Hornbill Unleashed

June 8, 2017

High Court to hear sacked Pujut rep’s bid to keep seat July 10

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen speaking to reporters outside the Kuching High Court complex after e-filing the originating summons. Behind him is Dr Ting Tiong Choon June 7, 2017. — Picture by Sulok TawieSacked from the Sarawak assembly, Dr Ting Tiong Choon’s legal bid to retain his Pujut seat will only be heard in the High Court a full six days after the July 4 by-election to find his replacement.

The Sarawak DAP potician filed an originating summons today against the Sarawak State Assembly Speaker Datuk Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar and four others for stripping his of his membership but was granted July 10 as the hearing date.

Lawyer Chong Siew Chiang who is also Sarawak DAP founder urged the Election Commission (EC) to postpone holding the by-election as scheduled on July 4. Nominations is scheduled for June 20.

“In all fairness, the commission should postpone the holding of the by-election, unless the commission thinks that it is above the court,” he told reporters at the court complex here after the filing.

He said the way Dr Ting was disqualified by the state assembly was “absolutely disgusting,” adding that the party will decide the next step to take if the EC insists on proceeding with by-election as scheduled.

Asfia was named the first respondent in the summons while the state International Trade and E-Commerce Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh was named the second respondent.

He named the Sarawak State Assembly, the Sarawak state government and the Election Commission as the third, fourth and fifth respondents respectively.

In his originating summons, Dr Ting, who is represented by a team of lawyers led by Chong Siew Chiang, asked the court to declare his disqualification as the duly elected member for Pujut by the Speaker on May 12 as null and void and of no effect for being ultra vires the law.

He also wants a declaration that the proceedings and decision taken in the state assembly which led to his disqualification is not immune from the court’s scrutiny.

He said that his disqualification is against the rule of natural justice and contravenes the State Constitution, particularly Article 17(1)(g) and Articles 118 and 121 of the Federal Constitution.

He said he can only be disqualified by way of an election petition as provided in the Election Offences Act 1954, which had already been exhausted prior to the decision of the state assembly.

Dr Ting said the state assembly has no power to interpret Article 17(1)(g) of the State Constitution to disqualify him as the assemblyman for Pujut.

He also sought the court to stay or postpone any by-election for the seat until the court case is disposed with.

Dr Ting was disqualified after a motion tabled by Datuk Sri Wong Soon Koh was supported by 70 Barisan Nasional assemblymen and rejected by 10 Opposition members.

He was alleged to have contravened Article 17(1)(g) of the State Constitution for acquiring a citizenship of Australia in 2012.


Source : The Malay Mail Online by SULOK TAWIE


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