Police report will be lodged against disqualified DAP rep, says Sarawak Speaker

Sarawak Speaker Datuk Amar Asfia Awang Nasar (centre) speaks to reporters on the Federal Court’s decision to disqualify Dr Ting Tiong Choon to represent the Pujut state constituency February 11, 2020. — Picture by Sulok Tawie
Sarawak Speaker Datuk Amar Asfia Awang Nasar (centre) speaks to reporters on the Federal Court’s decision to disqualify Dr Ting Tiong Choon to represent the Pujut state constituency February 11, 2020. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

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KUCHING, Feb 11 — Sarawak Speaker Datuk Amar Asfia Awang Nasar today said lodging a police report will be the next step taken by the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly against disqualified Pujut State Assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon over his dual citizenship status.

However, he said he will not disclose much at this stage on the steps that will be taken against Ting for now.

“One cannot disclose all the cards at this moment. One at a time,” he told reporters when commenting on the disqualification of Dr Ting as the state assemblyman, representing Pujut, by the Federal Court this morning.

Asked on whether the disqualification will affect Dr Ting’s Malaysian citizenship, he said it is the next issue that the State Assembly will be raising later.

“It is a simple logic that you cannot allow the highest law-making body in Sarawak to be filled up by foreigners or disloyal Malaysians who took up citizenship of foreign countries.

“Before you become a candidate, you make a declaration. Dr Ting was stripped of his membership in the State Assembly. They challenged and we lost in the High Court and in the Appeal of Court,” he said.

“The Federal Court, however, upheld the decision of the minority of the Court of Appeal,” he said, referring to the decision of a dissenting judge while two other judges upheld the decision of the High Court.

Asfia said the disqualification of Dr Ting as a state assemblyman for both being a Malaysian and having Australian citizenship by the State Assembly and then by the Federal Court is not about politics, but a question of patriotism.

“When a Malaysian is disloyal and voluntarily acquired the citizen of a foreign country, and take oath of allegiance to that country, voted in that country, became an integral part of that country, he cannot and should not be allowed to represent the electorate in Malaysia and sits in its highest law-making legislative,” he said.

He said this is the intent and purpose of Article 17(1)(g) of the Sarawak State Constitution, read together with Article 19(1) of the Federal Constitution.

Asfia said the decision of the Federal Court to disqualify Dr Ting is a great victory for the Sarawak State Assembly because the apex court upholds the doctrine of the separation of power between the legislature, executive and the judiciary.

“It is a magnificent victory because the Federal Court buttressed Article 72 of the Federal Constitution,” he said, referring to the privileges of the state assembly.

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