AN altercation broke out in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) session yesterday between Infrastructure and Ports Development Assistant Minister Datuk Julaihi Narawi and Ba’ Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian over the federal government’s cancellation of three bridge projects in the state.

Julaihi had criticised the federal government for cancelling the Batang Lupar, Batang Igan and Batang Rambungan bridge projects which had been approved by the previous Barisan Nasional administration.

The Sebuyau assemblyman called out the Works Minister (Baru) as not being brave enough in demanding more funds for Sarawak’s development and remarked that the Ba’Kelalan assemblyman ‘takut dengan bos’ (is afraid of his party bosses) in Malaya.

Baru stood up and demanded that the word ‘takut dengan bos’ be withdrawn. He said not all projects approved by the previous administration could be implemented as the PH federal government had to look into the funds.

Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar observed the exchanges closely before calling an end to the  questions and answers session.

Mohd Asfia then called for the debate session on the Supply (2020) Bill to commence.

Members of the House participated in the debate with Lo Khere Chiang (GPS-Batu Kitang) being the first to address the House.

Lo supported the State 2020 Budget and lamented that Putrajaya should be more fair in providing allocations to Sarawak.

Datuk Tiong Thai King (GPS-Dudong) also offered his take on Sarawak constructing international schools in the state.

He opined that while setting up international schools for elite students is not a guarantee that Sarawak will reap the rewards as students may move away from Sarawak, a skilled workforce can support Sarawak’s transformation and aspirations of its people.

Datuk Seri Huang Tiong Sii (GPS-Repok) congratulated the state for achieving a growth of 4.5 to 5 percent in 2019.

“This is expected to grow between 5.5 and 6 percent in 2020. All the efforts in the past year have bore its fruit,” he said in his debate speech.

After a heated exchange with Mohd Asfia on why her motion to sue Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) was denied, Violet Yong (PH-Pending) backed down and reiterated her support towards the state government in its decision to take the national oil and gas company to task.