MIRI: Barisan Nasional’s direct candidate for Pujut has filed an election petition at the High Court here to declare the candidacy of Dr Ting Tiong Choon as null and void on grounds that he was an Australian citizen at the time the Sarawak 11th state election was concluded.
Hii King Chiong said his lawyer, K Y Lin, filed the petition at 11am yesterday for the court to declare the results null and void and declare as winner the person who got the next highest number of votes for the seat.
Ting, from DAP, was declared winner of the election for the Pujut seat after garnering 8,899 votes against 7,140 votes obtained by Hii. Jofri Jaraiee of PAS obtained 513 votes and independent Fong Pau Teck received 375 votes.
The petitioner found out that the respondent was still a registered voter with the Australian Election Commission, according to Borneo Post.
Lin said the petition was based on Malaysian law which disqualified any candidate who is the citizen of another country from contesting in an election.
“In this case, we have found that Dr Ting was entitled to vote in the federal election in Australia.
“Under Section 93 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, only Australians or certain British subjects are eligible to vote in that election,” he told reporters after filing the case.
The petition stated that Dr Ting’s nomination on April 25 this year was ultra vires Articles 16 and 17 (1)(g) and the respondent’s declaration in Form 5A under Regulation 4 (7) of Election (Conduct of Elections) Regulations, 1981 was false and an absolute untruth.
It added that this was an offence committed under Statutory Declaration Act 1960 as the respondent failed to inform the Election Commission of his Australian citizenship.
The petition said it was also a direct violation of Articles 16 and 17 (1)(g) of the Constitution of the State of Sarawak where a person who has voluntarily acquired citizenship, or exercised rights of citizenship in any country outside the federation or has made a declaration of allegiance to any country outside the federation is disqualified from being elected as an elected member of the Sarawak state assembly.
It also sought the cost of the petition and other consequential orders and relief deemed fit by the court be borne by the respondent.