KUCHING: The Kuching High Court has ruled against the Sarawak state assembly's decision to disqualify Dr Ting Tiong Choon (pic) as Pujut assemblyman.
Judge Datuk Douglas Christo Primus Sikayun also ordered state assembly speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar and Sarawak Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh - the first and second defendant - to pay RM100,000 to the plaintiff, Dr Ting, as legal cost.
In his ruling, Douglas said the state assembly is not a competent forum to decide on the membership of Dr Ting based on Article 118 of the Federal Constitution.
He added that the speaker wrongly applied Article 17(1)(g) of the Sarawak constitution.
"Dr Ting Tiong Choon is not a disqualified person and is entitled to remain as elected assemblyman. There is no vacancy for the Pujut seat," he said.
The ruling means that there would not be a by-election, although the Election Commission is expected to hold a meeting on the matter.
The Pujut state seat fell vacant when its incumbent Dr Ting of DAP was removed by the Sarawak legislative assembly on May 12 for having dual citizenship in Australia and Malaysia.