Hornbill Unleashed

June 22, 2017

Pujut rep’s lawyer puzzled over speaker’s notice of appeal

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

Wong-King-Wei-asfiaPujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon’s lawyer is very puzzled.

The legal team yesterday received a notice of appeal from State Legislative Assembly Speaker Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar against the Kuching High Court’s decision to reinstate Dr Ting as Pujut assemblyman.

However, Asfia not only named Dr Ting, but also Sarawak International Trade and E-Commerce Minister Wong Soon Koh, the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (DUN) and the Election Commission (EC) as respondents.

One of the lawyers, Wong King Wei, told The Borneo Post: “It looks very strange in the sense that Asfia brought the appeal not only against Dr Ting, but also Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh, the EC and DUN. As a speaker, you brought an appeal against the DUN, so what is the implication? I’m not sure.

“I would say that it is very strange in legal practice for a speaker to bring an appeal against his fellow defendants in the High Court.”

King Wei said, according to The Borneo Post, that it was “even more strange” in a political sense for a speaker to bring an appeal against the state assembly, of which the speaker is the highest authority.

“Of course, there is no grounds of appeal yet at the moment because the appellant is normally given time to file a memorandum of appeal which consists of the ground of the appeal. At the moment, we can only comment on the face of the notice of appeal alone,” King Wei was quoted a saying.

Asfia is challenging the Kuching High Court’s decision to reinstate Dr Ting as Pujut assemblyman in the Court of Appeal.

The state assembly and Soon Koh are also expected to file their appeal soon, The Borneo Post reported.

On June 17, in ruling in favour of Dr Ting, High Court judge Douglas Christo Primus Sikayun said the state assembly was not a competent forum to disqualify any of its members.

He said only the Election Court could decide on the membership status of any assemblyman, as provided for under Article 118 of the Federal Constitution.

Douglas had also found that Asfia had failed to apply the rule of natural justice when dismissing Dr Ting during the May 12 state assembly sitting.

The High Court also said that Asfia had failed to take into account the interests of the 8,899 voters who voted for Dr Ting during the state election last year, The Borneo Post reported.

Soon Koh tabled the ministerial motion to disqualify Dr Ting for allegedly acquiring Australian citizenship in 2010.

However, at the time Dr Ting stood for election, he was a Malaysian citizen.

Source : FMT Online


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