Pujut Disqualification Takes The Main Stage at the Assembly

Sarawak Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar. — dayakdaily.com

The 18th State Legislative Assembly had an interesting and dramatic start this session.

Last Friday, Pujut Assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon was removed from the assembly following 70 votes in favour of Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh’s ministerial motion, sought to disqualify Dr Ting for previously acquiring Austrialian citizenship.

Following this decision, speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Awang Asfia Awang Nassar officially informed the Election Commission that the seat is officially vacant under Article 17(1)(g) of the state constitution.

In a press conference on Tuesday, Asfia said the constitution of the state must take its course and now for the EC to take necessary action.

The EC confirmed receiving the notice through a press statement and said a special meeting will be held this Friday in Putrajaya at 9am to discuss on this.

With the notice, a by-election have to be called within 60 days in accordance with the election laws of Malaysia and the by-election date must be fixed once EC is notified of the vacancy.

Meanwhile, Bernama reports a Malaysian would lose his citizenship if he or she were to apply to become a citizen of another country

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in responding to Dr Ting’s disqualificaiton said If any Malaysian has dual citizenship, he or she will automatically lose the Malaysian citizenship.

“This is not the question of politising an issue, but a question of principle upheld by the legislative system and people of Malaysia,” said Zahid.

He also said the decision of the assembly could be challenged or brought to court by the relevant political party, nevertheless, the Federal Constitution must be upheld as the leading legal reference and respected by all.