By Nancy Nais
KUCHING, Feb 11: The Federal Court’s decision to disqualify Dr Ting Tiong Choon as Pujut assemblyman is not a question of politics but a question of patriotism, says Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar.
“When a Malaysian is disloyal and voluntarily acquires citizenship of a foreign country, took a vow and 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 sit in its highest law-making legislature,” Mohd Asfia asserted in a press conference here today.
He explained that this is the intent and purpose of Article 17(1)(g) of the State Constitution of Sarawak read together with Article 19(1).
Meanwhile, he added that under Article 9, the courts should not interfere with the decision of Parliament.
“This is the supreme doctrine of separation of powers. This Article 9 of the Bill of Rights is reflected and enshrined in Article 72 of the Federal Constitution,” he pointed out.
Meanwhile, the decision is considered a great victory for the Sarawak DUN because the Federal Court, as the highest court in the land, is seen as upholding the doctrine of separation of power.
Mohd Asfia further asserted that judges are legal guardians of the federal and state constitutions and they do not pervert the two.
“This is a magnificent victory because the Federal Court buttressed Article 72 of the Federal Constitution.
“The Dewan made its decision in 7 to 2 in the disqualification of Dr Ting. The Federal Court also ruled that there was no breach of the rule of natural justice.”
Mohd Asfia pointed out Dr Ting was given the opportunity to defend himself and answer with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ the question whether he became an Australian citizen, but the latter did not answer.
“The DUN has to be protected and defended by the valiant areas of its honourable warriors against the knife of any assasin,” Mohd Asfia said. — DayakDaily