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Chaos breaks out in Terengganu assembly sitting

KUALA TERENGGANU: Chaos appeared to be the order of the day as shouting matches broke out among elected representatives at the state assembly sitting today.
The proceedings, which were aired live on the state’s web television channel, saw Speaker Datuk Mohd Zubir Embong having his hands full at maintaining order in the house. The antics of the assemblymen however, had the 375 members of the public gallery, comprising mostly secondary school students, in stitches.
It began with a question from Satiful Bahari Mamat (Pas-Paka) who wanted to know whether the state government had allocated additional funds to repair the damage at the Knowledge Park in Besut, to which state chairman for Infrastructure and Public Utilities Ir. Rosli Othman replied that it would not incur any cost on the part of the government.
“The costs of repairs will be borne by UniSZA (University Sultan Zainal Abidin) which has agreed to spend RM10 million. Under an agreement, UniSZA will lease and repair two blocks of hostels for 10 years. It will also repair the lighting and security measures in the campus,” said Rosli.
When Satiful asked a supplementary question on when UniSZA will start operating in the Knowledge Park and when will the repairs be made, Rosli said the hostels will be opened on Sept 9, and the repairs will be carried out according to specifications.
Rosli also said the government had spent RM340 million towards developing the Knowledge Park since 1997 and hoped with UniSZA will gain recognition as centre of excellence for education.
Things went downhill when Abdul Wahid Endut (Pas-Wakaf Mempelam) asked if the original developer of the Knowledge Park had filed legal claims and whether the government had made any payments to settle the suit.
Wahid said the state government had settled RM40 million over the legal suit. However, when Zubir asked for proof, Wahid said he needed notice to gather the information.
The reply irked the Barisan Nasional assemblymen and a shouting match ensued, with the BN representatives accusing Wahid of fabricating the information and saying he should not have raised the matter in the august house if he could not provide proof to back his claims.
To another question by Wahid on royalties and fees earned by the government from the Sultan Mahmud Hydroelectric Dam, Rosli said the annual revenue from the hydroelectric dam was RM11.63 million.
However, Rosli said the agreement with Tenaga Nasional Bhd expires on Aug 28 and discussions are being held to renew the agreement with terms more favourable to the state government.
“The agreement will also include terms for the second hydroelectric dam in Tembat. The agreement will not benefit just one party but will be in the interest of the state government,” he added.
The house later approved a supplementary bill to utilise RM100 million for development projects, of which RM33 million would be used for the development at duty free areas in Tasik Kenyir.

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