Saturday, February 29

Dr Sim: ‘I never acquired Australian citizenship’

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Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian

KUCHING: Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) president Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian wishes to make it crystal clear that he never acquired Australian citizenship.

The Local Government and Housing Minister does not appreciate the recent act of Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen who compared his Australian permanent residence with former Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon following the latest court decision.

Dr Sim even went on to claim that Chong had attempted to “confuse and mislead our fellow Sarawakians particularly by ridiculously comparing my Australian permaent residence with (Dr) Ting’s Australian citizenship”.

Dr Ting recently lost his bid in the court decision which cost him the qualification as the state assemblyman due to his Australian citizenship.

“While I was in Australia for 17 years, I never acquired Australian citizenship or exercised rights of citizenship in or made any declaration of allegiance to any country outside the Federation of Malaysia, as my home is Sarawak,” said Dr Sim in a statement today.

He said he returned to Sarawak to serve in public hospital as soon as he completed his training as a cardiologist in Melbourne.

He observed that Dr Ting chose to serve in Australia after having completed his medical studies and obtained his citizenship in Australia.

“By applying his Australian citizenship, (Dr) Ting swore his loyalty to Australia and this is not required for permanent residence applicants.

“I came back to serve Sarawak and eventually was elected as a state assemblyman for Batu Kawah as a Sarawakian,” he stressed.

Unlike other states in Peninsular Malaysia, Dr Sim said “I am very proud that our State Constitution strictly prohibits non-Sarawakians to serve as an ADUN in the State Assembly, the highest authority in our land.”

He said Chong “was so dissatisfied with the recent court’s decision to bar (Dr) Ting from serving in the State Assembly” that this made him wonder if the DAP lawmaker was trying to propose to allow non-Sarawakians to serve in Sarawak’s State Assembly.

He also wondered if there was any hidden agenda in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition “to use Sarawak DAP to find ways to create openings for non-Sarawakians to rule and represent us in our State Legislative, not for our interests but for their endless political ambitions and greed”.