Federal Court grants leave for DUN, Mohd Asfia and Soon Koh to appeal

Mohd Asfia (second right) in discussion with his counsels George Lo (right) and Tan Sri Cecil Abraham (second left).

By Dorcas Ting

KUCHING, July 25: The Federal Court granted leave for the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN), DUN Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar, and Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh to appeal against the High Court and Court of Appeal’s finding that the state assembly had exceeded its power in denouncing Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon’s DUN membership on the basis of his dual citizenship.

Dr Ting had given up the dual citizenship before he was nominated as a candidate for Pujut.

The three-man bench led by the Chief Judge of The High Court of Sabah and Sarawak Datuk Seri Panglima David Wong Dak Wah, Dato’ Setia Mohd Zawawi Salleh, and Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan today granted leave to the applicants on the basis the matter concerns a constitutional issue, has great implications to the country and is of public importance.

Chief Judge of The High Court of Sabah and Sarawak David also suggested a panel of 7 judges be formed to hear the case.

Dr Ting (centre) with his counsels (from left) Wong King Wei, Chong Siew Chiang, Tan Kee Heng and Michael Kong.

On June 17, 2017, the High Court ruled that it was unlawful for DUN to disqualify Ting as Pujut assemblyman.

On July 13, 2018, the Court of Appeal ruled that the state assembly had exceeded its power in denouncing Dr Ting’s DUN membership on the basis of his dual citizenship, which Dr Ting had given up before being nominated as a candidate for Pujut.

On May 12, 2017, Dr Ting was stripped of his seat after Soon Koh who is the Minister of International Trade and E-Commerce tabled a motion in DUN.

Mohd Asfia, Soon Koh and DUN brought the case to the Federal Court after the Court of Appeal and Kuching High Court ruled against the disqualification of Dr Ting as Pujut assemblyman. — DayakDaily