Tiong: Stop justifying Dr Ting’s non-disclosure of dual nationality

Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing

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KUCHING, Feb 17: Former Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon and Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen need to stop justifying the former’s non-disclosure of his dual nationality to seek public sympathy.

Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said the loss of Dr Ting’s status as a state elected representative was of his own doing.

The Bintulu MP described it as disgraceful for both Dr Ting and Chong, as leaders in the ruling government, to discredit the federal court’s decision and treating the country’s constitutional laws lightly.

“Dr Ting had deliberately concealed his dual nationality in order to contest the election. In doing so, he had knowingly dismissed the sanctity of the state Constitution by trying to take advantage of a loophole in the law.

“Now, he is reaping the consequences of his actions,” Tiong said in a statement.

Tiong believed Dr Ting should realise that his actions of concealing his dual nationality, in order to contest the elections, could not stay hidden forever.

“He should have been prepared for this controversy and not trying to justify his actions to gain sympathy.

“Even if Dr Ting had not been aware that his dual citizenship precludes him from contesting in the elections, his bosses, Chong and Lim Guan Eng (DAP secretary-general), should have been better informed about the relevant laws,” he continued.

Tiong claimed that he had met Dr Ting when rumours of the latter holding dual Malaysian and Australian citizenship were swirling.

“When we spoke, I remember saying to him, to ensure that he is in the clear or it would come back to haunt him one day.

“The Constitution states that our citizens are not allowed dual citizenship and the federal government could renounce the Malaysian citizenship of an individual who had acquired the citizenship of any other country.

“If he continues to be a cavalier about his background, it is up to him to bear the consequences,” he said.

Tiong reminded Chong and Dr Ting, as part of the ruling government, to display maturity and respect the decision of the apex court.

“We are indeed fortunate that it is not a decision made by a federal court under the previous government, or that DAP would have immediately denounced it as a political witch hunt.

“The decision by the federal court shows the fairness and justice of Malaysian law. Let us hope that DAP holds to this principle and not wantonly attack our sacred public institutions and smear them,” he continued.

Tiong said the Federal Court’s 7-2 majority vote is a crystal clear proof that Dr Ting is not eligible as an assemblyman for having dual citizenship prior to contesting the polls.

He urged Dr Ting to pay back his elected representative allowances back to the taxpayers.

After his disqualification as Pujut assemblyman, Dr Ting has been appointed as Chong’s personal assistant to allow him to continue serving the people in the constituency. — DayakDaily