Hornbill Unleashed

May 17, 2017

Sarawak Speaker informs EC of Pujut vacancy

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Sarawak State Assembly Datuk Asfia Awang Nasar says he has informed the Election Commission of a vacancy in Pujut after the sacking of Dr Ting Tiong Choon as the state assemblyman, May 16, 2017. ― Picture by Sulok TawieSarawak Speaker Datuk Asfia Awang Nasar has officially notified the Election Commission (EC) that the Pujut seat is vacant following the disqualification of DAP’s Dr Ting Tiong Choon.

The EC must now take the necessary steps pursuant to Article 21(5) of the Sarawak Constitution, he said.

“I have informed the EC chairman by way of a letter dated today, May 16, 2017, with regards to the disqualification of Dr Ting Tiong Choon as a member for Pujut whereby the seat is now vacant,” he told reporters today,” Asfia said.

Dr Ting was removed as the Pujut assemblyman on May 12 after 70 Barisan Nasional representatives voted in support of a motion to disqualify him, while 10 Opposition lawmakers rejected it.

The motion, tabled by Sarawak International Trade and e-commerce Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh, was to disqualify Dr Ting for previously acquiring an Australian citizenship.

Dr Ting had defeated three other candidates to win the seat in the 2016 state election.

Asfia today said Dr Ting’s removal was consistent with the state constitution.

He also asserted that Dr Ting automatically lost his Malaysian citizenship the moment he acquired the Australian citizenship, as provided for under Article 24(1) of the Federal Constitution.

“To knowingly allow a foreign national to sit as an elected member in this august House would flagrantly violate the law of the land…” he said.

On Dr Ting’s move to challenge the validity of his sacking in court, Asfia said it was the former’s prerogative, but noted that both the state and federal constitutions did not allow legislative proceedings to be contested in court.

Asfia then cited the 1979 case of Lim Cho Hock vs Speaker of the Perak State Assembly, which held the legislative assembly to be the final arbiter of its membership.


Source : @ The Malay Mail Online


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