Idris welcomes Federal Court ruling as proof of separation of powers between federal govt and judiciary

Dato Idris Buang

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By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Feb 11: PBB information chief Datuk Idris Buang says the Federal Court’s decision on Dr Ting Tiong Choon’s dual citizenship case is evidence that there is separation of power between the estates of the realm — legislative, executive and judiciary.

“The decision of the Federal Court is very much welcomed. It proves that there is separation of power between the federal government and the judiciary.

“This also shows that parliamentary sovereignty and democracy is very much alive,” the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) leader told DayakDaily.

On May 12, 2017, the then Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh tabled a motion to disqualify Dr Ting on the grounds that the latter held dual citizenship. The motion was passed in the Sarawak State Assembly (Sarawak DUN) and Dr Ting was stripped of his Sarawak DUN membership the same day.

In response, Dr Ting challenged Sarawak DUN’s decision and brought Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar, Wong, the Sarawak government to the Kuching High Court on June 7, 2017. The High Court ruled in favour of Dr Ting following which his DUN membership was restored.

On July 13, 2018, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of Mohd Asfia, Wong and the two respondents.

The respondents then appealed to the Federal Court.

This morning, a rare nine-member Federal Court bench at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya ruled in favour of the Sarawak DUN and Mohd Asfia in a seven-to-two majority decision, resutling in Dr Ting losing his representation in DUN and thus, his Pujut seat.

Idris believed that the legislative bodies — Parliament and the Sarawak DUN — should have the authority to decide on their own affairs, such as the termination or disqualificatin of their members.

“This is in line with the separation of power especially in a parliamentary democracy based on the Westminster model,” said Idris who is also Muara Tuang assemblyman. — DayakDaily