitting. These officials are seated behind the government benchers. The Constitution and Standing Orders recognized the constitutional position of the government comprising ministers and assistant ministers. Unlike in the United Kingdom where the opposition is an alternative government, the opposition parties in Sarawak do not have the status as an alternative government. Neither the Standing Orders nor the State Constitution nor the DUN (Privileges, Immunities and Powers) Ordinance recognizes the position of the opposition as an alternative government. Therefore, opposition members must be considered a group in determining their seating arrangements in the same way as government backbenchers. Like government backbenchers who belong to different component parties are not seated together in this Dewan on the basis that they are from one component party or another in the government, the opposition should not be seated on the basis that some of the members belong to one political party within the opposition.

The chair has to take cognizance of the seniority of some of members over their junior counterparts. Such seniority is reflected in the seating arrangement. The Honourable Member for Ngemah has been a Member of this Honourable House for four terms, making it nearly towards a total of 20 years while those with the exception of Honourable Member for Kidurong and Honourable Member for Bukit Assek are just at the beginning of their first term.

On dress and ceremonial uniform. Standing Order 37(a) provides that all members shall enter, leave and behave in the Dewan with decorum. Standing Order 89 provides that all matters not specifically provided for in the Standing Orders shall be regulated in such a manner not inconsistent with Standing Orders as the Speaker may from time to time direct. To maintain proper decorum and to preserve the dignity and respect of all members of this House on all ceremonial occasions such as the opening of the first sitting of the Dewan in each session by Tuan Yang Terutama Yang di-Pertua Negeri, all Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat are required to wear ceremonial uniforms. The design and features of the uniform are ceremonial and traditional. What comprises has been known to all Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat. When the ceremonial uniform is worn, it must be used in full including the hat. To maintain decorum, dignity and respect for the ceremonial uniform, I consider it necessary for the Chair to make a ruling that when wearing the official ceremonial uniform, all Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat must wear the full uniform. This ruling takes effect from today. Hence, any Ahli Yang Berhormat who fails to comply or disobey this ruling will face appropriate censure prescribed by the Standing Orders for disobeying a ruling of the Chair.

On question time, Standing Order 19(4) provides that “Unless the Speaker otherwise determines, no more than one hour shall be allocated for questions at each sitting.” For this meeting of the Dewan, the Chair shall continue to allow one hour for question time during each sitting. The Chair finds no cogent reason for extending the length of question time. It is felt that one hour of question time is adequate, having regard to the fact that in the Dewan Rakyat which has 219 Members, that is three times the membership of this august House, the length of question time was only 1½ hours. The Westminster Parliament, Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat, which is a mother of all Commonwealth parliaments, that is the House of Commons, has 646 members of parliament. The question time for oral questions is only one hour. In the Parliament of Australia, the House of Representatives has 150 Members. The question time is between one hour and one hour twenty minutes. To quote a letter from the Clerk of Parliament of Australia dated 20th July, 2006 addressed to this Dewan, “It is technically within the discretion of the government to end it at any time.” In the Locke Saba, which is the Lower House of India, with about 500 Members, the Speaker receives questions totaling 800 a day. This was reduced to 400 a day. This information was intimated to me by the Secretary of Locke Saba I personally met during the CPA Conference. So during question time in the Indian Parliament with 400 questions a day, nearly twice the number of questions which this Dewan received during its entire meeting, the question time has been one hour which may be extended to another 30 minutes.

Honourable Members, under Standing Order 12(1), government business shall take precedence over private members’ business and under Standing Order 12(2), government business shall be set down in such order as the government thinks fit and communicate to the Secretary.

Subject to what I have just stated, as regards the precedence of government business over private members’ business, the order of business to be taken at each meeting shall be determined by the Speaker. This is stated under Standing Order 12(6).

The government has communicated with the Secretary that three days, that is Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week, after question time, be devoted to debate on the Motion of Thanks to Tuan Yang Terutama’s speech and the ministers’ replies will take the whole of the remaining three days next week of this sitting.

This means that private members’ business which must not take precedence over government business can be accommodated only at the end of government business on Monday and Tuesday of this week. The only non-government business are the Motions which the Chair has received under Standing Order 23 from several Yang Berhormat and these are set down for deliberation and debate at the end of today, that is Monday, 24th July, 2006 and also end of tomorrow, Tuesday. Any private member’s motion not disposed of will be dealt with in accordance with Standing Order 12(5).

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Tuan Speaker …

Tuan Speaker: Ya.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: I would like to make a reply.

Tuan Speaker: That is my ruling. Your reply can be in the motion.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: No, the motion does not concern the issue of the seating arrangement. There is no motion on the order paper of today, even up to today, concerning seating arrangement.

Tuan Speaker: Ya, that is my ruling. We shall proceed with the day’s business.

RANG UNDANG-UNDANG KERAJAAN -
BACAAN KALI YANG PERTAMA

SUPPLEMENTARY SUPPLY (2005) BILL, 2006

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Tuan Speaker, I beg to introduce the Supplementary Supply (2005) Bill, 2006 and that this be read a first time.

Bill read a first time

Menteri Kewangan Kedua dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Tuan Speaker, I beg to give notice that the Supplementary Supply (2005) Bill, 2006 be read a second time at the same sitting.

FOREST (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2006

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan): Tuan Speaker, I am representing the Yang Amat Berhormat the Chief Minister. I beg to introduce the Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2006 and be read a first time.

Bill read a first time

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan): Tuan Speaker, I beg to give notice that the Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2006 be read a second time at the same sitting.

SARAWAK TIMBER INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2006

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan): Tuan Speaker, I beg to introduce the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2006 and be read a first time.

Bill read a first time

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan): And I would like to give notice that the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2006 be read a second time on the 25th July, 2006.


WATER (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2006

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan): I beg to introduce the Water (Amendment) Bill, 2006 and be read a first time.

Bill read a first time

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan): And I beg to give notice that the Water (Amendment) Bill, 2006 be read a second time on the 25th July, 2006.

RANG UNDANG-UNDANG KERAJAAN -
BACAAN KALI YANG KEDUA

SUPPLEMENTARY SUPPLY (2005) BILL, 2006

Menteri Kewangan Kedua dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Tuan Speaker, I beg to move that the Supplementary Supply (2005) Bill, 2006 as contained in the Command Paper No. 1 of 2006 laid on the table on 24th July, 2006 be read a second time.

The First Supplementary Estimates of the Ordinary Expenditure, 2005 as contained in the Command Paper No. 1 of 2006 comprising an additional sum of RM24,714,380 is laid before the House in pursuant to Article 32 of the State Constitution. This additional expenditure is to meet the cost of various services incurred by various ministries and departments for which funds were not provided for or insufficiently provided for in the 2005 Estimates. Detail of the additional expenditure is provided in the Command Paper No. 2 of 2006.

Tuan Speaker, I beg to move.

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): I beg to second.

Tuan Speaker: The question is that the Supplementary Supply (2005) Bill, 2006 be read a second time.

Question put and agreed to

Bill read a second time

USUL UNTUK MEMBAWA RESOLUSI ANGGARAN PERBELANJAAN PEMBANGUNAN TAMBAHAN KEDUA 2005 KEPADA JAWATANKUASA PERBEKALAN

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Tuan Speaker, I beg to move that the following motions be referred to the Committee of Supply. That this Dewan resolves to refer the Second Supplementary Estimates of Development Expenditure, 2005 as contained in Command Paper No. 3 of 2006 laid on the table on 24th July, 2006.

Command Paper No. 3 of 2006 is laid before the House in pursuant to Section 4(2) of the Development Funds Act, 1966. As presented therein, there are 35 subheads for which the additional provisions are required. The total additional allocation required is RM25,047,550. The amount required has been vired from savings among the subheads concerned and advanced from the Contingencies Advance. The additional allocation is to meet the following Heads of Expenditure:

Head D64 Government Buildings RM50
Head D66 Roads and bridges RM20
Head D69 Ports RM10
Heads D71 Recreational facilities RM10
Head D72 Social welfare RM20
Head D73 Tourism RM10
Head D78 Water Supply RM170
Head D81 Housing and resettlement RM25,000,060
Head D82 Industries and Investments RM50
Head D83 Land development and growth centers RM10
Head D84 Feasibility studies RM47,100
Head D85 Other development projects RM40
Totalling: RM25,047,550.00

Details on the additional expenditure is provided in Command Paper No. 4 of 2006.

Tuan Speaker, I beg to move.

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y. B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): Tuan Speaker, I beg to second.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Members, the question before the dewan is that the motion (interruption)

Y. B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Tuan Speaker, point of order, I have given notice under Standing Order 65 (5) to the Secretary which reads; “Every member who wishes to raise any matter or to suggest the reconsideration of any matter by the government shall give to the Secretary notice in writing of that matter and of the head, subheads and an item/items which relate to it”.

Tuan Speaker, I have given pursuant to Standing Order 65 (5), a notice that I wish to raise matters relating to Head D81 subhead 05, Housing and Resettlement. Can I have the Honourable Minister explain the subhead 05, sum required RM25 million? I have read the Command Paper No. 4 of 2006 and I do not seem to understand what has been stated inside there, Tuan Speaker.

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y. B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Tuan Speaker … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Let me make my ruling, Standing Order 65, govern Supply Bill. The Supply Bill had been approved earlier on. This is not a motion on the Supply Bill. This is a motion on Supplementary Supply which is governed under Standing Order 67. Under Standing Order 67 (4), that it shall be without amendment or debate and under (4), (5), (6), (7), (cool.gif, (9), this is what is governing Supplementary Supply and I have not received your notice. I only receive now.

Y. B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Tuan Speaker … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: By Honourable Member for Kota Sentosa.

Y. B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: There are two notices, Tuan Speaker. One given by Kota Sentosa, the other by Bukit Assek.

Tuan Speaker: I don’t receive.

Y. B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: One is on a white paper, the other one is in the official letterhead of the Dewan Undangan Negeri. The orderly passed it on; I saw it with my own eyes.

Tuan Speaker: I don’t have it here.

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y. B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Tuan Speaker, since you have not received any notice, I would like to draw the attention, I would like to draw the Honourable Member for Bukit Assek, to Standing Order 68 which is also part of the Article 33(4) of the State Constitution; “A bill may be introduced to authorize expenditure for part of the financial year and the motion on the second reading of the bill shall be decided without debate”.

Y. B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: No qualms about Standing Order 68, Tuan Speaker. Without amendment or debate does not mean that you cannot seek for clarification.

Y. B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Tuan Speaker, actually, under Standing Order 67, if Tuan Speaker, will refer to Standing Order 67 (6), it refers, it says that the procedure laid down in Standing Order 65 (5) to (9) and Standing Order 66 (2) to (19) shall with the necessary modification apply to the consideration of Supplementary estimates of ordinary and development expenditure. Therefore, Ahli Yang Berhormat for Bukit Assek says that Standing Order 65(5) is correct and therefore since we have given our notices… (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Your notice or Bukit Assek’s notice.

Y. B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Both our notices.

Tuan Speaker: Your notice, I just received, its two days.

Y. B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, because we just received the bill. We just received all these Command Papers this morning. How do you expect us to submit our notices, the butiran-butiran all these, we just received this morning.
Tuan Speaker: Command Papers shall be laid on the table as soon as necessary. That is when the Dewan receives it.

Y. B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Then our notices will be submitted as soon as, is it before the resumption of second reading… (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: I rule… (Interruption)

Y. B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: That was in the Standing Order before the resumption of the second reading… (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: I rule that the Minister continues.

Y. B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, during the first reading of the second act, the second Rang Undang-Undang, I have already submitted it to the Secretary and that was done in accordance with the Standing Order. We can’t just ignore the Standing Order. No, there is an expenditure involving RM1.9 million paid to a consultancy fee, as a consultancy fee, who is the consultant? (Interruption)

Y. B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: Tuan Speaker, you have made the ruling. Can you ask the … (Interruption)

Y. B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, this is Standing Order … What Standing Order are standing up for? (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: I have made my ruling, the Minister continues. That’s it. Honourable Minister, please proceed.

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y. B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Tuan Speaker, I beg to move that the following motion be referred to the Committee of Supply. That this Dewan resolves to refer the first supplementary estimates of development expenditure, 2006 as contained in the Command Paper No. 5, 2006 as laid on the table on 24th July, 2006.

Command Paper No. 5 of 2006 is laid before the House in pursuant to Section 4(2) of the Development Funds Act 1966. As presented therein, there are 10 subheads for which additional sum of RM100, 949,500 is required to meet the followings:

(1) RM64, 126,500 is required for water supplies to match the Federal approval loan for 2006 which will be released to the state on reimbursable basis.

(2) RM26,023,000.00 is required as a provision to Housing Development Corporation. Out of this RM20,023,000 is a back to back Federal loan. This amount has been received by the state and as such, the same amount has to be provided in the State Budget this year to enable it to be released to the Housing Development Corporation. Another RM6 million is state loan for Longhouse Loan Scheme.

(3) RM10,800,000 is for Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation of which RM10 million is to reimburse the timber development premium collected and RM800,000 is a grant to Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation for providing as well as for the maintenance of office space occupied by government ministries and departments in Wisma Sumber Alam.

Details on the additional expenditure is provided in the Command Paper No. 6 of 2006.

Tuan Speaker, I beg to move.

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): Tuan Speaker, I beg to second.

Tuan Speaker: The question before Dewan is that the Motion standing in the Order Paper in the Name of the Minister for Finance II and Minister for Urban Development and Tourism be referred to the Committee of Supply.

Question put and agreed to

Tuan Speaker: The Dewan will now resolve into the Committee of Supply to consider the Supplementary Supply (2005), Bill, 2006, the Motion the Second Supplementary Estimates of Development Expenditure 2005 and the Motion on the First Supplementary Estimates of Development Expenditure, 2006

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Standing Order 65(5), there is no discretion given to Tuan Speaker whether to allow or disallow a debate. Now, once notice has been given there must be debate on the bill. Don’t hide behind it.

Tuan Speaker: 67(6), no debate allowed on amendment. Proceed.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, no there is no discretion. Where is the discretion?

Tuan Speaker: We shall move to the Committee of Supply.

Question put and agreed to

USUL UNTUK MEMBAWA RESOLUSI ANGGARAN PERBELANJAAN PEMBANGUNAN TAMBAHAN PERTAMA 2006 KEPADA JAWATANKUASA PERBEKALAN

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Tuan Speaker, I wish to report that the Committee of Supply has considered the Supplementary Supply (2005) Bill, 2006. The Second Supplementary Estimates of Ordinary Expenditure 2005, the Second Supplementary Estimates of Development Expenditure 2005 and First Supplementary Estimates of Development Expenditure, 2006 and agreed to without amendment.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Under Standing Order 67 (5), there is a time when we debate. There is a time of debate when the Supplementary Supply Bill has been read a second time and a motion for the supplementary development estimate has been agreed to. The Dewan shall resolve itself into the Committee of Supply to consider the Supplementary Supply Bill and Supplementary Estimates of development estimates and the resolution relating thereto. Thereafter, (vi) applies, (vi) is a procedure laid down to debate and notice has been given.

Tuan Speaker: I am making my ruling under Standing Order 67 (6), no debate or amendment.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Why protecting the government so much? Why would? Why Tuan Speaker? Why are you covering up all these butiran-butiran, RM1.595 million, consultancy fee? Pay to who? (Interruption)

COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY

[Tuan Pengerusi mempengerusikan Mesyuarat]

Tuan Pengerusi: Honourable Members, we are now considering Command Papers No.1 of 2006, No.3 of 2006 and No.5 of 2006 together with the Supplementary Supply (2005) Bill, 2006.

Honourable Members, we will now consider Command paper No. 1 of 2006. The question is that the amount in all Heads as set forth in the Second Supplementary Estimates of Ordinary Expenditure 2005 be approved.

Question put and agreed to
The Second Supplementary Estimates of Ordinary Expenditure 2005 is approved

Tuan Pengerusi: Honourable Members, we will now consider Command paper No. 3 of 2006. The question is that the amount in all Heads as set forth in the Second Supplementary Estimates of Development Expenditure 2005 be approved.

Question put and agreed to
The Second Supplementary Estimates of Development Expenditure 2005 be approved

Tuan Pengerusi: Honourable Members, we will now consider Command paper No. 5 of 2006. The question is that the amount in all Heads as set forth in the First Supplementary Estimates of Development Expenditure 2006 be approved.

Question put and agreed to
The First Supplementary Estimates of Development Expenditure 2006 be approved

Schedule

Tuan Pengerusi: The question is that the schedule be ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule is ordered to stand part of the bill
Clauses 1 and 2

Tuan Pengerusi: The question is that Clauses 1 and 2 be order to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 1 and 2 are ordered to stand part of the bill

Tuan Pengerusi: The Dewan resumes.

HOUSE RESUMED

[Tuan Speaker mempengerusikan Mesyuarat]

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Tuan Speaker, I wish to report that the Committee of Supply has considered the Supplementary Supply (2005) Bill, 2006, the Second Supplementary Estimates of Development Expenditure 2005 and the First Supplementary Estimates of Development Expenditure 2006 and agreed to without amendment.

RANG UNDANG-UNDANG KERAJAAN –
BACAAN KALI YANG KETIGA

SUPPLEMENTARARY SUPPLY (2005) BILL, 2006

Menteri Kewangan Kedua dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Tuan Speaker, I beg to move that the Supplementary Supply (2005) Bill, 2006 be now a read third time and do pass.

Tuan Speaker: The question before the Dewan is that the Supplementary Supply (2005) Bill, 2006 be read a third time and do pass.

Question put and agreed to

Bill read a third time and passed

USUL UNTUK MELULUS ANGGARAN PERBELANJAAN PEMBANGUNAN TAMBAHAN KEDUA 2005

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Tuan Speaker, I beg to move that this Dewan resolves to approve the Second Supplementary Estimates of Development Expenditure 2005 as contained in Command Paper No.3 of 2006 as laid on the Table on 24 July 2006.

Tuan Speaker: Can I have another Minister to second.

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): I beg to second.

Tuan Speaker: The question before the Dewan is that the Dewan resolves to approve the Second Supplementary Estimates of Development Expenditure 2005 as contained in Command Paper No.3 of 2006 as laid on the Table on 24th July, 2006 be approved.

Question put and motion agreed to

USUL UNTUK MELULUS ANGGARAN PERBELANJAAN PEMBANGUNAN TAMBAHAN PERTAMA 2006

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Tuan Speaker, I beg to move that this Dewan resolves to approve the First Supplementary Estimates of Development Expenditure 2006 as contained in Command Paper No.5 of 2006 as laid on the Table on 24 July 2006.

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): I beg to second.

Tuan Speaker: The question before the Dewan is that the Dewan resolves to approve the First Supplementary Estimates of Development Expenditure 2006 as contained in Command Paper No.5 of 2006 as laid on the Table on 24th July, 2006 be approved.

Question put and motion agreed to

RANG UNDANG-UNDANG KERAJAAN –
BACAAN KALI KEDUA

FOREST (AMENDMENT) BILL 2006

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan): Tuan Speaker, saya mohon untuk mengusulkan Rang Undang-Undang untuk meminda Ordinan Hutan dibaca buat kali yang kedua.

Tuan Speaker, Ordinan Hutan ialah satu undang-undang, principle and I believe yang mengawal selia penebangan dan pengambilan sumber atau hasil hutan daripada tanah kerajaan, reserve hutan, hutan terkawal serta hutan yang terletak di atas tanah atau hakmilik termasuk tanah yang dipindahmilik untuk tujuan ladang kelapa sawit dan hutan yang ditanam. Ordinan tersebut juga mengawal selia penggunaan produk serta sumber kayu yang diambil daripada hutan kita. Dalam erti kata lain, objektif utama Ordinan tersebut ialah untuk mengawal selia industri perkayuan utama di negeri ini.

Tuan Speaker, under Section 66 of the Ordinance, all sawmill had to be licensed by the Director of Forest as the timber taken or removed from the forest unless exported are sent to sawmill to be sawn or cut. Sawmill are considered the first recipients of timber taken from the forest.

Tuan Speaker, the existing definition of sawmills in the Forest Ordinance covers also plants where timber is used for the manufacture or production of marketable products including furniture or other articles. It is felt that the role of the Director of Forest ought to be confined to regulating and licensing upstream timber industries, such as logging, in the sawing or cutting or conversion of logs into sawn timber. Any plant or facility used for the processing of timber or manufacture of timber products ought to be regulated by Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) in accordance with STIDC’s statutory mandate.

Tuan Speaker, by reason of the existing definition in the Ordinance for the term sawmill which is extended to cover even processing and manufacturing facilities which also need to be registered with STIDC. There is an obvious overlapping of functions between the Director of Forest and STIDC. A clear autonomy of function between the two regulatory authorities, one for upstream timber activities and the other for downstream activities is needed to avoid duplicity of functions, confusion as well as to facilitate enforcement of the relevant laws and regulations.

Tuan Speaker, thus it is proposed to amend the Forest Ordinance to provide for a new definition of sawmill to cover only plant or facility, where logs are cut or converted into sawn timber. If the facility of premise is undertaking the processing or manufacturing of sawn timber or other timber products, it would be considered as a timber industry which must be registered with STIDC and regulated or controlled by STIDC.

Tuan Speaker, the Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2006, is now before this august House is to amend that Ordinance to meet the objective, which I have just outlined. The explanatory statement of the said Bill set out the effect and the meaning to the various clauses.

Tuan Speaker, apart from providing a new definition of sawmill, the Bill seek to amend Section 59 of the Ordinance which as it presently stand only requires a license to be obtained by the proprietor of alienated land if he were to fell timber trees on his land for sale or bartered. Under the proposed amendment if the proprietor of such land wants to cut or fell for his own commercial use, for instance making furniture, boat or other timber products, he ought to have a license from the Director and pays royalty to the government for the timber he gets. The proposed amendment to Section 66, which provides a better regulatory framework for sawmill including the requirement that such sawmill be built as such approved by the Director in consultation with the State Planning Authority. Such a requirement is needed to prevent sawmill being built in places where they could purchase logs from illegal or questionable sources and thus could help to curb illegal logging activities. License holders must keep proper numbers of timber purchased for their sawmill operation including the sources thereof and provide records of timber output. Such records will have to be produced for inspection whenever required by the Director or a person duly authorized by him to demand such inspection.

Tuan Speaker, pindaan yang dicadangkan akan memberikan sebuah rangka kawalselia dan sistem kilang papan yang lebih baik serta menghapuskan fungsi-fungsi bertindih di antara Pengarah Hutan dan PUSAKA. Jika ianya dilaksana dan dikuatkuasa dengan betul ianya boleh membantu untuk mengekang aktiviti pembalakkan haram.

Tuan Speaker, saya mohon agar semua Ahli Yang Berhormat dapat memberi sokongan padu terhadap rang undang-undang ini. Saya memohon untuk mengusulkannya.

Tuan Speaker: Any Ministers to second?

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): I beg to second.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli-ahli Yang Berhormat, before I call any Honourable Members to speak, I would like to draw your attention to Standing Order 32(1) and 34(1). This is an Amendment Bill, so please, confine your comments on the matters, just touch content or affected by amendments without opening all matters relating to the Principle Ordinance. So this is not a debate on the Principle Ordinance. It is an amendment. So confine your comments to the amendment. Any member wants to speak? Honourable Member for Bukit Assek.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Thank you, Tuan Speaker. I rise to take part in the debate pertaining to the Forests (Amendment) Bill, 2006 which I shall refer to as “the Bill” that was tabled by the Honourable Minister. The Bill seeks to amend the Forests Ordinance which I shall refer to as “the Ordinance” in certain respects.

I shall take these amendments in turn:

(1) Amendment of Section 2 of Ordinance

Clause 2 of the Bill seeks to substitute the definition of “sawmill” with a new definition. It is of some concern.

The new definition of “sawmill” will result in the exclusion of veneer and plywood mills. It also will exclude chemical treatment plants and kiln drying plants. In a plywood mill, timber logs are peeled into veneers and veneers are “bonded” and manufactured into timber products, i.e. plywood. In a chemical treatment plant, some diameter logs, small diameter logs are not cut, sawn or converted but are chemically impregnated with copper-based chemical.

The kiln drying plants is not part of the sawmill. This seems to be confirmed by the amendment, Tuan Speaker, to Section 66 of the Ordinance.

May the Honourable Minister assure this august House that veneer and plywood mills, chemical treatment plants and kiln drying plants, which are within the old definition of the word “sawmill”, are now no more a sawmill or part thereof.

If the answer is in the positive, then what is the new policy reason for this amendment?

(2) Amendment of Section 59 of Ordinance

Clause 4 of the Bill seeks to amend Section 59 of the Ordinance by substituting the word “owner” in line 3 of the Proviso with the words “registered proprietor”. Now there are maybe wisdom in the amendment but if you compare with another amendment with another section you may not be able to see why. I cannot see the wisdom of this amendment particularly when a similar word “owner” appears in Section 60 of the Ordinance. No attempt is made to amend it. Is it intentional? May the Honourable Minister enlighten this august House.

Also, there is a dire need to clarify whether the forest produce may be sawn or converted as building materials for the construction of workers’ living quarters. I was told that this has been a problem in the past years, where the land is alienated for oil palm plantation. I was also told that it is a problem in the recent years in the Licence for Planted Forests (LPF), where the licensee wants to use the logs extracted for the site clearing and converting them into sawn timber for the construction of workers’ quarters, germination beds, nurseries etc.

(3) Amendment of Section 66 of Ordinance

Tuan Speaker, by Clause 5(c) of the Bill, a new subsection is to be introduced. The licence issued under the new sub-section contains more conditions than the four listed under the old subsection.

Again, Tuan Speaker, I will take the new subsections in turn:

(1) New Sub-section 3(a):

The new subsection 3(a) imposes the condition that the sawmill shall be built on a site approved by the Director in consultation with the State Planning Authority and in accordance with the plans approved by that authority.

The law may as well say explicitly that the site has to be industrial land.

I am concerned with this amendment. How often does the State Planning Authority meet over matters like this? I have received complaints that the meetings of the State Planning Authority are scarce and far in between. I do not know how true that is. If the consultation could not be expeditiously held or on a regular and transparent basis, investors may shun away thereby hampering the timber industry.

Tuan Speaker, I am given to understand that previously sawmills could be set up on agricultural land or forest concession and such sawmill benefits small industrialists. But nowadays, sawmills can only be set up on industrial land. Converting agricultural land to industrial land is time consuming and expensive premium has to be paid. It requires AVTC to be approved by the State Planning Authority. Besides, industrial lands are concentrated in urban areas and are scarce in rural areas where most of the sawmills are to be found.

I am given to understand these: there are more than 700 sawmills (timber yards, furniture mills and veneer mills) built on site not approved by the Director of Forests. Prior to 1992, these mills did not come under the jurisdiction of the Forests Department. In 1993, the law was amended and these mills were caught by the definition of “sawmill”. These mills were duly registered by the Forests Department in 1994 and till today, almost all of them are not licensed by the Director of Forests. The majority are not registered with STIDC because they do not have ICC approvals. The approvals by the Industrial Coordination Committee. The majority of these mills are not sited in the Timber Processing Zone or Industrial Park. The proposed amendment does not qualify by saying that it will not have retrospective effect. If it has, then the small operators above that I have mentioned will have to close shop, leading to much losses and suffering by the employees.

The proposed amendment is therefore not fair as it benefits only the big companies and may kill off the small ones.

(2) New Sub-section 3(b):

The proposed new sub-section 3(b) imposes a condition in the licence of a maximum output of sawn timber from the sawmill. The old subsection is exactly the reverse; it says there must be a minimum output of timber.

Is there anything wrong with our Sustainable Forest Management Policy that we were once so proud of? Is it because the policy has gone awry, therefore we must impose a maximum output?

Though timber industry is now a twilight industry, in many places in Sarawak, including the central region, a lot of people still depend on employment in timber based industries for their living. If we impose a condition for maximum output, isn’t this putting an unnecessary damper and a strangling squeeze in this industry?

Tuan Speaker, in the event that this condition is imposed because there is no longer the expected supply of timber, then explanation must be given to all Sarawakians why we are not able to sustain the timber extraction or production industry.

Tuan Speaker, to impose a maximum output condition is in my view, retrogressive and unfair.

(3) New Sub-Section 3(f):

Condition (f) in the new Sub-section 3 provides a condition that was not in the old section. The new subsection 3(f) states, effectively, that a licence shall contain “such other terms and conditions that the Director may impose”.

I believe that such a general and unspecific condition is not permissible, especially on matters relating to forest produce. It is an area where huge sums of money are involved. A lot of people are interested in obtaining timber licence. The wide powers can easily be abused.

I am concerned that the wide powers will be fertile ground for breeding corruption. I have support in my concern from none other than the former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad who warned on 26th May 2005 that corruption was becoming a culture in Malaysia. He also said that we are slowly breaking through the ceiling on corruption.

Tuan Speaker, the general and unspecific condition is also not acceptable to the licensees. It is completely subject to the whim and fancy of the Director. Certain conditions may be acceptable today that will attract the operators to invest. In time to come, the imposition of onerous conditions may force the operators to close shop, thereby resulting in millions of losses in investment and coping massive unemployment.

A good law defines with specificity the conditions and not leave an absolute discretion to the Director.

(4) New Sub-section 4(a):

By clause 5(d) of the Bill, a new subsection 4(a) provides that any licence may be suspended for such period as the Director deems fit, or with the approval of the Minister, cancelled, if there has been a breach of any of the conditions of the licence.

If the licensee operates by producing more than the maximum output of sawn timber, it is caught within this provision.

A sawmill operator who achieves efficiency should not be penalised to suffer suspension of licence or worst still, cancellation. This cannot be right. This sort of indignity must be thrown at those licensees or operators who are inefficient.

Sale of timber products draws in revenue. It allows circulation of money, which circulation produces the multiplier effect. Efficiency in an operation can only arise from quality management. No one in its right mind and no law should penalise direct operators who have managed their business well. Do we penalise a shipbuilder who has attained ISO qualifications by virtue of good management and efficiency in operation?

This subsection is not right. What is the purpose? What is the wisdom behind all these, one must ask.

The proposed amendment is also not compatible to Section 93 which provides that only the court can cancel or suspend a licence or permit. Needless to say, the court will hear out the aggrieved party. Even that, on suspension or cancellation under Section 93, the Director must give 2 months’ notice but that is not the requirement under the new sub-section.
The power given to the Director under the amended Section 66(4) is too wide and draconian and will be subjected to abuse. No power should be given to an individual, including a Director, to impose a summary suspension or cancellation at his absolute discretion. This is not compatible with the rules of natural justice and the right to be heard, which we everybody knows, is called God’s law.

(5) New Sub-section 4(b):

Clause 5(d) of the Bill seeks to amend the Ordinance by substituting a new subsection (4)(b). Tuan Speaker, by virtue thereof, it is provided that a licence may be suspended for such period as the Director deems fit, or with the approval of the Minister, cancelled, if the holder of the licence or any of the person having charge of the management of the sawmill has been convicted or charged of a forest offence. The magical phrase is “charged or convicted of a forest offence”.

I urge the Minister to note once again that the amendment uses the disjunctive word “or” in between “charged” and “convicted”. There are disjunctive words. It means that the Director does not have to wait for the person to be convicted in the Court of law. So long as he is charged, his licence is susceptible to be suspended or at worse, cancelled.

This policy behind the amendment flies against the very fundament of the law of justice that a man is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Yet, with the proposed amendment, the moment he is charged, no waiting for his conviction is required. His licence may be suspended or at worse, cancelled.

The door is wide open for abuse and corruption. The amendment is not right.

What if after the trial, the licensee or person in charge of management is found innocent and not guilty. No amount of damages can restore the stigma of prosecution and his financial losses. We must bear in mind that in this country of ours, there is only… (Interruption).

Y.B Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Clarification.

Y.B Encik Wong Ho Leng: Go ahead.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I am quite fascinated with the argument presented by our opposition leader that the Director has the power to even the court rules, to make a decision to penalise the licensee. Is this in your opinion, Yang Berhormat, are these laws passed with mere ignorant of the law of natural justice or that it was passed to give the Director an unchecked power to deal with any matters relating to the forestry or relating to the license that is one, and what goes around comes around. What goes around comes around. Like what Tun Mahathir our ex-Prime Minister is complaining now. He is now complaining about the lack of freedom of speech when during his twenty years tenure, he is the one who suppress the freedom of speech?

Tuan Speaker: Are you raising point of information towards the Minister of, are you … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, I am raising the clarification. Do you agree, do you agree with what I’ve said?

Tuan Speaker: You asked clarification, do not make a speech okay? I’ll give you your turn to speak. There’s no need for you to make a speech. You want to make clarification, you make clarification.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: I think the Ahli Yang Berhormat for Kota Sentosa is seeking a clarification and I must put on record my appreciation for this clarification and my answer is plain and simple. In the event the law will be passed first ..(Interruption)

Menteri Muda Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Encik Sylvester Entrie anak Muran): Tuan Speaker. What clarification?

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: With the manners, manners. I am holding the floor Tuan Speaker.

Tuan Speaker: You are not giving way?

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: I am not giving way. I am standing.

Tuan Speaker: All right. So that’s your attitude. If you are on the floor you don’t give way?

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: No, no no. That’s not my attitude. At least the procedure is, Ahli Yang Berhormat will stand up, get recognized by Tuan Speaker. Tuan Speaker will direct the attention to the person who is holding the floor. Are you giving way or not? Don’t barking.

Tuan Speaker: Okay. Are you giving way? Are you giving way?

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Yes.

Tuan Speaker: You are giving way.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Who is being recognized now?

Tuan Speaker: He is asking for point of information.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Who is he? Ahli for what?

Tuan Speaker: The Member for Marudi.
Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Thank you. I am giving way.

Tuan Speaker: You are giving way. Okay.

Menteri Muda Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Encik Sylvester Entrie anak Muran): Yes Tuan Speaker. What clarification, what relevant has it got with the ordinance when he is quoting about Tun Dr Mahathir about freedom of speech? Its nothing. It does not touch in the bill. Thank you Tuan Speaker.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Tuan Speaker, I take it that the clarification was just giving an example of freedom of speech. Anyway..

Tuan Speaker: We are on Forestry Bill not freedom of speech.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Tuan Speaker, the Forestry Bill provide in the new amendment, a new subsection whereby license may be susceptible to be suspended or cancelled when a person is facing a charge but not convicted yet. The freedom of speech comes in at a stage where he can go to the court and said “Look! I am innocent” Is that not freedom of speech. At least we must recognize God’s law, the law of natural justice. That’s what I am talking about. Thank you, Tuan Speaker, I can see you nodding your head.

Tuan Speaker: You are more on burden of proof.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Burden of proof, Tuan Speaker, will coming in the court. The person who is in charge of this is facing a charge in court but before he is convicted, before he is asking the prosecutor to prove that he is guilty, he is already sentenced to death. His license may be revoked or at worse cancelled.

Tuan Speaker: Where did it say it is sentenced to death?

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Cancellation. Revocation of licence.

Tuan Speaker: Yes, but not sentenced to death.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Not so serious may be lah. (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Not sentence to deathlah.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: With the licence.

Tuan Speaker: Don’t exaggerated lah

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: With the licence.

Tuan Speaker: Yes, yes.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Anyway now. In answer to Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Kota Sentosa. In the event the law be passed because of the ignorance of the law of natural justice, it is high time that we wake up to that law. God’s law. God is watching us. We have our Doa everyday, every morning. Look at that. Now, where am I now?

Tuan Speaker: Don’t get lost in your sawmill Yang Berhormat.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Only because that a bit too many of them. Now, I was asking your question. But if after the trial the licensee or person in charge of the management is found not guilty. No amount of damages can restore the stigma of prosecution and its financial losses. I was also saying we must bear in mind that in this beautiful country of ours, there is only penalty meted out in the court in the event of being found guilty. The court does not order compensation to the suspect for wrongful prosecution.

Tuan Speaker, even in the light of conviction upon being charged, the period of suspension or cancellation must depend on the gravity of the offence and also subject to the principle of proportionality. We just cannot cancel or suspend a sawmill license when an extra cross cut saw is installed in the sawmill without the approval of the Director or the accused-licensee pleads guilty to rule 22 (5) ie removing royalty assessed logs without a removal pass.

Tuan Speaker, if we are serious in this amendment, at least we must attempt to be fair. Wait till the person is convicted, the proper phrase should be “charged and convicted” and not “charged or convicted” The law must have the attributes of being clear, specific, just and fair. The law must not penalize anybody who has proven his industry and ability in management and employing more workers to churn up more money for the revenue. The present amendment bill suffers these flaws, and all my conscience, my colleagues and I cannot support the amendment. Thank you.

Tuan Speaker: Any other Member wishes to speak? Honourable Member for Bengoh.

Y.B. Dr. Jerip anak Susil: Thank you, Tuan Speaker, for allowing me to participate in this debate on the Forest (Amendment) Bill 2006 and Ordinance. First of all, I would like to congratulate the Honourable Minister for Planning and Resource Management for presenting this bill in this august House.

This amendment bill is, I found comprehensive, covering specific definitions, detail guidelines, issuance of licenses and guidelines on the suspension of licenses as well as the penalties involved as well.

The amendment of Section 66 of the principle ordinances by adding new Subsection 3 and Subsection 4 is indeed very appropriate. I would like to highlight the case in point that is a new Subsection 3 (a) which stated that “a License issued under this section shall contain the following conditions: a) a sawmill shall be built on a site approved by the Director in consultation with the State Planning Authority and in accordance with the plan approved by that authority under Part 10 of the land code. This new regulation augurs well to ensure that environmental and esthetic landscapes of our city and residential areas did not encroached by these sawmills.

There are occasions that the sawmill operators discharge their sawdusts in unsitely manner. Within our city and sometimes them even resort to burning them causing environmental pollution with smoke. Thus, these regulations ensure that sawmills should not be sited indiscriminately anywhere within residential areas or within the vicinity of the city or town but be sited in appropriate areas. While, I fully agree that there must be a consultation with the State Planning Authority, I would like to express my concern that in such process, there can be undue delay.

I propose that the process of consultation be expedited and that the approval be given as soon as it is fitting to avoid frustration of the waiting by the applicants.

Tuan Speaker, the new Subsection 4 of Section 66 is another appropriate amendment. This is with regard to the suspension of license. Any license issued under this subsection (i) may be suspended for such period as the Director deems fit, I repeat, as the Director deems fit or with approval of the Minister cancel if. May I draw attention to subsection C(i): if holder of the license is found to have employed in his sawmill any person who is non-resident employee unless the person has the requisite pass, permit or authorization under the Immigration or the Labor Ordinances to work in the sawmill or they have permitted such a person to remain or stay in the sawmill or in any premises or property whatsoever belonging to or under his control”. This regulation is well in tandem with our security measures of our state. In view of the escalating crime incidences and significant number of these cases, a number of these cases are due to these illegal immigrants.

However, this subsection for suspension of licenses does not take into account the offences of the operators of these sawmills when there is environmental impact due to poor handling of their sawmills waste. Some resolve to burn the sawdust causing air pollution others may discharge them into the nearby streams. I propose that thus regulation to suspend or terminate the license give cognition to these facts. For these, regular inspection of these sawmills should be carried out that the surrounding environment impact be un-adversed.

Tuan Speaker, as a medical practitioner I see significant number of sawmill accidents, with workers having cuts, wounds and even amputated fingertips, wood splinters in their eyes and cut wounds in their heads due to falling planks.

What it indicates is that the safety and health policies of these sawmill are inadequate and not in compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 or OSHA 94. Some of these sawmills may not even be paying SOCSO for their employees. Let me say that the sawmill is an extremely hazardous place to work in. There is physical hazard or dust and smoke, blades or saw benches and unagronomic working environment. Thus, it is pertinent that sawmill waste to be handled well in compliance to the guidelines by NREB and machines be installed in accordance to the Factories Machinery Act of 1967.

In such situation, I propose that issuance of license and its suspension should include environmental surveillance and the occupational safety and health management system to be emplaced and compliance with OSHA 94. In such then, we will ensure minimal environmental adverse impact and occupational injuries.
With this note, Tuan Speaker, I stand to give support for this Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2006. Thank you.

Tuan Speaker: Any other Honourable Member who wishes to speak? I repeat, any other Honourable Member who wishes to speak before I call the Minister to wind up.

Y.B. Dato Sri Haji Adenan Haji Satem: I would like to discuss this amendment. To me there seems to be some confusion from the Member for Bukit Assek on what exactly is the subject matter of this amendment. I will deal with that at the later stage. If you get the total picture, the purpose of this amendment is because the government is concerned with perhaps inefficient monitoring of the timber industry so that the better system would be to divide jurisdiction which has been overlapping to make a clear distinction between the jurisdiction of the Director of Forest and STIDC.

When we talk about the timber industry, we talk about the process from felling the timber to the finished products, from kayu di dalam hutan misalnya jadi kerusi ataupun meja. Selama-lama ini sebelum STIDC ditubuhkan, memanglah tugas, tanggungjawab Jabatan Hutan seluruhnya dari punca sampai ke hujung. Tapi dengan adanya penubuhan STIDC, yang khususnya menjagakan the business, the industry itself and it is not a government department strictly so speaking. Patutlah sebahagian daripada industri itu di mana ada commercial consideration, diberilah kepada STIDC. Sebelum ini diberi, there will be some overlapping and there will be some confusions. So the purpose of some of these amendments is to make the line clear between the jurisdiction of the Forest Department and the jurisdiction of STIDC and hopefully if this is done, then perhaps there would be a better and I am quite sure there would be a better management of the timber industry. That is the purpose of part of this Amendment.

The second part is our concern with timber theft which is quite prevalent as we all know in this country and government, of course, is very concerned about the theft of timber not only because in terms of loss of revenue but also in terms of the destruction of our forest. So the laws regarding the taking of timber, the transportation of timber, the possession of timber must be made more strict so that we can lessen theft. It is a well-known fact that some sawmills buy illegal timber. It is seen in the coffee shop and so on, some sawmills, they encourage people to curi kayu dalam hutan and they will buy. You know, presently there is some concern about people stealing besi (iron) some manholes are gone so on and so forth. People curi besi, but if there is no buyer, perhaps this theft will be lessen. Ada orang beli, itulah sebab ada orang curi. Jadi begitu juga kayu, kadang-kadang ada sawmill ini dia tidak cukup bahan mentah, dia carilah orang curi hutan itu. Kadang-kadang dia ada hutan sendiri tapi dia curi luar daripada kawasan. Ini berlaku, semua kita tahu ini. So the government is very concerned about this sort of thing, therefore, they will make the laws more strict. That is what it is all about. Not about human rights, natural justice and so on.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Tuan Speaker …

Y.B. Dato Sri Haji Adenan Haji Satem: That is what it is all about.

Tuan Speaker: You are making …

Y.B. Dato Sri Haji Adenan Haji Satem: I will give way to you as a matter of courtesy my friend, when your time comes, okay.

Tuan Speaker: Are you under Standing Order 33(b)?

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Standing Order 33(a).

Tuan Speaker: What point of Order?

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Is the Honourable Speaker making a winding up speech?

Tuan Speaker: No.

Y.B. Dato Sri Haji Adenan Haji Satem: I am just to clarify so that some people will not be confused.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Clarification should be done by the Minister.

Tuan Speaker: Oh, No. He is going on for his own speech.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Standing Order 32(1).

Y.B. Dato Sri Haji Adenan Haji Satem: I mean, for the Member for Bukit Assek. I am saying all these, so that you will not be confused and be carried off by your own rhetoric. (Applause)

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Obviously … the Honourable Speaker is making a winding up speech.

Tuan Speaker: You are standing under what Order? Under what Order are you speaking?

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Standing Order 33(b).

Tuan Speaker: Standing Order 33(b)?

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Caption … whether the Honourable Member is making, in fact, a winding up speech? Of course, I understand the Honourable Member is very used to winding up speeches and he is unable to … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: He is rebutting. He is rebutting to your points, so it is within his right.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Winding up speech?

Tuan Speaker: A winding up speech is a second speech by the Minister. The Minister will wind up. This is a rebuttal to your points. (Applause)

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Why is the Honourable Member is helping the Minister?

Tuan Speaker: Of course, they are on the same side. On the same side of the House. Just like Bukit Sentosa help you with the point of information (Laughter).

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Standing Order, it is Kota Sentosa, not Bukit Sentosa.

Tuan Speaker: Kota Sentosa, ya!

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: And what about Tuan Speaker, who are you helping?

Tuan Speaker: No. (Interruption)

Y.B. Dato Sri Haji Adenan Haji Satem: Tuan Speaker, I just want to make some clarifications.

Menteri Kewangan II dan Menteri Pembangunan Bandar dan Pelancongan (Y.B. Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh): Tuan Speaker, can I draw your attention to Standing Order 37(e), please.

Tuan Speaker: Standing Order 37(e). While a member is speaking, all others shall be silent and shall not make unseemly interruption. (Applause)

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Why is this going on here? The noise, the noise is not silent is it?

Tuan Speaker: So no unseemly interruption. Okay, sit down.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: No unseemly interruption! Do not do like thatlah! Don’t do that. (Laughter)

Tuan Speaker: That is an applause.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Is it? Or is it, kacau-kacau?

Tuan Speaker: It is an applause to his point. Not interrupting him.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Standing Order 37(d).

Tuan Speaker: Standing Order 37(d)? No Member shall smoke in the Chamber. (Laughter)

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: No. 37(e).

Tuan Speaker: No one is smoking. (Laughter)

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: No. No. I correct that. It is Section 37(e) I am talking about. (Laughter)

Tuan Speaker: No one is smoking. (Laughter)

Y.B. Dato Sri Haji Adenan Haji Satem: If I might continue.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Please, please.

Tuan Speaker: He is not giving way. Please, sit down.

Y.B. Dato Sri Haji Adenan Haji Satem: If I might continue with or without the permission of Bukit Assek, it appears that we have a lot of supporters and you must take this your own medicine. If I might continue. Now, these are the reasons why the government put up this Amendment because of their concern for this matter that is going on. Now, on the question, since he raised it about charge and convicted charge or convicted. I agree that one all can be disjunctive or conjunctive but there is the question of what we call a continuing offence. If the Director of Forest or his officer sees that an offence is being committed, to prevent the continuation of that offence, surely he must be given the power to stop the continuation of that offence and does not has to wait until the person is convicted. Otherwise, you are condoning the Commission of an offence which will continue. Now, I am sure he knows the concept of a continuing offence. I am surprised he did not mention it … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Standing Order 33(b), Tuan Speaker.

Y.B. Dato Sri Haji Adenan Haji Satem: I do not wish to give way now.

Tuan Speaker: He is not giving way. He is not giving way. (Laughter)

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: As a lawyer before you should have regards to …

Tuan Speaker: I am still a lawyer, I am not a lawyer before. I am still a lawyer. I might be older than you … (Laughter)

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Then tell us where the amendment that talks about the continuing offence is.

Y.B. Dato Sri Haji Adenan Haji Satem: I think as you well said, we leave it to the Minister in his winding up because I am not winding up. (Applause and Laughter). Now, what I am saying is these are the concerns of the government, so they want to amend so that the Forest Ordinance can be more effective in the management of the forest industry. I would like to make a suggestion, it is very well of course to pass laws here and there, to amend laws here and there with the hope and expectation that it will be effective but I think the effectiveness of the law depends not only on the penalty imposed but also on its implementation. If you have a good law which appears to be effective, but if it is not implemented in full, then the law looks stupid. So, I would like to suggest to the Forestry Department and of course, STIDC, now that the law is in placed and has been made more effective, can you please attend to the effective implementation of those laws.

I will give an example from my constituency. You have the Gunung Gading National Park, which is in Lundu. I have been given the honour or being briefed by them on the situation of Gunung Gading National Park. The officers there are concerned with the theft of timber from the boundaries of the National Park and they tell me that they have insufficient manpower. This is just one example and also Gunung Pueh, also in my constituency. They are also very concerned about the theft of timber from some of these areas. I am not saying that the Forest Department or STIDC or authorities concerned, are not patrolling the area, I am not saying that but perhaps, there ought to be more manpower and more effective monitoring of the areas concerned.

Tuan Speaker, with all the reasons that I have given, I am very happy to support this amendment.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat, we have a short break. Sitting resume at 4:45 p.m.

(Mesyuarat ditangguhkan pada jam 4:13 petang)

(Mesyuarat dimulakan pada jam 4:52 petang)

[Tuan Speaker mempengerusikan Mesyuarat]

Tuan Speaker: I shall now call upon the Honourable Minister to do the winding up. Honourable Minister, you may now deliver your winding up speech.

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan): Tuan Speaker, saya terlebih dahulu ingin mengucapkan terima kasih kepada semua Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat yang telahpun turut serta dalam perbahasan Rang Undang-Undang dan Pindaan 2006.

Seperti yang saya nyatakan dalam bacaan yang kedua, tujuan Rang Undang-Undang ini ialah untuk mempastikan bahawa industri perhutanan kita dapat diurus dengan baik dan pelaksanaan penguatkuasaan akan dapat dijalankan dengan lebih berkesan. Kita juga di dalam Rang Undang-Undang ini telah pun menghalusi definisi kilang papan itu. Di mana aktiviti-aktiviti huluan, upstream activities haruslah dikendalikan oleh Jabatan Hutan. Kebanyakan kilang papan ini adalah terletak di kawasan pembalakan masing-masing. Kenapa ianya diletakkan di bawah bidang kuasa Jabatan Hutan? Kerana dari segi penguatkuasaannya, ianya lebih mudah disebabkan Jabatan Hutan mempunyai kakitangan yang ramai dan aktiviti hiliran, downstream activities akan dikendalikan di bawah STIDC.

Tuan Speaker, itulah matlamat kita menggubal Rang Undang-Undang ini iaitu untuk menyelaras aktiviti-aktiviti kedua-dua Jabatan Hutan dan STIDC untuk mengurus sumber hutan dengan lebih efektif dan optimum. Fungsi dan tanggungjawab yang jelas di antara Pengarah Hutan dan STIDC akan membolehkan tujuan penguatkuasaan yang lebih efektif dan optimum dapat ditentukan.

Tuan Speaker, perolehan daripada industri kayu bergergaji, sawn timber telahpun meningkat. Di mana pada tahun 2006, ianya telah menyumbang kepada jumlah yang agak besar iaitu sebanyak RM7.2 billion berbanding RM5.5 billion pada tahun 2001.

Tuan Speaker, in the process of improving the regulatory structure, the Government wishes to eradicate malpractices in the timber industry particularly illegal logging, obtaining logs from illegal sources for sawmills and the hiring of illegal workers by saw millers.

Therefore, conditions such as imposing maximum output of sawn timber from a sawmill is to fix the amount of sawn timber that could be produced by that sawmill having regard to the logs that could be produced from any timber licensed area belonging to him or from any legitimate source, which he disclosed to the Director under the new subsection 66(3)(c). This means that if the output of his sawmill exceeds the amount of timber logs that he could obtained from his own licensed area or other disclosed legitimate sources, then he must have sourced his logs supply illegally and surely action should be taken against him in the absence of any satisfactory explanation from him as to how he obtained the extra supply of logs.

Kita mahu menentukan bahawa maximum output selaras dengan apa yang mampu dikeluar dalam kawasan lesen balak dan jika ianya didapati melebihi dan ini memberi bayaran kepada kita mungkin mereka mendapatkan sumber itu daripada sumber yang tidak illegal. Dari itu, adalah kurang tepat seperti apa yang telah dikatakan oleh Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Bukit Assek bahawa ini menggambarkan bahawa sumber kita sudah jauh menurun.

Tuan Speaker, the government believes that illegal logging can be curbed if there is no market for illegal logs. The government has firm reason to believe that sawmills which sourced logs illegally provides a market for those who indulge in illegal logging or stealing logs from national parks, natural reserve and wildlife sanctuary. This bill will help to eradicate such illegal activities.

The new Section 66(4) is an enabling clause, conferring powers on the Director of Forests and the Minister concerned to either suspend or cancel a sawmill licence. The exercise of such executive powers conferred by the new law is always subjected to judicial review. The new provisions do not exclude judicial review.

Tuan Speaker, the Honourable Member for Kota Sentosa mentioned about the presumption of innocence. The government does not deny that there is such a legal principle. However, the government must ensure that those who break the law do not take advantage of this presumption to continue with their criminal or unlawful activities. We know that it takes years before criminal cases are concluded and a criminal court determines the guilt or innocence of a person. If pending trial or the conclusion of a criminal trial, a saw miller is found to be committing forestry offences or aiding or encouraging others to do so (Interruption).

Tuan Speaker: Yes?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Seeking clarification.

Tuan Speaker: Clarification. Honourable Minister, Kota Sentosa is seeking clarification. Are you giving way or not?

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan): I want to continue.
Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: The clarification to my speech which I didn’t raise, I didn’t raise anything about presume innocence so I want to seek certain clarification. As a Minister, I think, should be open to Members of this House seeking clarification … (Interruption).

Tuan Speaker: Are you giving way? Kota Sentosa … (Interruption),

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, this is, I mean, come on, I am just a … (Interruption).

Tuan Speaker: No, you ask first. Is he giving way?

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan): I want to continue.

Tuan Speaker: Okay, he is not giving way.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: That is not acceptable, come on.

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan): Surely the government cannot allow him to continue with his unlawful activities and action must be taken to either suspend or cancel his license depending on the gravity of the situation. Without Section 66(4), the government would not have the power to act against a licensee of a sawmill, for instance if he continues to buy logs illegally, harbour illegal immigrants who may be used by him to fell logs illegally from neighbouring timber concessions or national parks.

I wish to give an example that in a recent raid of illegal sawmills in the Bintulu Division, more than a dozen of Indonesians were employed by a sawmill and the Indonesians were found to be felling trees illegally from a forest concession belonging to another party, in order to provide sources of raw materials for his illegal sawmill. Without the provisions of the new Section 66(4), it would not be possible for the government to act against that sawmill until his court case is over. In the meantime, he could continue to hire illegal immigrants to do illegal logging. This is the type of situation that Section 66(4) intends to deal with. The government feels that it should have the legal powers to deal with those who take advantage of the law or legal principles like presumption of innocence to continue to flout the law.

Tuan Speaker, all sawmills not currently licensed would have to apply for licence and comply with the new laws. Some grace period will be given for them to do this. Owners of sawmill who do not have a licence now or after the law is enforced, that sawmill is clearly illegal and action will be taken against such illegal sawmills. Properly licensed sawmill did not fear the new law. The government will help genuine saw millers to comply with the new conditions prescribed in the amendment.

Tuan Speaker, saya berharap dengan penuh yakin agar Rang Undang-Undang Hutan (Pindaan) 2006 ini berupaya untuk mencapai objektif utama iaitu untuk menyediakan fungsi yang lebih jelas antara dua badan kawalselia bagi aktiviti hutan dan bagi aktiviti huluan dan aktiviti hiliran. Hapuskan fungsi-fungsi bertindih… (Interruption).

Tuan Speaker: The Minister is making a winding up.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Can I seek clarification … (Interruption).

Tuan Speaker: He is making a winding up, replying to the points raised.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: But certain points are not raised, certain points are not clarified, so come on, but a bit more … (Interruption).

Tuan Speaker: He is winding up … (Interruption).

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: We want to seek, what is in his mind, how will it facilitate and improve the enforcement. We want to know.

Tuan Speaker: Isn’t he making the point?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, No, No, he is just shifting the power from one statutory body to another statutory body, from Forest Department to STIDC, so what are the mechanisms which was not … (Interruption).

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan): Itu yang kita telahpun jelaskan … (Interruption).

Tuan Speaker: No, you sit down, sit down. You could raise this when I give the opportunity to the Members to speak. I gave the opportunity to the Members to speak.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: It doesn’t matter.

Tuan Speaker: What do you mean that it doesn’t matter. He is making a winding up … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Standing Order 33 (b) … (Interruption).

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: The reply is ambiguous, the reply is ambiguous.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Standing Order 33(a), Tuan Speaker. Standing Order applies equally to the Minister. Winding up or not?

Tuan Speaker: No, 33(a) on what?

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Standing Order applies equally to the Minister.

Tuan Speaker: 33(a) on what?

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Point of Order.
Tuan Speaker: Point of Order on what?

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Tuan Speaker is saying the Minister is making a winding up speech.

Tuan Speaker: Yes.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: I agree with that.

Tuan Speaker: Yes.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: The whole thing is does the Standing Order applies equally to any Minister in the Cabinet during a winding up speech.

Tuan Speaker: He is not giving way. So sit down.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: The point was he is seeking way for clarification.

Tuan Speaker: So Sit down, sit down. Sit down, sit down.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Give way, he should give way.

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan): Tuan Speaker, kita telah pun menjelaskan, ini yang telah pun kita jelaskan. Jadi kita berharap dengan andainya dan lulusnya Rang Undang-Undang ini, ianya dapat menyediakan kawalan yang baik untuk kilang kayu bergergaji yang telah diluluskan tapak dan operasinya.

Saya, Tuan Speaker, memohon rang undang-undang ini diluluskan.

Tuan Speaker: The Dewan will now resolve into the Committee of the Whole House to consider the bill which stands committed to the Committee.

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE HOUSE

[Tuan Pengerusi mempengerusi Mesyuarat]

Tuan Pengerusi: The Dewan will now consider the Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2006.

Clause 1 – 6

Tuan Pengerusi: The question is that Clauses 1 - 6 be ordered to stand part of the bill.

Question put and agreed to

Clauses 1 - 6 stand part of the bill

Enacting Clause and Title

Tuan Pengerusi: The Dewan resumes.

HOUSE RESUMED

[Tuan Speaker mempengerusi Mesyuarat]

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan): Tuan Speaker, I wish to report the Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2006 has been considered by the Committee of the Whole House and agreed to without amendment.

RANG UNDANG-UNDANG KERAJAAN –
BACAAN KALI YANG KETIGA

FOREST (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2006

Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber II dan Menteri Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Haji Awang Tengah bin Ali Hasan): Tuan Speaker, I beg to move that the Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2006 be now read a third time and do pass.

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Encik Michael Manyin anak Jawong): I beg to second.

Tuan Speaker: Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat, the question before the Dewan is that the Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2006 be read a third time and do pass.

Question put and agreed to

Bill read third time and passed

USUL DARIPADA AHLI DEWAN BIASA

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Tuan Speaker, I would like to move the motion that the State Government restores the Local Government Election to ensure accountability, transparency and avoidance of corruptions amongst the local governments in Sarawak.

Tuan Speaker, the time has come for local governments in Sarawak to be elected rather than to be appointed by the Ruling Party. Local Governments in Malaysia has been blended as one of the most corrupted government department. This is not said by the Opposition. It is claimed by the Timbalan Menteri, Datuk M. Kayveas, the Timbalan Menteri in the Prime Minister’s Department and he was previously the Timbalan Menteri for Local Housing, Government for Housing.

Therefore, Tuan Speaker, we also believe so and under any democratic system, there are three tiers of government. One is the Parliament, second is the State Assembly and third is the Local Government.

We used to have before the Confrontation time. We used to have local government election until 1965 when during the height of the Indonesian Confrontation, after the declaration of Emergency; our Prime Minister declared that, amendment the law and suspended the local government election. We are 40 years now since the suspension and also I believe more than 35 years after the Confrontation it is time that our State should be the first State to implement local government election, to be the first in the pursuit of democratic, truly democratic system. As such today I hope this Motion not only to attain the first State to have local government because our Constitution, Federal Constitution allows us. Under the State List, local government election is within the power of the State Government. We have the power. This august House has the power to restore local government election.

And I have many reasons to support my motion today. One of which is the services provided by the local government leave much to be desired. As we are going around our constituency, the complaints from the residents to us, 90% of the complaints are because of ineffective, inefficient local government carrying out, officers carrying out their jobs. And we have at present we have the ruling parties appointing councillors. But I doubt, I doubt such councilors whether they are doing a good job. If they were doing a good job, the people would not have approached us State Assemblymen or Member of Parliament to lodge these complaints about drains not being cleaned, about rubbish not being collected, about anything, and roads not being paved. All these fall within the jurisdiction of local government. And they are the jobs of councilors. And when I asked them, when I asked these complainants who is the councilors in charge of the area, more than 90 percent of them don't know. They don't know who their councilors are. It seems that the government is wasting the money to appoint these councilors when the people they have grievances they don't know who to direct it except to State Assemblyman or Member of Parliament.

I think we are in this august House to determine debate on policy issues and we have the three tier government each must do their job properly. So the inefficiency, the ineffectiveness of councilors is quite serious I would say. And because of that, the people, although they pay assessment rates and mind you, Mr. Speaker, our assessment rates is the highest in the whole of Malaysia. The Annual Rateable Value, we are paying the rate of 29.5%, 28%, 27% of the Annual Rateable Value of our property. Whereas in West Malaysia even in KL the residents there they are paying only 11% of the Annual Rateable Value of their property. The highest I know in West Malaysia, the residents in Ipoh, in Perak, Ipoh, there the rate of which the rateable value is charged is only 16%, 16% of the Annual Rateable Value. But in Kuching here, in Sibu, Bintulu, I believe they are charged, the residents there, property owners, they are charged 26.5% to 29.5% of the Annual Rateable Value. Although they are paying such a high fee but they are not getting the services which justify such high fee.

And on this matter, on this motion, the emphasis is on accountability, transparency and the avoidance of corruption. We all know that the local government, they are charged with the duty to collect rubbish, to clean the drain, to maintain street lightings, maintain the road, resurface the road if it is, there are potholes. Now such services, a lot of them have been privatized without proper tender on the excuse that with privatization that it will be more efficient and there will be a better service provided. But I will take as an example, rubbish collection. It was privatized few years ago. There is no improvement in the service of rubbish collection. Previously when it was under the charge of the local government, the councils, we, the rubbish was collected three times a week. And after the privatization the collection is only twice a week. Which means by the same, if it were the same modus operandi, it will have saved 33% of the costs for rubbish collection, reducing from three times a week to twice a week … (Interruption)

Y.B. Dr. Haji Wahbi bin Haji Junaidi: Clarification.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: 30%. 33%.

Y.B. Dr. Haji Wahbi bin Haji Junaidi: 33B. I was, I am quite irritated by the, by few times mentioning of local government. I want to know about what government, State Government, can the …

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: What is it, can you repeat?

Y.B. Dr. Haji Wahbi Haji Junaidi: I was, I am irritated by the word local government. As far as I know we have one single State Government. Can you explain what is the definition of Local Government?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Laughter. Ok. Ok. Ok. I will explain. Local government means like your council, badan, perbadanan, these are local government, these are called local government. Majlis Bandaraya, if Yang Berhormat is not aware, that's how we address this description to address all these Majlis Bandaraya.

Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (YB (Dr) Lee Kim Shin): Tuan Speaker, point of clarification. May I ask …

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I'll let the Opposition Leader to answer the question first.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Who do not know what's the local government can give, identify himself.

Tuan Speaker: Yes, Member for Senadin. Are you taking the point of information?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Yes, yes, ok.

Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. (Dr) Lee Kim Shin): Ya, under Standing Order 33(b). Point of Clarification. May I ask the Honourable Member, what is the difference between Local Government and local authority?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: It's basically the same. Interchangeable usage … (Laughter)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: It is interchangeable usage. If you can't understand, then, I'm sorry. Ya. So now, I was on …

Menteri Muda Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Encik Sylvester Entri anak Muran): So can it be … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Ya.

Menteri Muda Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Encik Sylvester Entri anak Muran): Tuan Speaker, under 33(b) just now … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, Yang Berhormat … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Sylvester Entri ak Muran: What are the functions of local government?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Yang Berhormat, just a minute, just a minute, just a minute …

Menteri Muda Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Encik Sylvester Entri anak Muran): … and local authority?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: If you don’t stand up I will let you ask, you don't have to cite the Order, Standing Order, you …

Menteri Muda Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Encik Sylvester Entri anak Muran): I would like to know what are the functions of local government and local authority in Sarawak.

YB Encik Wong Ho Leng: Is that within the ambit of the Motion today? What is the Motion today?

Menteri Muda Kemudahan Awam (Y.B. Encik Sylvester Entri anak Muran): Seeking clarification. Seeking clarification.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Read the Order paper.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I think my colleague has answered the question.

Tuan Speaker: The Member is asking whether there's a difference between the functions of local authority and local government.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I think such terms are generally interchangeably used.

Tuan Speaker: So basically they are the same?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Basically they are referring to the same thing, Majlis Bandaraya.

Tuan Speaker: Huh?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Basically they are referring to the same thing, just calling by a different name. So I was on privatization of rubbish collection. After privatization there is no improvement in the service and we get maggots crawling out from our dustbins. And after the privatization instead of the councils, the local government or local authorities then saving the money instead of reducing their costs, on the contrary in Kuching, in Kuching the rates has been increased.

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): Tuan Speaker, point of order. I don't think there is any connection between privatization in election of local government. It should concentrate on the Motion.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Whether I am out of point, I believe our Speaker would direct and not a Member from this floor to tell me whether I am out of point or not. And for Yang Berhormat's information, we are talking about accountability, transparent and avoidance of corruption. I stated just now my emphasis is on these three elements in the operation of local government and privatization of rubbish collection is part of the government's job. It's the local authority's job, rubbish collection and when it was privatized there is no transparency, there is no accountability now. Because when the rakyat complained why are maggots now crawling out from my dustbin. Why my dustbin, rubbish was collected twice only a week after the privatization. Who is there to answer? They look for Wakil Rakyat. That could be one of the reasons why in Kuching, SUPP suffered such a big loss! (Applause)

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Are we saying, or do you think somebody must be, makan gaji buta.

Tuan Speaker: Pronounce properly, Honourable Member. Makan gaji budak is a boy's pay. Makan gaji buta is blind pay, so which one is it?

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Makan gaji buta. Thank you, Tuan Speaker.

Tuan Speaker: No, I would like to find out …

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: You think I am imitating Datuk Robert Lau. Thank you very much. (Laughter)

Tuan Speaker: Let me clarify, makan gaji budak, budak is a boy. Makan gaji buta means you are paid …

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: B U T A, Tuan Speaker. (Laughter)

Tuan Speaker: Oh, alright. BUTA. Alright.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Tuan Speaker, can you, I asked to … (inaudible)

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): Point of clarification. Tuan Speaker, point of clarification.

Tuan Speaker: Yes.

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): The councillors are not paid. They are not paid.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: The councilors are not paid, they have perks. They have perks. Allowances. They park their car free. Do you know that? In town, they drive around town parking their car, no charge! When the Dewan, we, we have to pay our parking fees. So these are perks and they have meeting allowance. And they are the persons who is charged with the duty to see to it that the councils, the government servants, civil servants in the councils are doing a good job.

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): I just want to ask, do you mean that once the councilors are elected, you are going to pay them salaries and a lot of perks?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: That can be done. If it is, if they are elected, if they are doing their job properly, yes. Yes, allowance can be given. Salary can be given.

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): Correct, Tuan Speaker. Allowances and salaries can always be given but today as a Minister in charge of local government, a lot of our local councils particularly those in rural areas are in deficit. So if we were to have all these, I think the rates need to go up. You have said that our rates are one of the highest in the country.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Yang Berhormat, the Local Governments are in deficit. Most of the Local Governments or local authorities are in deficit and they rely on government grant to survive. Yes, most of them are in deficit anyway and they rely on government grant to survive. I think, to ensure, to provide a better service to the people, to justify the giving of the grant to pay them salary rather than to make a uniform which costs RM4,000 per suit for the Ahli Yang Berhormat here. Costing RM4,000 per suit. That is a wastage. If a lot of this wastage can be saved, I believe we can pay the councilors and after that election of councilors so that they do the job properly. After all we are here for the betterment of our society… (Interruption).

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: Point of clarification, please. Pandangan. What relation has this got to do with your election? You see, you admit that most of the councils do not have money. Well, even if there is an election of local government, do you think they can have money? Do you think they can provide better services? As it is, they are providing services now. You are referring probably to Kuching or to just some of your fellow party members who have been complaining to you but then in most other cases, there have been good services being provided down here. What relation has it got to do with election of local government here?

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Kota Sentosa, the uniform for the Dewan here is not RM4,000, it is RM2,000. It is made in Sin Ah and unless it is Versace suit. It is not Versace, it is local.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: But I will still believe RM2,000 per suit is very costly and that money could have been better spent elsewhere for the people.

In reply to your point about what election can bring, that is a basis of democracy accountability. It is because if there were any regular election being conducted, those sitting there in power, they have to come out and face the people regularly and those are the time when the people are judging whether these councilors are doing a good job or not. Now, the situation is that councilors are being appointed by ruling party. So where does their loyalty lie? Where does their loyalty lie? To the person who are appointed, not to the rakyat that are supposed to have elected them. If there was a council election:

(1) They will be subjected to being judged regularly; and

(2) The people will know them. If you elect these councilors, you will know that I elect this councilor. So if I have problem, I will go to my councillor. I don’t have to go to State Assemblyman or Member of Parliament.

That is the allocation of job, accountability and to allow the residents to know who you have elected because during election campaign, you have to go around shaking hands, telling them “Okay, next time if you have got problem, you look for me. This is my card, you can contact me.” And when there are problems, when there is rubbish and there are maggots coming out from their dustbins, they will call you up “Hey come on. Come and collect my rubbish” rather than calling the Minister. I don’t think the Minister will like to be bothered, bogged down with such cause. That is why I said election is important, local government election, to provide a better service to the rakyat.

I have one case. A friend of mine, the wife was admitted to hospital because of dengue. That was in Hawaii Park. The drain next to her house was choked. So naturally she called up MBKS to clean the drain. The workers came, cleaned the drain, left the whole chunk of those dead leaves there and when she asked the workers “why don’t you remove it?”, the reply was “Oh, that is the job for another contractor. We did not contract for that. We contracted just to clean the drain. The collection is not my job.” And she was bitten by dengue mosquitoes, admitted to hospital, stayed there for a few days, discharged. Because of the low immunity, she was re-admitted yesterday because of infection. So these are the things that common people are suffering. Of course, I believe if the wakil rakyat calls up the Bandaraya or the Ministers call up the Bandaraya, they will come the next minute to clean the drains but what about the common people? The rakyat, the people that we are representing. They were not given such good service and that is why I said election of local government is the only way to improve and when Malaysia was formed we can have election for three tiers of government. Why can’t us after 40 years? Why can’t we have the same system? We should move forward to a more liberal country, a country that can really call ourselves a democratic system, the first world mentality or is it the Barisan Nasional is so lack of confidence that if there were any local government election, you may not have won it. I think in Kuching that may be the case.

And now, coming to another point that I would like to raise is about conflict of interest. When one is in a position be it a Yang Berhormat, a Member of Parliament, Assemblyman or a councilor, can they be allowed to be involved in the projects of the council? The basic principle to avoid conflict of interest. We have a case where a company owned by three councillors, now they are not councilors, was alienated a parcel of land in Tabuan Laru. That land, initially there was a plan to build a market there and now sure enough a market was built on that land but on the empty plot next to the land, there used to be a piece of land, one parcel, one big parcel State land, and it was subdivided in such a way that MBKS was to build the market on the smaller parcel of land from the big area and the remainder was given to or alienated to a company owned by three councilors, ex-councilors now. We have raised this issue during the election time, we get no answer why did the government alienate to them. Now, is that proper? … (Interruption).

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: Clarification. You see, Ahli Yang Berhormat bagi Kota Sentosa, we have got bodies like ACA where you can make your report. If there are areas where you feel that there are elements of corruption or abused of power, well you should know where to go. Complaining them, shouting them in public like what you say just now in your campaigning is not the place. As a lawyer you should know yourself where to go on this matter. We have got ACA. If you feel that there is a problem here, if you feel there is corruption here or abused of power, you go to ACA and report, make your report. (Applause) You even know there are three councilors involved here. In this case, probably you might have known all the facts here.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Everyone has a role to play in our system. Everyone has a role to play. ACA knows about this. I am very sure ACA knows about this. The Anti Corruption Agency knows about this. However, they said there may be some constraint from legal point of view including the corruption element. We are here as Wakil Rakyat to ensure that government operation like alienation of land is done with a fairer, more transparent system. It is not that because this involves corruption so we don’t have, we cannot mention it here. We are here to push for a better system, a more transparent system. That is why I cite this case as an example. There is no transparency in it. There is no open tender called for the alienation of land and the conflict of interest element is there and there is another … (Interruption).

Menteri Muda Industri Makanan dan Menteri Muda Kerajaan Tempatan (Y.B. Datuk David Teng Lung Chi): Point of clarification. Conflict of interest always means that a person who receives the benefit is involved in the decision-making but this so called three ex-councilors or the present councilors, assuming that it was correct, the land was not alienated by the council to them but by State Government or Land and Survey Department. So there is no conflict of interest here. (Applause)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Well, that was a choreograph. Okay, let me show you the conflict. I do not know when they applied for the alienation of land but from the reply from the Land and Survey, the plan which they submitted the number is SPS/2-01/ID(HQ24/9cool.gif. So I presumed the plan was submitted in 1998 and from what I checked, the three shareholders, they are in that time in 1998 they were councilors and there was a plan for the council to build the market on that parcel of land, on that State land. Now, my question, why MBKS having the plan or intention to build a market on a parcel of state land which is about 17 acres. Why the council did not proceed in the name of the council to apply for the land but instead the councilors form a company to apply for the land.

These are information acquire in the office. Taking advantage of information acquire from the office and this surely is against, is conflict of interest. Although they are not the decision-making person but they have acquired knowledge from the office and they exploit that knowledge to their benefit. Even in common law, in common law, under common law there is this principle of tracing, whereby, whereby, if such officer acquires certain knowledge from, advantage from his position to his own benefit the entity in this case, the council, can trace their benefit and I urged, I urged the Ministry go for the land. It was alienated in the name of a company. They are the shareholders. A very simple legal exercise, transfer the shares back to the MBKS. I am not asking it transfer to me. I am asking that the land, the company’s share be transferred back to MBKS, have a try. It is worth it, it is worth it, I assure you. I have a development agreement here with me.

Tuan Speaker: Member for Kota Sentosa, sorry to interrupt you. Can someone second it first before you proceed? It is not seconded.

Y.B. Cik Ting Tze Fui: I rise to second.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Meradong, I suppose.

Y.B. Cik Ting Tze Fui: Ya.

Tuan Speaker: Proceed.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Thank you. I can assure you it is worth the exercise, it is worth the legal action. That parcel of land now after sub-division 15 acres in Tabuan Laru alienated to the councillor’s company, ex-councillor’s company, that parcel of land. According to the agreement … (Interruption)

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Di): Tuan Speaker, one clarification, if the Member for Kota Sentosa strongly believes there is an act of public interest in this case regarding those three people he mentioned, why don’t you carry on following when the gentleman Member for Samarahan was saying earlier, why don’t you take up the case to ACA? You seem to be strong … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Member for Asajaya.

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Di): Ya, Member for Asajaya.

Y.B Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Yang Berhormat, if one day should you find the service of ACA handy. One piece of advice for you. Once you lost the case with ACA, you can’t speak about it outside. That is under ACA Act. That is why I said we have different role to play. ACA, their role is to catch those corrupted officer … (interruption)

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Di): You earlier mentioned that ACA already know the case. Does it mean that nobody has brought up the case to ACA?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I said ACA knew about the case, ACA knew about the case.

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Di): You brought up the case officially to ACA?

Y.B. Encik Chong Ching Jen: You don’t need to bring a case officially to ACA for ACA to take action. Just like a police, if you see somebody kill, are you saying that the police have to sit there and wait for somebody to lodge report officially to … (interruption)

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Di): By taking your point.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: That is why I did not lodge. Once you lodge, no, no, no, no that is different. That is a legal part.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Ahli Yang Berhormat, if I may, on the other hand, DBKS I thought, MBKS, I thought can be in the purview of this dewan as well before still and I thought Ahli Yang Berhormat, you were the Chairman of PAC, bukan?

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Di): Yes, I was.

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Yes. So, anything had been done?

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Di): (Inaudible)…

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Our role here as Wakil Rakyat is to push for a more transparent system and in a phase of such malpractice, our additional role is to let the people know. That is to create awareness among the people of the malpractice in the Barisan Nasional Government. So I have told ACA, I don’t need to lodge a formal report in order for you to initiate an investigation and ACA has my has our election campaign material and which clearly stated how it goes about and all the information I got here are from the public record. So that you … (Interruption)

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Di): Are you accusing that ACA is not being effective?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I am saying that.

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Di): You are saying that in this august House that ACA is useless?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: It is not effective. Not effective and useless, they maybe … (Interruption).
Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Di): Thank you.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: It is not effective and they have not done anything but they have all the materials and they have the power to investigate. Whether to investigate or not to investigate we will push for it and as for our role, I say, we have a different role to play. Our role here is to educate the rakyat about this malpractice so that they are aware of it. So that government in future or the Ministers may not dare to engage in such transaction. That is our role, our role here. Want to seek a clarification?

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: Ahli Yang Berhormat for Kota Sentosa, if you strongly feel that there is an act of corruption there is an act of abused of power down here against these three councilors or against these three companies, for they are not here to defend themselves, you are here and then covered by the bunch of immunity of this august House and if you already report the matters to ACA and you feel that ACA is not effective, I think the other alternative would be for you to go out from this august house and say it out openly, these companies, this particular person has committed in a corrupt practice, corrupt act … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: In this august House?

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: Outside of this august House.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I have said it, I have said it. That is why you have not heard. I have repeated it over and over again… (Interruption)

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: outside …

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Outside, outside. During election time, during ceramah over to thousand of people, my friend.

Y.B. Tuan Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah: We will check on this.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Yes, yes, yes. If you bother to attend our ceramah, you will know. Plenty of occasions. I was surprised, I was surprised. Why SUPP does not come out of any, any, any explanation. So I hope explanation can be given and if they want my service as a council to trace the shares, I am willing to offer my service, free of charge. So, I am not exposed how much are the councilors making. You may be interested. According to the development agreement for the fifteen parcels of land, 99 shophouses will be built on it. 99 shophouses. And once it is built, for each shophouse being sold, a dollar… (interruption)

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Di): (Inaudible)…

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: These are acts done by member of the Local Government, don’t run away from that. For each dollar, for each dollar made or received proceed of sale from the shophouse, for each dollar, 27.5% goes to the land owner. Do the calculationlah. 27.5% goes to the company owned by the councillor. 72.5% goes to the developer. Such ratio will continue until it reaches a total sale proceed of 80 million. Thereafter for every dollar received, fifty cent will go to the land owner and fifty cent to the developer. If we make a rough estimates … (interruption)

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Di): Tuan Speaker, … (Inaudible) in the case of corruption. Then I am asking him does he believes ACA … (Inaudible)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I think this is a malpractice. It may not, it may not, it may not pass as corruption per say under the corruption … (Interruption)

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Di): If it is not … (Inaudible)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: It is a malpractice, malpractice, government practice without transparency, understand, without transparency.

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Di): If you say malpractice, what … (Inaudible)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: You are the councillor, you know the fact and you are applying for the alienation of the land from the government instead of the council of which you are holding office… (Interruption)

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Di): (Inaudible)…

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: You can call. I think we have the power, this House has the power to call the three gentlemen to be here. This House has the power if you want. Ask the … (Interruption)

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Permodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): Tuan Speaker, I also like to … (Inaudible)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: SUPP involved. I believed the three councillors are appointed by SUPP. The appointment, by appointment, by appointment.

Menteri Muda Teknologi Maklumat dan Menteri Muda Pembangunan Infrastruktur dan Perhubungan (Y.B. Tuan Haji Bolhassan bin Haji Di): … (Inaudible)

Tuan Speaker: I think you have exceeded your time.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I will conclude in five minutes.

Tuan Speaker: Ya, you have been speaking about forty five minutes. So, can you close the case?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Ya, because of the clarification. I will conclude. I believed a proper system, a system where we practice democracy, we should not allowed such private profiteering be carried out especially involving councilors or ministers or elected representative and the whole exercise of alienation of land there is no, no open tender whatsoever being called and assuming a rough estimate of one million per shophouse after the sale of the 99 shophouse, this land owner company will get thirty million cash.

Tuan Speaker: Ya, you have already revolved around this point… (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Ya, no, no … (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: The motion is the State Government restores the Local Government election. So can you move on. You have covered the point.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Alright. Ya, I believed should there be any Local Government election, these three councillors will have to face the rakyat, face the questioning from the rakyat and may be, may be they will do a service to the previous Ahli Yang Berhormat for Batu Lintang or Pending, they may not lose the seat because there are people accountable, accountable. Now there is no accountability. The three of them just enjoy whatever they want.

Timbalan ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pemodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): Point of clarification Tuan Speaker. If the Member say that no elected representative can do any business?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Well, you can. Elected, elected representative you can, you can do business, you can do business. But the office that you hold you should not be involved in the business of that office. Like councillors for MBKS, they can, they can. They can get projects from DBKU or another council. No problem. I have no qualms with that. But if you are MBKS Councillor you should not get project from MBKS. Ha! That is the point I am driving at. So … (Interruption)

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pemodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): Point of clarification. Is this project an MBKS project?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: You can say that it is not in the strict sense but I have said, I have said there is plan … (Interruption)

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pemodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): … (Inaudible) if this is not an MBKS project, why is MBKS dragged in? … (Inaudible)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: There is a plan. No, no I think the Minister can clarify. Yang Berhormat going to clarify on this point… (Interruption)

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Pemodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): … (Inaudible)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Alright, then let the minister clarify.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Permodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): I think you are just guessing.

Tuan Speaker: The question of the minister is quiet simple. Is this is an MBKS project?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: It relates to MBKS projects. It relates, because MBKS is building a market there. Initially the market and the 99 shophouses fall in one parcel of land. Now the market and the 99 shophouses separate parcels of land.

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Permodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): Did MBKS say they are going to build a market there?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: You see, Yang Berhormat, in the plan submitted by this councilor’s company, a plan drawing up the locality of the market and they are councillors. The inference is clear, is as clear as water... (Interruption)

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Permodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): Has MBKS decided to build a market there or it was just a proposal to build a market there? Can you please clarify?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: They’re councillors and MBKS at that time in 1998 did have some intention to build a market there. It has some intention and...(Interruption)

Timbalan Ketua Menteri dan Menteri Permodenan Pertanian dan Menteri Pembangunan Perindustrian (Y.B. Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan Hong Nam): Are your sure, because in this House you cannot use false information.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I know, I know, I know, I know. I hope, Yang Berhormat in future if I ask for clarification you accord me with the same courtesy that I have accorded you. Not like the other Yang Berhormat refusing to answer question, clarification. I sat down to get clarification whenever, whoever stands up but I hope ministers replying will accord me with the same courtesy in future. So now, that is why I said… (Interruption)

Tuan Speaker: Can you close your sentence.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Yes, I will close. One last paragraph. To restore public confidence in the system, to have a more effective, efficient local council, local authority or local government we need election, regular election of councilors so that there will be check by the people, supervision by the people regularly and people have the opportunity to judge these councillors. Thank you.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Members, I shall now put the question. The question is that the State Government restores the local government election to ensure accountability, transparency and avoidance of corruption amongst the local governments in Sarawak.

Any member wants to, Minister for … (Interruption)

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: I have a seconder.

Tuan Speaker: The seconder wants to speak. It is not working, is it?

Y.B. Encik Wong Ho Leng: Ahli Yang Berhormat for Meradong, you can use this mike.

Tuan Speaker: Okay, obviously we need the new Dewan. (Laughter)

Y.B. Cik Ting Tze Fui: Terima kasih Tuan Speaker. I rise to raise my point in supporting a motion moved by Yang Berhormat bagi Kota Sentosa.

Tuan Speaker: Yes.

Y.B. Cik Ting Tze Fui: Although there used to be election for members for local governments, no local government election has been held in Malaysia for 40 years. Tuan Speaker, at present there are altogether 25 local authorities in Sarawak. Their functions include waste collection, street lighting, public health, providing amenities, recreational parks, housing and commercial amenities. The local government also plays its roles as local authority, local paying authority like licensing authority, power to impose certain kinds of taxes, undertake building, housing and commercial construction, for example market, hawker stalls, etc, power to perform urban planning and management functions, traffic management and control and power to plan and provide public amenities. Another important avenue to participate in the running of the local authority is through councilors appointed by the government in the past in local councils.

Tuan Speaker, according to the Local Government Act 1976, the appointment of councillors is done from amongst the present and majority of whom shall be person ordinary residents in the local authority area who in the opinion of the said authority have wide experience in local government affairs or who have achieved distinction in any profession, commerce or industry or are otherwise capable of representing the interest of the communities in the local authority area. But the appointment of councillors today is based on political affiliation. This does not reflect the wish of the people. All the functions are carried out by local councillors are connected most personally (Applause) to the hearts of the people. The people who run the affairs must therefore understand the people’s needs. The people pay rates and assessment. We have a right to expect good delivery system whether in cleaning drains, cutting grasses, good transportation and perhaps a safe and bright environment. But I dare to say local councils have failed to deliver basic amenities resulting in floods, traffic jams and even dengue epidemic. Worst still local governments are unaccountable and unresponsive. It has been said it is one of the most corrupt entities.

When communist countries like China and an Islamic country such as Saudi Arabia, allow direct election of village heads and municipal councils, Malaysia must allow this grassroots democracy in our cities, districts and even village. When local governments are elected, they have to perform and serve or else face the judgment of the people.

Tuan Speaker, democracy is a proven formula for progress, prosperity, freedom, good governance and equal opportunity. At the local level democracy allow the people to decide on a solution to the problems they are familiar with. It is not accident that the riches countries in the world are all democracies. Isn’t it ridiculous that Sarawakians can select and decide our Chief Minister at the state level but have no right to elect our municipal councillors? (Applause)

I personally think that the time has come to return power to the people. It is the right time for us to look at this motion to be passed by this august House. Being taxpayers, we have the right to decide who represent us and how our taxes are being spent. I urge all Honourable Members to support the motion to restore the local government election in Sarawak immediately. I beg to second. Thank you.

Tuan Speaker: Just for the clarification of the House, our system is a parliamentary system, different from the American Presidential System. The Chief Minister is not directly elected by the people like the American President. It is based on constituencies. Just for the information of the House.

We shall now call upon the Minister for Local Government. Is the mic also not working there?

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): Tuan Speaker, as a Minister in the Sarawak State Government having responsibility for local authorities, I wish to set out the government’s position on this motion which in essence calls for a return of local government elections in Sarawak. But first, let me enlighten this august House, on the following matters which are essential for a meaningful debate on the motion moved by the Honourable Member for Kota Sentosa, namely:

(a) The past history of local government elections in Sarawak;

(b) The initial suspension and then the eventual abolition of local government elections;

(c) The adoption by this Dewan of a nominated system as opposed to elective process for Councillors;

(d) The role and functions of Local Authorities within the governmental structure in the federation in general and in Sarawak in particular; and provision of Government funds for local Councils; and

(e) The system of financial management and accountability in local authorities; and finally

(f) The progress and achievements over the last 25 years (since 1981 to 2006) with the present system and structure for local authorities in place.

History of Local Government Elections in Sarawak

Tuan Speaker, in the year 1956, exactly 50 years ago, the then Colonial Government presented the Local Government Elections Bill to Council Negri and it was duly passed. The Local Government Election Ordinance 1956 came into force on 14th September, 1956.

The first election to be held under that Ordinance, was the election to the Kuching Municipal Council on 4th November, 1956 when 27 Councillors were elected from 9 wards in the area under the jurisdiction of the then Kuching Municipal Council. The first statewide election under the said Ordinance took place in November 1959. There were then 24 local councils covering the whole state. Each Council area was divided in wards. The rural councils had 15 to 18 wards each and every ward returned one Councillor. The urban councils like Kuching Municipal Council had only nine wards but each ward returned three Councillors.

Just before Malaysia was formed, local council elections were again held in April to June 1963 using the same system as that deployed in 1956, except that candidates contested under political parties’ banners. The outcome was not entirely satisfactory, in that, in some councils were completely dominated by one party or two parties, like KMC where SUPP won in all seven wards with Chinese majority, and PANAS won in the remaining two wards. In Sarikei, there was a hung situation with no party in control. For the reasons that I will mention later, those councillors elected in 1963, served until October 1981 when the nominated system of councillors replaced the elective system for local councils.

Tuan Speaker, in 1965, the Federal Government suspended all local government elections by passing the Emergency (Suspension of Local Government Elections) Regulations 1965. Amongst the reasons for the suspension were the external threats caused by the Indonesian Confrontation against Malaysia and in the case of Sarawak, the threats by the communist’s elements operating in the jungles of our State.

Tuan Speaker, in 1971, this Dewan passed the Local Government Elections (Suspension of the Principal Ordinance) Ordinance No. 12 of 1971. This Ordinance came into force on 26th May, 1971. The principal effect of this Ordinance was “to suspend the procedure set out in the Local Government Elections Ordinance for the filling of casual vacancies occurring among Councillors of local authorities and to provide for an alternative procedure for filling such vacancies”. This law was necessary as there were no local council elections since 1963 and over the passage of time vacancies arose as a result of deaths or resignations of Councillors. Under this law, the State Authority i.e. the Cabinet would appoint a person from a political party to fill a vacancy in a local council arising from the death or resignation etc. of a Councillor from that political party. If the vacancy is caused by the resignation of a Councillor without political affiliation, his post would be filled by someone without party allegiance. The qualifications of a person to be appointed are set out in the law.

Tuan Speaker, after Malaysia Day, I would like to stress here, the local Government Elections becomes a state responsibility under Item 4(a) of List II (State List) in the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution. This means, Tuan Speaker, that if we were to have an election, whatever costs that will come out will be borne entirely by the state not by the federal. This means that the organization and conduct of Local Government Elections, if they are to be carried out, is entirely a state matter, and must, therefore, be funded by the state.

The Election Commission (a federal body) is empowered by Article 113(1) of the Federal Constitution, to conduct elections to Parliament and the Dewan Undangan Negeri only. Although State laws may authorize the Election Commission to conduct local government elections in Sarawak, but because local government elections have to be funded by the State, the Election Commission would only be able to undertake that task of carrying out such elections if the State is willing to provide it with funds to draw up electoral wards, the requisite electoral rolls and conduct the elections if and should they were to be held. Since the Thirteenth Schedule of the Federal Constitution does only cover delineation of Federal and State Constituencies, new laws would have to be passed by our dewan, to cover the delineation of electoral wards for local government elections. A lot of time, money and efforts would have to be expended before the State can have local government elections in the light of the existing constitutional provisions and the complete lack of basic electoral infrastructure, to cater for the proper conduct of such elections.

Tuan Speaker, currently we have 26 local councils throughout the state including BDA and DBKU. Its not 25. Assuming that each local authority is made up of 25 wards for which each ward is represented by one councilor, there will be 650 councilors throughout the state. In Sarawak, the local councils covers every square inch of the state unlike in Semenanjung Malaysia where the local councils only cover the urban areas. The rural areas are under the care of the Ministry of Rural Development but here in Sarawak, everyone throughout the state is paying rates. Everyone, so our councils cover every square inch. If we assume that it will cost the local councils RM50,000 for everyone to conduct local council elections then each council will be spending RM1.25 million for each election. This in turn will result in a sum of RM32.5 million be spent to conduct just one election for the whole state. So that means every three years the state have to come up with about, I just make an assumption, that we spent RM50,000 per wards. So the whole state would have to come up with RM32.5 million.

Y. B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Clarification, I am very taken into the argument that RM50,000 per person if we were to conduct local government election but how does … (Interruption)

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): No, no, RM50,000 per ward.

Tuan Speaker: Per ward, not per vote. Ward, W A R D. Each council consists of wards, not votes.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: Well, I wonder how does the Minister come out with such figure, of RM50,000 per ward, that’s one. Secondly, there is only RM30 million per election compared to RM300 million new Dewan Rakyat building, when we can have ten elections or if you think that …(Interruption)

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): It is nothing to do with that?

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: No, no, I mean money spent when we have limited resources, where to put it to a more useful and more beneficial and then for example, I cited RM30 million goes to the councilors’ company.

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): Tuan Speaker, can I continue? Let the misdemeanor for Kota Sentosa has the chance at the end. You have the final later on.

Tuan Speaker: You can do it in your reply, yes?

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): So this is just we assume, I think I would like to draw the attention of the Member of Kota Sentosa, you must understand the word “assume”. This is assume. So some of the local councils especially the smaller rural councils cannot even collect RM1 million revenue per year. Let alone the amount mentioned above. Even if the state government can afford to provide special grants for this particular purpose, conducting elections, such amount of money can prudently be spent for the development projects rather than for the elections. The Member for Kota Sentosa also mentioned to the House that ours is the highest rate in the whole of Malaysia with the exception of Ipoh. I just clarify here that our valuation has never been reviewed since 1966 so meaning that the value for the property that we have today is actually based on that value of 1966. So that’s why every now and then we have to increase the rates but the value is still the same.

Y.B. Encik Chong Chieng Jen: The value of the property in 1966 that is the value that we based, how about for houses that are just completed in 2004. Is the value still based on 1966?

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): We still have to follow the 1966. So that’s why our Ministry is thinking of reviewing this ARB and the mover of the motion also mentioned about highest rates and yet he wants election. If we want election definitely we have to increase the rates. So later on, I think the public will cursed maybe not the opposition but the government and that will be the time when the opposition will say “NO”, we should revert back to the elected and nominated system.

Tuan Speaker, before an election could be conducted, a lot of preparatory works need to be done. The delineation of boundary for each ward has to be done and subsequently gazetted, the voters registration exercise needs to be conducted and subsequently, periodically reviewed and updated. This exercise will add to the overall administrative costs to conduct the election for our councilors. Furthermore, if we have elections for too often people will become bored. Therefore the turnout will eventually be very low. Nobody will be interested. This has been the experience of countries like England, very low turnout because there are too many elections.

Suspension and Abolition of Local Government Elections

Tuan Speaker, the grounds given by me earlier for the Federal Government to pass emergency laws to suspend local government elections throughout the Federation show that to have these elections, the security and political environment must be conducive for these elections to take place.

Tuan Speaker: Honourable Minister, how much longer do you have to go?

Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan Awam (Y.B. Datuk Michael Manyin anak Jawong): Can I, maybe you give me, in another 15 minutes.

Tuan Speaker: Under Standing Order 9, we suspend the sitting and we shall continue tomorrow. Sitting is suspended. We meet at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow.

(Mesyuarat ditangguhkan pada jam 6:30 petang)


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