KOTA KINABALU August 23, 2011: The first day of the State Assembly sitting yesterday was a noisy affair as lone opposition member Jimmy Wong of DAP engaged in a heated exchange with representatives from the Barisan Nasional (BN).
The commotion started after the Sri Tanjong assemblyman rejected the First Supplementary Bill 2011 which was tabled yesterday, saying the huge allocation would only benefit the Chief Minister’s cronies.
Jimmy’s statement drew sharp rebukes from several outraged BN assemblymen, including Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Pairin Kitingan, who called Point of Order 43 (6), demanding action to be taken against the former for uttering words with ill intention.
Sekong assemblyman Datuk Samsudin, Jimmy’s arch-rival in the assembly, was among the loudest in criticising the latter and demanding he retract every accusation against BN and its chairman Datuk Seri Musa Aman.
State Assembly Speaker Datuk Seri Salleh Said, who stepped in to replace Deputy Speaker Datuk Johny Mositon as the bickering heated up, directed Jimmy to retract his statement twice, first for using the word cronies and second for accusing the government of using the 5P amnesty programme to give citizenship to illegal immigrants.
Jimmy also accused the State Government of turning the foreigners into its voters.
Another Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Panglima Yahya Hussin, also called for Point of Order, citing Article 51, to remind Jimmy not to abuse the time given to him to address the House by repeating the same irrelevant topics.
He said Jimmy was taking more time than he was allowed and had disregarded the Speaker’s advice to move on to other topics on his agenda.
BN Backbenchers Club chairman and Kemabong assemblyman Datuk Rubin Balang also lashed out at Jimmy, describing the latter’s speech as mocking the government and its efforts to bring development and address the problems faced by the people.
Rubin even labelled Jimmy as “samseng” (gangster) who has gangs and used to beat people in public.
It prompted the Speaker to intervene and remind Rubin that a member is prohibited from attacking the character of other members at the State Assembly.
The Chief Minister called Jimmy a “pembohong” (liar) who was just seeking cheap publicity in the Assembly.
Other inappropriate words, including “bodoh” (stupid) and “penipu” (deceiver), were also heard several times as three to four representatives stood up and joined in the spat at the same time.
Order was restored after Jimmy agreed to retract his statement before concluding his speech.