KUCHING: The Federal Court's decision to allow an appeal by the Sarawak legislative assembly to disqualify DAP’s Dr Ting Tiong Choon as Pujut assemblyman has disappointed the state DAP leadership.
Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen in a statement today said the panel of nine judges delivered three written judgments, of which two from the Chief Justice and Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak decided in favour of Dr Ting.
However, the third written judgment was agreed upon by the six other judges.
“In such an important case, six federal court judges chose not to write their separate opinions but to tag along with the judgment of one of their colleagues.
“We (Sarawak DAP) feel sad about the majority decision of the Federal Court, which leaves it (the matter) to the Sarawak state assembly to do whatever it wants, with unfettered and unlimited power.
“This destroys the fundamental doctrine of separation of power,” Chong said.
The Federal Court in a decision today overturned the Court of Appeal’s 2018 ruling that the Sarawak state assembly’s move to disqualify Dr Ting over his past Malaysian-Australian dual citizenship was unlawful.
Dr Ting had acquired Australian citizenship in 2010. However, renounced it in April 2016, before he won the Pujut seat in the state election on May 7, 2016.
“The Sarawak assembly has taken away the rightfully elected representative of the people of Pujut thereby depriving the people of Pujut their voices in the state assembly.
“Although the majority judgment by the Federal Court has decided not to interfere with the decision of the Sarawak state assembly, that does not give justification to the state legislative assembly’s resolution to disqualify Dr Ting,” Chong said.
In the same statement, it is also said that despite the disqualification, Dr Ting would continue operating the DAP service centre in Pujut.