KUCHING: Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing has urged Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak leaders to stop justifying former lawmaker Dr Ting Tiong Choon’s non-disclosure of his dual nationality, which led to him being disqualified as the Pujut assemblyman.
Tiong who is also Bintulu MP, opined that the DAP Sarawak leaders ought not to seek public sympathy, as the loss of Dr Ting’s status as an elected representative “is all due to his own doing.”
“Even though many Malaysians fail to report their dual citizenship status, it does not mean that they have not violated our laws or can be allowed to continue to hold their dual nationality.
“By neglecting to report that one holds the nationality of another country, that person violates the provisions of the Constitution, which should preclude them from further holding Malaysian citizenship,” he said in a statement today.
With most DAP Sarawak leaders being legal professionals, Tiong said “they more than most should be well-versed in the laws and Constitutional matters.”
Tiong said DAP leaders should remember that they had once attacked a then minister in Parliament for holding permanent residence (PR) status in another country.
He recalled that Tan Sri Dr Ng Yen Yen was forced at that time to renounce her PR status due to DAP’s actions.
DAP made a hue and cry of that issue, but to them, Dr Ting’s dual citizenship issue seemed to be less serious than Ng’s PR status, he lamented.
He said DAP Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen had also accused Minister of Local Government and Housing Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian of holding PR status, as if that was equal to Dr Ting’s hidden dual citizenship.
He stressed: “Making out Dr Ting to be the victim really puts the DAP’s double standard on display.”
“Chong and Dr Ting must realise once and for all, that the DAP is now part of the ruling government. They need to display maturity in understanding and respecting the decision of the apex court in our country under Pakatan Harapan rule.
“We are indeed fortunate that it is not a decision made by a Federal Court under the previous government, or the DAP would have immediately denounced it as a political witch hunt,” he said.
He said the decision by the Federal Court showed the fairness and justice of Malaysian law.
“Let us hope that the DAP holds to this principle and not wantonly attack our sacred public institutions and smear them. Chong as a professional lawyer should refrain from besmirching our Federal Court’s decision. In continuing his line of reasoning, isn’t he effectively telling Malaysians not to respect our laws?
“The Federal Court’s seven-to-two majority vote is a crystal clear proof that Dr Ting is not eligible as an assemblyman for having dual citizenship prior to contesting the polls,” he said.
In view of this, Tiong said DAP Sarawak must end this charade now and not drag the issue.
“Do not continue to cover up your mistakes and deceptively raise public funds to maintain the DAP Pujut service centre.
“If Dr Ting did not have the foresight to ensure any savings after 29 years of working abroad, he should ask the 42 DAP MPs and other state assemblymen to fund and maintain his service centre, instead of using public funds,” he added.