State assembly to sit in March

THE Penang State Legislative Assembly is scheduled to meet on March 6, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said.

“A notice will be issued 28 days before the commencement of the assembly, according to the Standing Orders.

“It will be a two-day sitting with the usual question-and-answer session and the motion to amend some state enactments, and tabling one or two enactments,” Chow told reporters.

He said the Constitution of the State of Penang stipulated that there must not be a gap of more than six months between sessions.

“Our last sitting ended at the end of November last year. Hence, the next sitting must be held latest by the end of May or earlier.

“We need to comply with the requirement of the Constitution of the State of Penang,” he said.

Article 19 (1) states that the Yang di-Pertua Negri shall from time to time summon the Legislative Assembly and shall not allow six months to lapse between the last sitting in one session and the date appointed for its first sitting in the next session.

Chow told Buletin Mutiara the date for the state polls had yet to be determined.

“Penang Pakatan Harapan leadership council had a meeting on (Jan 15) to discuss a few matters.

“Among them were when to have the state election and whether will there be any cooperation with Barisan Nasional, in particular.

“Penang Pakatan Harapan prefers the state election to be held in the middle of this year – May, June or even July.

“We feel that making an early announcement regarding the date of the state polls is good.

“By doing so, political parties, candidates and the people can prepare themselves instead of (playing) the guessing game.

“Knowing the date can also help to stabilise the political environment,” he said.

“However, this is something for the Pakatan Harapan national leadership to decide,” he added when asked about the date of the state polls.

He added that the state Pakatan Harapan was also awaiting the directive from its national leadership on matters concerning cooperation with Barisan Nasional.

“There is now a unity government involving various political groups at the ‘government level’.

“Besides the national government, cooperation has also been forged in Pahang and Perak.

“This issue has not been decided in Penang and we (Penang Pakatan Harapan) will continue with our preparation while waiting for the issues to be addressed by the national leadership,” he said.

Chow also commented on the state DAP’s preparations for the state polls.

“The Penang DAP interviewed the proposed candidates nominated by its state DAP branches some six months ago, in preparation for the 15th General Election.

“However, only the national election was held, and now we are preparing to face the state election.

“We do not rule out having a fresh round of interviews to update our information regarding electoral prospects, the performance of potential candidates or unforeseen circumstances that require further consideration.

Chow also said Pakatan Harapan’s performance for the first six months as the Federal Government could influence the voters’ decision in the state polls.

“We have to implement good policies, address the high cost of living, and take action against corruption and bad governance.

“The ‘Sheraton Move’ should serve as a lesson.

“Pakatan Harapan needs to have better communication to highlight its achievements and the actions taken to address the concerns of the people,” he said.

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