Asfia’s advocates instructed to appeal to Federal Court against Pujut rep reinstatement

Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar – File photo

KUCHING: Advocates of the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar have been instructed to appeal to the Federal Court against the recent Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold the decision of the High Court to reinstate Dr Ting Tiong Choon as the Pujut assemblyman.

Mohd Asfia said if the recent decision of the Court of Appeal were to stand, then the state assemblies and Parliament will face crippling effect in enforcing certain very crucial provisions.

“If the decision of the Parliament and the Speaker of the House can be challenged in the court of law, and the court overruled the decision of the Parliament and the Speaker of the House, then the Parliament and the Speaker of the House cease to function,” he said in the august House today.

Mohd Asfia opined that the constitution provision should be read in harmony with other constitution provision to effectively forward the whole intent of  the Parliament.

“In light of these circumstances, it is inevitable I have to instruct my advocates to make an application of leave to appeal to the Federal Court,” he added.

Last Friday, the Court of Appeal ruled that DUN had no jurisdiction to disqualify Dr Ting as he acquired Australian citizenship, which he subsequently renounced, before he was elected in the May 2016 state election.

“The state assembly only has jurisdiction to determine the status of a member whose disqualification was incurred after his election.

“To go backwards to determine the status of a person before he was elected would amount to overreach by the state assembly, which in my view has no constitutional support in the state constitution,” judge Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim, who chaired a three-man bench was quoted as saying.

Hence, the appeals by Asfia, Second Finance Minister Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh and DUN against the High Court decision were dismissed, with no order as to costs.

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