KOTA KINABALU, Aug 10, 2015:
Newly appointed Sabah Legislative Assembly Speaker has banned the word ‘secession’ in the state’s future sittings.
Datuk Syed Abas Syed Ali made the warning when he clocked in for the new job officially today at the State Legislative Assembly building, here.
Welcomed by his two deputies — Datuk Johnny Mositun and Datuk Johnson Tee, as well as staff, Syed Abas however said it was beyond his control if the assemblymen wished to talk about it outside the auspicious House.
“I can only forbid its usage during the sitting.”
Instead, the Balung assemblyman wanted the assemblymen to discuss issues related to bringing development to the people and for the people.
Syed Abas reminded that Sabah was a big state and needed a lot of funds for the development of roads, water supply and other infrastructures including school infrastructures for school children.
“Even some districts are bigger than the states in the peninsular…so these are the things that I hope our assemblymen will raise during the sitting.
“They need to think not about one tree but about all the trees in the whole forest.”
He also added that he hoped for the cooperation from the assemblymen from both the government and the Opposition and stated that both these groups had the good of Sabah in mind.
Syed Abas, who took over as the 9th Speaker from Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak, who resumed his federal ministerial post as the Communication and Multimedia Minister, told the media that it took him and his wife by surprise.
“I was surprised when the chief minister asked me to take over as Sabah’s speaker, with the approval from the Prime Minister. It was a good offer.”
Syed Abas has been in politics since the 1970s and was believed to be the right person for the post due to his vast experience in administration and political arena.
“I was always the backbencher or chairman of government linked corporations, and never did I expect to be appointed, especially since there have been rumours of other people who were likely to become the next State Speaker.
“I was, initially, told that I would probably be offered an assistant ministerial post, so this new responsibility is indeed a real a surprise for me.”
Despite his vast experience, Syed Abas is humbled as he admitted that the new post meant he would have to learn from scratch.
“I am prepared for the new challenge, and while I am the ‘new kid’ here, I believe my able deputies would assist me with the tasks.”