By Chris Maskilone
KOTA KINABALU: The State Legislative Assembly convened for only 90 minutes today due to the Movement Control Order (MCO).
“In accordance with the MCO, the State Assembly cannot sit for too long today,” said Speaker Datuk Syed Abas Syed Ali said at the start of the sitting Monday.
Syed Abas made a ruling to shorten the question and answer session by 30 minutes instead of the usual one hour.
As it is there was only one question answered during the allotted time, which was posed to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
The Speaker also ruled that only two assemblymen were allowed to debate the motion of thanks on the State Government policy speech delivered by Head of State Tun Juhar Mahiruddin last Thursday.
The motion tabled by Kemabong Assemblyman who is also the Sabah Backbenchers Club President, Jamawi Jaafar was debated by Tambunan Assemblyman Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan and Paginatan Assemblyman Datuk Abidin Madingkir.
At 11.28 am, Syed Abas adjourned the sitting to tomorrow (Tuesday).
Certain quarters had questioned the decision of the State Government to hold State Assembly sitting for more than one day despite the MCO.
Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) in particular argued there was no constitutional necessity for the Sabah assembly to continue on April 20 and 21.
“There is no reason why the assembly cannot be re-convened after the MCO which is only one to three weeks away,” said President Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee.
Yong said the sitting on April 16, where the Head of State delivered the State Government policy speech was, was already sufficient to comply with Article 21(1) of the constitution.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau, however, said that even though the sittings have been scheduled for three days but overall it was equivalent to just one day.
The sittings last Thursday lasted for one hour and 90 minutes each on Monday and Tuesday.-SabahNewsToday