DAP: Pujut rep’s disqualification a ‘sad day for democracy’

Aziz-Isa-Ting-Tiong-sarawakPETALING JAYA: Sarawak DAP has slammed the disqualification of party member Dr Ting Tiong Choon as Pujut assemblyman at the state assembly this morning as a blatant disregard of voters and the democratic process.

“It’s a sad day for democracy in Sarawak,” said Abdul Aziz Isa, special assistant to state DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen.

“This is blatant disregard of the voters’ choice and disrespect of the democratic process,” he said in a statement today.

“The autocratic BN (Barisan Nasional) Sarawak regime did not respect the concept of separation of power.”

He said the move by 70 assembly members to vote in favour of a ministerial motion to disqualify Dr Ting had ignored a court decision over a petition to disqualify him on grounds that he allegedly held dual Malaysian-Australian citizenship.

“It is a tyranny of majority, a clear abuse of the process and a dictatorial-veto of the people’s choice,” he said.

Stressing that DAP will stand by Dr Ting “come what may”, he said the Pujut seat, which is within the Miri parliamentary constituency, is now vacant and a by-election is expected to be called within 60 days.

He also said 10 assemblymen had voted against the motion and that Abang Johari was absent at that time.

Aziz challenged state minister Wong Soon Koh (SUPP-Bawang Assan) who had moved the motion to show proof of Dr Ting’s dual citizenship.

He accused BN of running the country like a “communist party”, especially after winning the state election last year.

He said the state BN administration had in the same vein used its majority strength in 1974 to sign an agreement with the federal government to establish Petronas under the Petroleum Development Act, adding that it took away the state’s rights for 20% oil royalty.

“They amended the Article 1(2) of the Federal Constitution in 1976 to degrade Sabah and Sarawak’s status from equal partner to 12th and 13th states,” he said.

In June last year, BN’s direct candidate for Pujut, Hii King Chiong, filed an election petition at the High Court in Miri to declare Dr Ting’s candidacy as null and void.

Hii claimed that Dr Ting was an Australian citizen at the time the 11th Sarawak state election concluded in May 2016.

Dr Ting insisted that he does not hold any citizenship other than Malaysian.

However, Wong today claimed in the house that he had concrete evidence that Dr Ting had accepted Australian citizenship on Jan 20, 2010.

Sarawak state assemblyman disqualified over Aussie citizenship