KUCHING, Feb 14: Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian clarified that he had never acquired Australian citizenship.
This response came following the remarks of Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen who had in a function in Miri today made comparisons between his Australian permanent residency status with former Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon’s Australian citizenship.
Dr Sim claimed that Chong was trying to confuse and mislead Sarawakians after Dr Ting was stripped as Pujut assemblyman following the Federal Court ruling in a majority decision that the Sarawak State Assembly was correct to disqualify him.
“While I was in Australia for 17 years, I had never acquired Australian citizenship or exercised rights of citizenship in, or made any declaration of allegiance to, any country outside the Federation of Malaysia as my home is Sarawak,” he stated in a statement today.
Dr Sim, who is also Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) president, said he had returned to Sarawak and served in public hospitals soon after he completed his training as a cardiologist in Melbourne, Australia.
“(Unlike) Dr Ting (who) chose to serve in Australia after completing his medical schools and obtained his citizenship in Australia. By applying his Australian citizenship, Dr Ting swore his loyalty to Australia and this is not required for permanent residence applicants.
“I came back to serve Sarawak and eventually was elected as a state assemblyman for Batu Kawah as a Sarawakian,” he further clarified.
Dr Sim pointed out that he was proud that the Sarawak Constitution strictly prohibited non-Sarawakians to serve as a member of the State Legislative Assembly which was the highest authority in this land.
Observing that Chong was very dissatisfied with the recent court’s decision to bar Dr Ting from serving in the State Assembly, he questioned if Chong was trying to propose to allow non-Sarawakians to serve in Sarawak State Assembly?
“I’m wondering whether there are any hidden agenda in the PH (Pakatan Harapan) camp to use Sarawak DAP to find ways to create openings for non-Sarawakians to rule and represent us in our state legislative, not for our interests but for their endless political ambitions and greed,” he asked. —DayakDaily