YOURSAY | 'He renounced his Australian citizenship before contesting in the election.'
Anonymous 1371690872: Despite the law stating otherwise, on a personal level I don’t agree with the decision to disqualify Dr Ting Tiong Choon (above) as Pujut assemblyperson.
He renounced his Australian citizenship before contesting in the election.
Therefore, when he campaigned and won the seat, he was a Malaysian and I feel this factor should have been considered in the court’s judgment.
Justice: The Federal Court’s decision is quite puzzling.
Article 17(1)(g) of the Sarawak State Constitution states that "a person is disqualified if he had voluntarily obtained or exercised the right of citizenship in any other country".
But if the person had renounced the said citizenship in that other country, what therefore is the effect of that renouncement? And in the first place, what is the purpose of such a renouncement?
By analogy, if a person had been convicted of a crime but was subsequently fully pardoned of the said conviction, does the conviction still have a legal effect on his future, his rights, etc?
Fair Play: As stated in the comment above, Article 17(1)(g) is very clear - if a person voluntarily obtained or exercised the right of citizenship in any other country, he will be disqualified.
This article does not cover the subsequent renunciation of foreign citizenship.
Toffee: The minute Ting took up Australian citizenship, he would have renounced his Malaysian citizenship by default and there can be no two ways about it.
You cannot have the cake and eat it at the same time. I am not a BN supporter but neutral in my political preference.
Considering the facts of this case, the Federal Court judges delivered the right judgment to disqualify him.
The Wakandan: This is a bizarre law. How could a State Assembly or Parliament disqualify a representative elected by the people?
This is bad precedent as the party with the majority support or members in the assembly can always move to disqualify another assembly member with their majority votes if they don’t like the person.
Should it not be the court that can disqualify a representative? Or ultimately, the verdict must be returned to the people with their votes.
Milshah: Despite Ting being disqualified as Pujut assemblyperson, there will not be a by-election for the vacated state seat as it has been more than three years since the Sarawak state election was held in 2016.
It is a shame, really, because it would have been interesting to see how DAP would have fared in a by-election during the current political climate, especially in Sarawak.
Anonymous 1543475877: Ting is a Malaysian citizen. He became a citizen of Australia as well because, like many minority Malaysians, he was probably getting increasingly worried by the rising Islamisation in the country and the calls for people of certain races to leave Malaysia.
But when he was given an opportunity to become a lawmaker, he gave up his Australian citizenship before contesting. The Federal Court decision, even if it is correct by law, is illogical by common sense.
It is people with fanatical views like Sarawak PAS commissioner Jofri Jaraiee and Putra vice-president Mohd Khairul Azam Abdul Aziz, who are now calling for Ting’s Malaysian citizenship to be revoked, are the real cause for many Malaysians to seek citizenship elsewhere.
Msian: Isn’t Mohd Khairul the same person who challenged the constitutional validity of vernacular schools in Malaysia? Now, he has turned his attention on the issue of revoking ex-Pujut assemblyperson Ting’s Malaysian citizenship.
Why doesn’t Khairul concentrate on the many more critical issues in the country affecting the Malays, like widespread poverty among the community in both urban and rural areas, and Muslim husbands abandoning their wives and children?
As a person with a legal background, Khairul’s education and expertise could have been put to better use.
The Wakandan: PAS has often portrayed itself as a religious party. However, the viciousness displayed by the Sarawak PAS commissioner in requesting for Ting’s Malaysian citizenship to be revoked shows his cruelty and lack of compassion.
What right do Jofri and the Kuala Lumpur-based Khairul have to ask for the revoke? Ting has as much right as anybody else who is a Malaysian citizen.
Whatever differences in politics, it is still up to Ting to decide on his life, and where he wants to go. The law only says a Malaysian cannot have dual citizenship, meaning that Ting has to choose either one.
Ting has admitted to relinquishing his Australian citizenship years ago but the opposition parties’ mentality is always to be exclusive and to encourage those with different views or preferences to go somewhere else.
Sphzxcv: Jofri’s action really shows how cruel PAS is. Just look at the Kelantan state government under the PAS administration.
They had to request a handout from the federal government to make ends meet and the state is one of the poorest in the country.
Yet, the state administration used all kinds of excuses to justify purchasing expensive Mercedes Benz cars and even rewarded themselves with RM50,000 bonuses.
Anonymous 1543475877: Race-based political parties from the peninsula, like PAS and Umno, should not get involved in the Sarawak State Assembly matters.
They could contaminate the inhabitants of Borneo with their racial and divisive views.
The above is a selection of comments posted by Malaysiakini subscribers. Only paying subscribers can post comments. In the past one year, Malaysiakinians have posted over 100,000 comments. Join the Malaysiakini community and help set the news agenda. Subscribe now.
These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.