It's 'abang' Bung vs GRS rep as verbal row erupts during assembly sitting

Bung Moktar (top right) crossed swords verbally with Masiung (bottom) during the debate session.

KOTA KINABALU: An otherwise calm Sabah state assembly sitting on Tuesday (Nov 28) saw a war of words breaking out between Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin (BN-Lamag) and Datuk Masiung Banah (GRS-Kuamut).

While debating on Sabah's 2024 Budget, Masiung touched on the delivery of projects in Tongod which is under his state constituency.

Kuamut is also part of the Kinabatangan parliamentary constituency, of which Bung Moktar is the MP.

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Masiung pointed out that Bung Moktar had spent a good portion of his allotted time during Monday's (Nov 27) debate criticising Kuamut and its elected representative.

He said Bung Moktar had claimed responsibility for all the development brought to Kuamut.

“But I want to record my sympathy to Lamag because firstly, despite being an experienced political figure and who I respect, he still fails to understand the role between an MP and assemblyman.

“Subsequently, he has also failed to understand the functions and jurisdictions of the state and Federal governments,” he said, as Bung Moktar stepped back into the hall.

At this juncture, Bung Moktar interjected to ask for an explanation from Masiung but Deputy Speaker Datuk Richard Yong Ke Wong told the Kuamut representative to just touch on matters in his constituency.

In response, Masiung said he needed to address the criticism levelled at him by Bung Moktar, contending that these comments had become personal.

Bung Moktar, known for his outbursts in Parliament, then clapped back, saying it was not his way to resort to personal attacks.

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“I... understand the differences between the state and Federal governments, I am a mature person, and I know all the history, including your (Masiung) political journey.

"Can I speak about that? How did you come into politics, who brought you in? I was the one.

“To me, you don’t talk big (but) to others you can,” Bung Moktar added.

At this point, Masiung said he was not giving way to the Sabah Umno chief to interject and the duo exchanged words for a while before Yong told Bung Moktar to sit down.

Just when things seemed to have subsided, Masiung then said Bung Moktar had, on Monday, constantly questioned what the Kuamut assemblyman had done for his constituency.

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“Then tell the state assembly what you have actually done,” Bung Moktar retorted.

“Whatever project I brought (into Kuamut), he (Masiung) claimed he was responsible.

“I only brought up the issue here in order to end him from talking big,” he added.

Yong then reiterated that Masiung should just focus on his area.

“OK, I will stop but I was only addressing (the criticisms),” he said, referring to Bung Moktar as his “abang” (big brother).

“Actually, my abang is my teacher and friend. I don’t know why (he suddenly attacked me).

"Maybe he has (designs) to contest in Kuamut... because I heard Lamag is a hot seat,” he said.

Bung Moktar replied that would not feel troubled even if people lined up to contest in Lamag.

The Deputy Speaker then told both assemblymen to settle things outside.

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