Saturday, June 6

MP suggests legal action to recoup rep allowance


Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar

KUCHING: The State Legislative Assembly (DUN) should consider taking legal action against former Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon to recover the allowance or other monetary payment made to the latter during his tenure as the constituency’s elected representative, opines Santubong MP Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

With the Federal Court ruling yesterday that the DUN has the authority to disqualify Dr Ting due to his past dual citizenship, Wan Junaidi pointed out that this has vindicated the august House.

“The Sarawak DUN is vindicated for disqualifying Dr Ting Tiong Choon and, at the same time, the Federal Court has established the law on the question of disqualification of becoming a candidate or member of the DUN.

“Obviously the disqualification started at the very beginning as soon as the person becomes the citizen of another country. Perhaps the same principle would apply to Members of Parliament as well,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Wan Junaidi, who was formerly Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker, also touched on an incident that happened in parliament a few years back when Democratic Action Party (DAP) MPs would “run down, time and again, an MCA (Malaysian Chinese Association) minister from Barisan Nasional (BN) simply because she had, before becoming the minister, a permanent resident status of Australia.”

“Why then did they (DAP) choose this Dr Ting to be the candidate knowing that he was a citizen of Australia, or ought to have known that Dr Ting was an Australian citizen.

“Or could Dr Ting have hidden the fact that he held a citizenship of Australia while still holding the Malaysian citizenship, though he had just renounced his Australian citizenship before becoming a candidate in the state election?” he questioned.

Wan Junaidi said Article 24 of Federal Constitution gave the federal government the option to renounce the citizenship of any person who acquired the citizenship or claimed or exercised the right of another country outside the Federation.

He added that pursuant to this Article, the government has also adopted the principle of not granting citizenship to any Malaysian who had renounced his or her citizenship.

“Obviously from Article 24 of the Federal Constitution and policy adopted by the federal government, there is a strong legal and policy decision against any person who has renounced his or her citizenship, whether through direct renouncement or indirect deprivation of citizenship.

“It all boils down to loyalty to the country. The person who has renounced under Article 23 or deprived of his citizenship under Article 24 of the Federal Constitution is of questionable loyalty.

“The basic tenet of any country is the need for every citizen to be loyal to his country and not to trade that loyalty for other gain or advantage,” he said.

In view that the verdict by the Federal Court was delivered within two years from the end of the current term of the DUN, Wan Junaidi said there would be no by-election for the Pujut constituency.

The Federal Court made its ruling after finding that the DUN has the power to disqualify Dr Ting as a member for having dual citizenship despite him renouncing it before contesting in the 2016 state election.