Sunday, 18 June 2017

Outcome of Pujut rep’s case proves democracy still works — Abdul Karim

June 18, 2017

KUCHING: The High Court’s decision to reinstate Dr Ting Tiong Choon as Pujut assemblyman clearly shows that democracy is working in the country, says Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

According to him, the verdict by the High Court judge serves to dispel the long-time claim by the opposition that all ‘organs’ in the government are biased.

“It (the High Court’s decision) shows that democracy is working in Malaysia, despite the claim by the opposition all these years that that all ‘organs’ in the government are biased,” he said yesterday in response to the decision delivered by High Court Judge Datuk Douglas Christo Primus Sikayun, stating that Dr Ting is not disqualified as a member of the State Legislative Assembly (DUN); hence, he remains as the assemblyman for Pujut.

However, Abdul Karim pointed out that the ball is now in at the Home Ministry (KDN)’s court with regard to the status of a Malaysian who applied for and obtained citizenship of another country.

He also questioned the validity of one’s Malaysian citizenship once that person has a citizenship of another country – whether it stays valid or is automatically terminated.

In this respect, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar James Masing opined that the Pujut assemblyman’s case was not over yet.

“All KDN has to do is to declare Dr Ting as a non-citizen – if indeed it’s true, then the Malaysian laws would just take over; it has nothing to do with DUN,” he said.

Meanwhile Assistant Minister of Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali said the government was disappointed with the outcome of this case.

“By the decision, the High Court has ruled that the DUN does not have any power to decide on the disqualification of its own members, despite having enough facts to show that a member has breached any of the provision under the state constitution.

“As a result of this judgement, although a (legislative assembly) member for Pujut has admitted to having acquired an Australian citizenship and at the same time being a Malaysian citizen, he is now allowed to sit as member of the august House – the highest law-making institution in the state,” she pointed out. -TheBorneoPost

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