In Penang assembly, heated argument between backbencher and Speaker over rejected question

Opalyn Mok
Gooi Hsiao Leung (PH - Bukit Tengah) asked the Speaker Datuk Law Choo Kiang for clarification on the rejection of his question regarding infrastructure projects in the state. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Nov 9 — A backbencher today had a heated argument with the Penang state legislative assembly Speaker after his written question was rejected by the August House.

Gooi Hsiao Leung (PH - Bukit Tengah) asked the Speaker Datuk Law Choo Kiang for clarification on the rejection of his question regarding infrastructure projects in the state.

Law told Gooi that his question was vague, so it was rejected.

“The question is very clear; it is a follow-up question to the answer given to me in the last sitting,” Gooi insisted.

He said the question is of interest because so many infrastructure projects that the state applied for from the federal government between 2008 and 2018 were not approved.

When Law told Gooi that the question was already rejected, the latter insisted that the issue is a matter of importance for the state and its people.

He said he had clearly referred to the answer to question number seven with Annexe A, which was given to him in the previous legislative assembly sitting.

Law told him that not all in the August House would understand the question as they would not know what was in Annexe A and question number seven from the last sitting.

Gooi tried to explain the question he had submitted, while insisting it was a clear question, but Law finally told him to sit down.

Later, Gooi said his question was in reference to the 133 infrastructure projects that were rejected by the previous Barisan Nasional federal government between 2008 and 2018.

“The reply I received in the last sitting was that the state has applied for 133 projects from the federal government and all of them were rejected. So, I had wanted to ask what steps the state will take now under the Pakatan Harapan federal government to make sure those projects are approved,” he said.

He said this is a matter of public interest as the 133 projects are for various infrastructure initiatives, including RM20 million for the management of the World Heritage Site, upgrading of roads, hospitals, clinics and upgrading of markets.

There are 611 written questions and 72 oral questions submitted during this state assembly sitting.

A total of three Bills and two motions will be tabled.

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