Pujut rep loses the “dual citizenship” case in Federal Court and thus, his Pujut seat

Asfia (centre) at Federal Court with his legal representation today (Feb 11, 2020).

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KUCHING, Feb 11:  The Federal Court has today ruled that State Legislative Assembly (DUN) has the power to disqualify an elected representative.

Following the decision by a rare nine-member Federal Court bench at Palace of Justice in Putrajaya today, Pujut Assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon lost his representation in Sarawak State Assembly and thus, his seat at Pujut.

On May 12, 2017, the then Second Finance Minister Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh tabled a motion to disqualify Dr Ting on the ground that the latter owned dual citizenship.

The motion was passed in Sarawak State Assembly (DUN) and Dr Ting’s DUN membership was stripped off on the same day.

In response, Dr Ting challenged DUN’s decision and brought Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar, Wong, the Sarawak government to 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.

In a split decision, the three-judge bench decided that the DUN 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.

The respondents then appealed to the Federal Court which today ruled in their favour.— DayakDaily