Ting files summons to challenge dismissal as Pujut assemblyman

 |Jun 7, 2017
File pic credit Wikimedia Commons.

Former DAP assemblyman for Pujut, Ting Tiong Choon today filed an originating summons at the High Court Registry in Kuching to have the motion by the Sarawak State Assembly on May 12 which disqualified him as assemblyman, declared null and void.

Ting named Sarawak Dewan Undangan Negeri Speaker Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar as first defendant, Sarawak Second Finance Minister Wong Soon Koh as second defendant, Sarawak State Legislative Assembly, Sarawak Government and the Election Commission as third, fourth and fifth defendants, respectively.

Hearing of Ting’s application has been fixed for July 10 at 9am.

Ting, represented by his eight-member legal team led by senior lawyer Chong Siew Chiang is seeking a declaration that his disqualification as duly elected member of the state legislative assembly for the Pujut state constituency by the first defendant, pursuant to Ministerial Motion moved by the second defendant on May 12 and adopted by the state legislative assembly and the Speaker was null and void and of no effect for being ultra vires.

Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen, when met by reporters outside the court building here today said a declaration that the proceedings and decision taken in the state legislative assembly culminating in the disqualification of the plaintiff was not immune from court scrutiny.

He added the disqualification of the plaintiff by the state legislative assembly was against the rule of natural justice and also in contravention to the constitution of the State of Sarawak, particularly Article 17(1)(g) thereof and/or Article 118 of the Federal Constitution and/or Article 121 of the Federal Constitution.

“The disqualification of Dr Ting can only be made by way of Election Petition in the Election Offences Act 1954 which had already been exhausted prior to the decision of the state legislative assembly,” he said.

Chong, the Bandar Kuching MP and Kota Sentosa assemblyman urged the court that any by-election of Pujut be stayed and postponed until the disposal of the case by the court.

On May 12, Ting was disqualified as Pujut assemblyman after a motion in the state assembly was tabled to disqualify him for allegedly acquiring an Australian citizenship in 2012.

The motion tabled by Wong was supported by 70 state Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblymen and opposed by 10 from the opposition.

The Election Commission has scheduled June 20 as nomination day for the Pujut by-election and July 4 as polling day. – Bernama