Pantun taking up precious time during Sarawak assembly, say MPs

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 12 Nov 2020

Sarawak Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar. - ZULAZHAR SHBELEE / The Star

KUCHING: The issue of pantun recitation took the limelight at the start of the Sarawak legislative assembly sitting on Thursday (Nov 12).

Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar said a number of assemblymen had recited pantun to "add colour and flavour" to the proceedings while others saw it as "a waste of precious question and answer time".

He noted that under the Standing Orders, any question on the order paper which was not reached during the one-hour question time would lapse, while questions should be "short, precise and dense".

"These are pertinent matters within the purview of the Standing Orders and the Selection Committee.

"I shall refer these matters to the committee for their consideration," he said.

Asfia was responding to complaints by DAP lawmakers David Wong and Irene Chang that the recitation of pantun took up too much time during the question and answer time.

Wong had told reporters on Wednesday (Nov 11) that many questions did not receive oral replies from ministers and assistant ministers during the allotted hour because "everyone came up with pantun".

He was unhappy that his question, which was next in line when question time ended, was not answered.

After Asfia made his ruling, some assemblymen said they only had a "short pantun" to recite before asking their questions, while others stated that they had none.

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