KUCHING: The Federal Court’s decision to disqualify Democratic Action Party’s Dr Ting Tiong Choon as Pujut assemblyman has nothing to do with politics but all to do with patriotism.
State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar said a disloyal Malaysian who voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a foreign country, swore allegiance to that country and voted in that country cannot and should not be allowed to represent the electorate in Sarawak and sits in its highest law-making institution.
“This is not a question of politics but a question of patriotism. This is the intent and purpose of Article 17(1) (g) of the State Constitution of Sarawak read together with Article 19(1) of the State Constitution,” he said in a press conference at the State Legislative Assembly Complex yesterday.
He said as far back as 1688, the English passed a Bill of Rights that under Article 9 the court should not interfere in the decision of Parliament. That is the supreme doctrine of separation of powers.
“This Article 9 of the Bill of Rights is reflected and enshrined in Article 72 of the Federal Constitution,” he said.
As such, Asfia said it was a great victory for the State Legislative Assembly because the Federal Court, the highest court in the land, has upheld this doctrine of separation of powers.
“Judges are the guardians of the Federal and State constitutions and do not pervert them.”
He said the State Legislative Assembly had made a decision by 70 to 10 when disqualifying Dr Ting.
“And by 7-2, the Federal Court judges have upheld that decision. The Federal Court also ruled that there was no violation or breach of Rule of Natural Justice. Dr Ting was given an opportunity to defend himself.
“It was a simple question with a yes or no answer whether Dr Ting was an Australian citizen. And he declined to answer the question,” he said.
He said the State Legislative Assembly had to be protected and defended by its honourable warriors.
“Therefore, it is a magnificent victory because the Federal Court buttressed Article 73 of the Federal Constitution,” he said.