We are not like the SUPP elected representatives who can only say “Yes” to the Chief Minister.

We are not like the SUPP elected representatives who can only say “Yes” to the Chief Minister.
In reply to Dr Sim’s allegation that the Opposition is like “naughty children” in Dewan Undangan Negeri, my simple reply to his allegation is that we DAP elected representatives are not the “Yes Man” the likes of SUPP.
It is the “Ya” and “Betul” nature of SUPP which has led to the exploitation and erosion of the people’s rights by the power that be over the decades.
Especially in a place like DUN, we debate on policies and issues. As the term implies, “debate” is a two-way intercourse, whereby the Ministers are confronted with questions which have to be answered on the spot.
“Debate” is unlike “speech”. Debates entail argument and two-way exchange of views whereas speech means one person talks and all other listen.
The BN has also to be reminded that DUN is not a classroom where the teacher teaches and students listen. DUN is a place whereby the Government’s policies are subject to questions and scrutiny, especially by the Opposition members.
The role played by DAP in DUN is to debate on Government policies and point out the flaws of the BN government’s policies. That is why we question in DUN and confront the Ministers when their reply is not true and does not reflect the actual situation on the ground.
The SUPP and BN want to turn the Sarawak DUN into a forum where the Ministers speak and no one question the Minister on their speeches.
If that is the case, don’t call it debate in DUN. One might as well call it “a lecture in a high-class classroom”.
I have been a Member of Parliament for more than 10 years. In Parliament, the debates are all two-way exchanges of views and arguments, and the Backbenchers and Ministers are all subject to impromptu questioning by other Members of Parliament in the House. Some can reply well, some not so well, but all are subject to questioning and interjection when they speaks and all are willing to take questions when they speaks.
It is a pity that in the Sarawak DUN, due to the lack of preparation and inability to answer questions offhand, the BN Backbenchers and Ministers tend to hide behind the Speaker who act as their “PROTECTOR” and switch off the mikes of the Opposition Members when the questions become too difficult to answer.
The Speaker in Sarawak DUN, besides chairing the meeting, also had the added responsibility of making sure that there is no embarrassing moment where Ministers cannot answer the questions from the Opposition.
I wish to re-iterate:
1. DUN is not a classroom; and
2. debate is not a lecture, but allows for exchange of arguments and views..
Dr Sim’s “naughty children” allegation only reveals that the SUPP has not changed a bit. Their mentality still remains the “YES MAN” mentality when it comes to facing their “Big Brother”, ie, the Chief Minister. They do not dare to say “No” and do not dare to criticise him.
Chong Chieng Jen
MP for Bandar Kuching / ADUN for Kota Sentosa
DAP Sarawak Chairman