KUCHING, Feb 20: Special assistant to Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen, Michael Kong questions whether not swearing allegiance to a foreign state could be used as a yardstick to measure one’s loyalty to a state.
According to Kong in a press statement today, it was argued in the Federal Court that by taking up Australian citizenship, Dr Ting Tiong Choon, who was formerly the Pujut assemblyman, swore allegiance to Australia.
He pointed out that this argument was used by State-Attorney General Datuk Talat Mahmood to mean Dr Ting’s loyalty to Malaysia is put to question.
Kong noted that Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) president Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian had previously stayed in Australia for the past 17 years and even obtained a permanent residency there, and some leaders have tried to draw a line between Dr Ting’s case and also Dr Sim’s situation by saying that permanent residency is not the same as citizenship.
“Whilst this is correct, they ought to see that now the yardstick is beyond the issue of one’s citizenship but it has encroached into the question of one’s loyalty to Sarawak.
“When one applies for permanent residency, there is usually one main driving factor for the application which is to stay in Australia on a long-term basis and/or indefinitely.
“By virtue of this intention, then does this not show that this particular person’s loyalty is not with Sarawak?
“In view that the yardstick is not swearing an oath of allegiance to a foreign state but instead is now based on loyalty, one who previously holds permanent residency in a foreign state should also be barred from standing for election,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a separate statement, Kong opined that GPS should set aside political differences and work together with the opposition for the benefit of the people.
According to Kong, those within the GPS coalition are the ones responsible for the “nasty political culture and distasteful politicking”.
“GPS should learn to look at the bigger picture and embrace the differences in ideology and party beliefs,” he added
He noted last year, the Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sibu Branch, who were pre-authorised to carry out their MYTV decoder distribution at Sibu Civic Centre had their permission revoked at the last minute .
He said that the same thing happened to DAP Miri Branch this year.
“If an event is indeed beneficial to the people, then both parties ought to work together to make it a success because we are all ultimately working for the people,” he added. — DayakDaily