Notice of the sitting of the Dewan Undangan Negeri had been issued by the Dewan Secretary that the sitting will be from 5th - 14th May, 2008. As usual, YBs are expected to submit to the Dewan Secretary a maximum total of 10 questions to be answered by the ministers during the sitting. It is hoped that the ministers would come out with detailed answers and not try to avoid their responsibilites by slip shots answers like in previous sittings. The quality of answers to the questions by ministers were much desired and their poor and incomplete answers had reflected the quality of minsters under Taib Administration. Recently, Taib was said wanted to reschuffle his cabinet. Are the present cabinent ministers a bunch of inefficient trustees of the people?
What I am going to say is that to develop this State, we need not only visionary, but, also responsible, intelligent and hardworking Ministers that could keep abreast with world development and could bring Sarawak on competitive edge at global stage.
Recently, we have heard and read in papers that a number of YBs houses were broken into and it seems that robbers and thieves were always having a field day. Now, it is important for the ministers to provide answers where went wrong with the BN government's security policy and policing system. We all know that the Police Department lacked manpower and despite this, officers of the Police Department seems to have worked very hard. Many suspects were arrested by the police each day in the course of ensuring our streets free from crime and people safe to go out during day and night. However, as a matter of concern personally, I received too many complaints about arrests made by police officers that failed to see suspects charged in court. These suspects were either released unconditionally due to insufficient evidence against them or due to wrong persons being put under arrest. Whether this was intentional or otherwise only the police officers and those arrested knew what in actual fact went on. Another bad part about such arrest was also that many of those arrested were subjected to "roadshow" extension of their remand or police bail. Those who were subjected to remand could easily find themselves being re-arrested outside the courtroom once they were released by the court. For those who were on police bail, they usually found themselves being called to the police station to extend their police bail and such extensions of bail many not end for months to come and even years until everybody forgot about it!
The provision of police bail under law usually was abused by many police officers. As I understand, the bail book could be made available to all or most investigating officers and I used to see police officers carrying police bail books to court to give bail to suspects. There should be proper auditing and control of these police bail books. Such bail books could easily be abused for some personal gain. Public should be informed that in non-bailable offences, only the Officer-in-Charge of the Police District could issue bail. Therefore, not all police officers could issue police bail. Not event Officer-in-Charge of other Police Districts should be allowed to issue such police bail.
Question is put to the Dewan concerning police arrests and we should know how successful the police was in the past in arresting the actual culprits that perpetrate crime in the State. We don't want the police department to come out with statistics showing that they had done good work, but, in actual fact not. This is in the hope that remedial measures could be formulated so that there no more be abuse of power and unlawful arrest. What we don't want to see is for some officers not going after the real culprits, but, just to get someone out there to satisfy the boss and the public that arrests had been made on a certain crime. If this was the trend, then, the real culprits who scot free from police net will become more brave to commit further crime. Now, these criminals outside there not only became more daring, but, knew their choice of target.
In my question to the Dewan, I also brought up a pre-election "spice" by the then mayor of MBKS to beautify banks of Sg. Maong in the Batu Lintang State Constituency. Such an idea is very much welcomed, but, after the mayor's defeat, we are not sure whether the present BN government would carry out with the project. What I am saying here is that, we don't BN government to forget the promises made by their leaders and abandon us once defeated. Even if it was not a promise, as elected representative of the people of Batu Lintang, I wish the State BN government could fulfil the concept brought by the then mayor as it was a noble thing to do for the good of the people of the constituency.
A question touching on local government was also put by me to the State BN government. What we want is tranparency and also to know the ability of the local authorities to collect revenues so that these local authorities could run well. We also want to know how much revenue these local authorities could collect. We do not, of course, want to see local councillors who are dead wood, just sitting in council meetings to hear briefings from officers of their local authorities. Since in the present system do not afford the opposition to sit in council meetings, there is no way to know how these local authorities were run. So, the only way is to ask through the Dewan. It is lucky this time we have opposition members in the Dewan to inquire matters concerning local authorities, otherwise, the matter could easily be swept under the carpet. Due to transparency problem and abuses of power in public authorities, the BN governments should acced to the request of the people and call for local authority elections.
In this coming Dewan sitting I would also like the State BN government to anwer my queries on oil and gas royalties. The people of Sarawak should know as these are among our State's most important property. We hope the Federal Government understand that our state's oil and gas money had been used to help West Malaysia to develop fast. It is with this hope that if we keep the issue alive, we hope one day the Federal Government would sympathise us and give back our oil and gas rights so that Sarawak can use the revenue derived from these resources to better develop the state.
Besides oil and gas, the Federal Government also took much revenue out from the state through federal departments. It is time now for us also to know how much revenue the federal government got each year from the federal departments from our state. The revenue collected by these federal government should be "filtered" or part of it retained by the state before being sent to the Federal Treasury.
For information, please see questions to the Dewan as below:
1. Bertanya kepada Timbalan Ketua Menteri I Sarawak.
Question: (Oral Answer)
a. How many suspects were arrested or detained by the police under each section of 23, 105 and 117 of the Criminal Procedure Code in Kuching, Sri Aman, Kota Samarahan, Sibu, Bintulu, Kapit, Miri and Limbang for each of the years from 2001 until April, 2008 and how many were actually charged in court after arrest or expiry of remand under the respective section of the Criminal Procedure Code?
b. May it be disclosed the number of juveniles, racial and gender breakdown of all those arrested under sections 23, 105 and 117 of the Criminal Procedure Code in the aforesaid towns or cities during the period mentioned?
c. While under detention in police cells, how many were said sick or being assaulted or battered during the aforesaid period and how many were actually sent to hospitals for medical treatments or observations, if any, and what were the results of the medical examinations and action taken by the police on each of these cases of assault or battery?
d. For each of the years from 2001 to April, 2008, how many Sarawakians were placed in detention under the (i) Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969 (ii) Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 1970 (iii) Restricted Residence Ordinance 1933 (iv) Dangerous Drugs (Forfeiture of Property) Act 1988?
2. Bertanya kepada YB Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan:
To the proposal made by the then Mayor of Majlis Bandaran Kuching Selatan (MBKS) during the recent state election campaign 2006, to beautify the river of Sg. Maong in the Batu Lintang Constituency under the concept of “For A Better Homeland” with gardens, planted trees, footpaths, etc., when will the project be started and completed and what will be the cost of the project?
3. Bertanya kepada YB Menteri Alam Sekitar dan Kesihatan:
Question: (Oral Answers)
a. To state the amount of revenue collected from outdoor advertisements by Dewan Bandaraya Kuching Utara (DBKU), Majlis Bandaraya Kuching Selatan (MBKS) and Majlis Perbandaran Padawan (MPP) for each of the years from 2001-2007?
b. How much revenue including traffic fines left outstanding and still not collected by DBKU, MBKS and MPP and what actions had been taken by these authorities to recover these unpaid revenues and how successful were the recovery actions by these authorities?
c. To those revenues with no possibility of recovery including traffic fines, what had DBKU, MBKS and MPP done with them?
4. Bertanya kepada YAB Ketua Menteri Sarawak:
Question (Oral Answer)
a. What is the amount of oil and gas royalties collected by the State from each of the years from 1980 until 2007 and to which fund or how were these royalties channeled to the State by the Federal Government?
b. How the fund from these oil and gas royalties were used or managed in the development of the State under the administration of our present YAB Chief Minister?
c. Whether there had been negotiations by the state since 2006 with the federal government to have the royalties of gas and oil be increased from the present 5% and if there were negotiations, what were the progress of these negotiations and who were involved in the negotiations and when?
d. What is the compensatory amount owed by Federal Government to our State Government since 2000 after adoption of the Asean Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) by the Federal Government which abolished the Excise and Import Duty on petroleum products?
e. Since the Excise and Import Duty on petroleum products had been abolished upon the adoption of AFTA and replaced by Sales Tax since 2000, what is the amount of the shortfall in revenue, if any, from petroleum products, if the Excise and Import Duty was to be maintained?
5. Bertanya kepada YB Menteri Kewangan:
a. How much money was collected from public authorities and donations from members of the public to families of the victims of the bus tragedy many years ago with students in it that plunged, killing them in Bau Lake?
b. Name the recipients of this money and how much each got?
6. Bertanya kepada YB Menteri Kewangan:
Question (Oral Question)
What is the amount of revenue collected in the State each year for years from 2000 - 2007 as federal revenue from the following federal departments:-
i. Police Department;
ii. Customs & Excise Department;
iii. Inland Revenue Department;
iv. Immigration Department;
v. Road Transport Department; and,
vi. Judicial Department.
7. Bertanya kepada YB Menteri Perancangan dan Pengurusan Sumber:
Question (Oral Answer)
a. Why the Forest Department recently seems ineffective in combating illegal loggings in the state and that the police were called in or had to assist in combating these activities?
b. What is the estimate cost of loss in revenue due to illegal logging of timber since 2000 to April, 2008?
8. Bertanya kepada YAB Ketua Menteri:
Question (Oral Answer)
In what way the impending reshuffled State Cabinet will be able to help accelerate the economic growth and enhance people’s welfare in both urban and rural areas, especially, the poor?
9. Bertanyak kepada YB Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktur.
Question (Oral Question).
a. Has CMS Roads Sdn. Bhd. who was awarded in 2003 a
15-year contract in maintenance of roads in the State prepared and submitted to the JKR the Network Maintenance Strategy and Quantity Assurance System, and if not, why and what action had the relevant authorities so far taken to make sure the company has to come out with the requirement?
b. Detail out the auditing system or procedure undertaken by Public Works Department (JKR) to ensure that CMS Roads Sdn. Bhd., had carried out proper maintenance of roads in the State in accordance with job specifications and quality maintenance assurance.
c. What are the flaws, if any, detected by JKR in their supervision and auditing of road maintenance works undertaken in the state by CMS Roads Sdn. Bhd and what are the remedial action taken in respect of these flaws?
10. Bertanya kepada Menteri Pemodenan Pertanian:
Question (Oral Answers)
a. Detail out the progress of the implementation of the state agricultural policy to make Sarawak a sustaining food producer in Malaysia?
b. What had the government done so far to make sure that Sarawak will be among the largest producer of rice and grains in the next five years?
Dated this 15th day of April, 2008
VOON LEE SHAN
ADUN Batu Lintang – N. 11