Guan Eng tells Sarawak DAP to be ready for Pujut by-election


(Updated )

Sarawak DAP has been told to prepare for Pujut by-election after Dr Ting Tiong Choon was disqualified as a member of the Sarawak state legislative assembly yesterday.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said he was shocked by the decision of the Sarawak state assembly to disqualify Ting as Pujut State assemblyperson and regarded it as politically motivated.

The Penang chief minister said the Election Court had rejected the election petition for Pujut state seat filed by Barisan Nasional (BN) who claimed that Ting had Australian citizenship after registering as a voter in Australia.

"We will challenge this matter in court. At the same time, I have directed Sarawak DAP to prepare for a by-election," he told reporters after launching a waste separation programme at Punca, Kadun Air Putih, today.

In October last year, Election Court Judge P Ravinthran rejected a petition brought by BN candidate Hii King Chiong and ordered the petitioner to pay RM80,000 costs to the respondent, Ting.

Guan Eng said the Election Court had decided that it was a legitimate election but the Sarawak state assembly decided to ignore the decision by tabling a motion calling for the removal of Ting.

"The Penang state assembly can also call a motion to disqualify a member but we do not do so because of democracy.

"We respect the choice of the people, if there is a technical problem, let it be decided in court," he added.

Ting was disqualified after the motion to disqualify his membership was tabled by Sarawak Minister of International Trade and E-Commerce Wong Soon Koh in the Sarawak state legislative assembly yesterday.

Meanwhile, Sarawak DAP will challenge the validity of Dr Ting’s disqualification over dual citizenship, by the Sarawak legislative assembly yesterday, in court.

Sarawak DAP secretary Alan Ling Sie Kiong, who is a practicing lawyer, said an injunction would be filed first to allow a judicial review by the court on the decision by the assembly.

“Tomorrow we will have an emergency meeting at the party headquarters in Kuching to discuss on our next course of action,” he told reporters upon the arrival of Dr Ting at Miri Airport today.

Alan Ling said the injunction was expected to be filed at the Kuching High Court with more details expected to be announced after the party's emergency meeting in Kuching tomorrow evening.

Dr Ting expressed confidence that the judiciary process would be the best solution to prevent a by-election for the Pujut seat.

- Bernama

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