By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Feb 11: Asajaya assemblyman Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah hopes the Malaysian government will tidy up its laws on dual citizenship following Pujut rep Dr Ting Tiong Choon losing his “dual citizenship” case and thus his Sarawak assembly membership in Federal Court in Putrajaya today.
“We hope the Malaysian government would now tidy up its laws on this issue on Dual Citizenship so that it is specifically spelt out that no Malaysian can hold citizenship of another nation when he or she is a Malaysian citizen,” Abdul Karim told DayakDaily.
Following the decision by a rare nine-member Federal Court bench at Palace of Justice in Putrajaya today, Dr Ting lost his representation in Sarawak State Assembly and thus, his Pujut seat.
On May 12, 2017, the then Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh tabled a motion to disqualify Dr Ting on the ground that the latter owned dual citizenship. The motion was passed in Sarawak State Assembly (DUN) and Dr Ting was stripped of his DUN membership the same day.
In response, Dr Ting challenged DUN’s decision and brought Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar, Wong, and the Sarawak government to Kuching High Court on June 7, 2017. The case went from the High Court and later the Court of Appeal.
“As much as I sympathise with Dr Ting as he is now disbarred as an ADUN (state assemblyman), he should know that when he applied for Australia citizenship and actually became an Australian citizen, his Malaysian citizenship was automatically dropped.
“Malaysian Law does not permit dual or triple citizenship. Being a medical doctor and a professional, Dr Ting is fully aware of that. He did not inform the Malaysian government of his dual citizenship and had chosen to keep silent about it as he wanted to reap benefits and privileges from being citizen of both countries,” said Abdul Karim.
For Abdul Karim, Dr Ting should re-apply if he wanted to be recognised as a Malaysian citizen and pledge his Oath of Loyalty and Allegiance to Malaysia and the Agong.
“The Malaysian citizenship should not be taken for granted and be automatically granted to him,” said Abdul Karim.
On the decision of the case, he said it was a good decision by the Federal Court which saw an unprecedented sitting of the maximum nine judges who have made all Malaysians feel proud with their seven-to-two majority decision. —DayakDaily