KUCHING: Sarawak DAP will take legal action against state second finance minister Wong Soon Koh for alleging that the dismissed Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon was a bankrupt.
Ting say he expects to file the suit “as soon as possible” against Wong for statements he made outside the Sarawak assembly chamber alleging that he was a bankrupt in Australia.
“Wong Soon Koh still made the allegations that I am bankrupt outside the Dewan. We have no choice but to take legal action against him,” Ting told FMT.
Wong, who is also president of the United People’s Party (UPP), told reporters yesterday that Ting was a bankrupt based on a search which he said he conducted last July.
The search was made on July 1, 2016, on the Bankruptcy Register Search, of the Australian Financial Security Authority, Wong told a press conference in the assembly’s media room.
“He was declared bankrupt in 2012. But up to date, the Australian authority official document still proved that he is a bankrupt. Knowing that, Ahli Yang Berhormat for Pujut came home just three weeks before the state election,” Wong told reporters.
“Meaning, he came home perhaps in April sometime. Because the election was held on May 7. Looks like he never dealt with this financial matter in Australia. Otherwise, when I searched on July 1, 2016, on the Bankruptcy Register Search… why did his name still appear on the list?” Wong had said.
Ting said Wong’s comments outside the chamber made him liable to a suit.
“I am not a bankrupt nor have I ever been one,” Ting said.
“I’ve told him in the Dewan that no one becomes bankrupt twice within three months. And yet he continued to make the assertion without checking the truth,” he said.
“It was ignorant on his part not to find out the real truth and had instead relied on hearsay from his party supporters. Now we will see him in court,” Ting said.
When asked when the suit will be filed, Ting replied, “As soon as possible.”
The law only grants privileged immunity for comments made inside the house.
Wong made the comments after Sarawak assembly speaker Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar said yesterday that Wong did not need to apologise for alleging in the Dewan that Ting was bankrupt.
“The motion (by Wong last Friday) to disqualify Ting was tabled under Article 17(1)(g) of the state constitution on the acquisition of citizenship of another country, but not under Article 17(1)(b) on being an undischarged bankrupt,” Asfia said in rejecting a motion by state DAP leader Chong Chieng Jen for Wong to withdraw his allegation and apologise.