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Sarawak assembly adjourns after passing five Bills, one motion during eight-day sitting

Publish date: Wed, 15 May 2024, 10:54 PM

KUCHING, May 15 — The Sarawak Legislative Assembly adjourned its eight-day sitting sine die this afternoon, eight days after its opening by Governor Tun Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar on May 6.

It was Wan Junaidi’s first time officiating the opening since becoming governor in January this year.

The legislative assembly passed five Bills: Supplementary Supply (2023) Bill 2024, Supplementary Supply (2024) Bill 2024, Sarawak Ports Authority Bill 2024, Protection of Public Health (Amendment) Bill 2024, and the Sarawak Forestry Corporation Bill 2024.

The Sarawak Ports Authority Bill, which replaced the Port Authorities Ordinance 1961, sought to establish a central port authority to be known as the Sarawak Ports Authority.

The functions of port authority are to manage, regulate, control and administer all ports in Sarawak and to issue licences to port operators, port undertakings and other matters.

Among the significant provisions of the Protection of Public Health (Amendment) Bill is to bar the entry of animals into food outlets and restaurant premises.

The sitting also approved a motion tabled by Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg to express appreciation to former governor the late Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud for his contribution to the state and country and the observation of a one-minute silence on the passing of the Dewan Negara President the late Datuk Mutang Tagal, the first Dayak to hold the office.

The sitting also saw for the first time a well-known native customary rights (NCR) lawyer and Ba’Kelalan Assemblyman Baru Bian sitting in the government bloc.

He became a government backbencher upon the dissolution of his party, Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB), and he joined the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), a component of the ruling Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).

Former PSB president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh and former deputy Johnical Rayong returned as government backbenchers.

They joined the Opposition bench when PSB opted out from the GPS-plus government in July 2019.

In the 82-member legislative member, only Padungan assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen and Pending assemblyman Violet Yong, both from the DAP, are in the opposition bloc while Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How, who left PSB after the 2021 state election, opted to be an independent assemblyman.

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