Don’t muddy the waters

Datuk Gerawat Gala

KUCHING: Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) and Democratic Action Party (DAP) are urged to not muddy the waters by propagating public discourse on the amendment to Article 16 of the Sarawak Constitution.

State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Deputy Speaker Datuk Gerawat Gala said the interpretation of the Constitution was vested in the courts.

“If DAP and PSB are convinced that their hypothetical case of ‘Putri’ is qualified to stand for election, DAP and PSB should find a real ‘Putri’ type candidate and let us see whether the courts will allow or disqualify her from being elected to DUN.

“The test of the pudding is in the eating,” he said today in response to confusion on the matter in terms of the hypothetical case of a person named ‘Putri’ brought by the two opposition parties.

Gerawat said DAP and PSB had put their spin on the amendments to support their frivolous allegations that the amendments had opened the door for non-Sarawakians to take part in the state elections.

“The fictitious example of Putri, whose mother is a West Malaysian born in Sarawak to West Malaysian parents , will still not qualify as an assemblyperson under the amendment because she is not normally resident in Sarawak even after working in the state for two years.

“A person is normally resident in Sarawak if he or she resides in Sarawak and has every intention to remain in the state for an indefinite period and has no intention of moving or residing elsewhere.

“On the contrary, without the amendment to Article 16, Putri would have been easily qualified as an assemblyperson by the mere fact that she is a resident in Sarawak for two years or even less.”

Gerawat said the accusation by the two parties that Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) was opening the door for non-Sarawakians to be an assemblyperson was the exact opposite of the state government’s objective and intention for the amendment.

“Both DAP and PSB are now colluding to justify their opposition to the amendment by alleging that the amendment has opened the way for non-Sarawakians to contest and become a member of DUN.

“GPS will never go against its fundamental and core value of putting Sarawak first and protecting Sarawak’s rights.”


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