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DAP deceived Pujut voters about Ting, says UPP

 | May 19, 2017

George Lo of UPP is confident DAP knew Ting held dual citizenship when he contested in Pujut last year but decided to take a gamble which backfired.

pujut

KUCHING: The DAP deceived voters in the Pujut constituency when they failed to disclose that its former assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon held Australian citizenship, says the United People’s Party (UPP).

Its secretary-general George Lo said Ting held Malaysian and Australian citizenship from 2010 to 2016, and renounced his Australian citizenship just before the state election in May last year.

“This is something that could not have slipped their (DAP’s and Ting’s) minds. I think they decided to take a gamble and it backfired,” Lo told FMT.

Ting was dismissed from the state assembly last Friday on a motion tabled by Sarawak second finance minister Wong Soon Koh that he once held Australian citizenship without surrendering his Malaysian citizenship, thus violating provisions in the state and federal constitutions.

The DAP said it would challenge the disqualification in court.

The Election Commission today fixed June 20 for nominations and July 4 for polling in the by-election to fill the vacated seat in the state assembly.

Lo said the Sarawak Constitution was clear that a person was disqualified from standing as a candidate in a state election if he had previously become a citizen of another country.

“In order to become a citizen of Australia, Dr Ting would have had to sign a pledge of allegiance to Australia. This is another disqualifying factor,” he said.

Wong, who is UPP president, revealed when tabling the motion seeking to disqualify Ting that the latter completed the renouncement of his Australian citizenship only three weeks before the Sarawak election. Ting later confirmed this to the media.

Lo said Ting had disqualified himself from serving in the assembly back in 2010.

“The disqualification bites as soon as the foreign citizenship is taken. The fact that Dr Ting renounced his Australian citizenship a few weeks before the election is not relevant,” Lo added.

On the coming by-election, Lo said UPP was given the right to contest for Barisan Nasional (BN) in Pujut in the last state election and he was confident the party would be selected to field a candidate again.

“We are confident we can deliver the seat for BN in the by-election,” he said.

UPP is not a member of the Sarawak BN but some of its leaders serve in the state government under a BN-plus arrangement.

In the state election last year, Ting won by polling 8,899 votes to 7,140 votes garnered by BN’s candidate Hii King Chiong. Jofri Jaraiee of PAS obtained 513 votes and independent Fong Pau Teck received 375 votes.


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