KUCHING: The Sarawak Attorney-General will file an appeal on behalf of the state assembly against the High Court judgment to reinstate Dr Ting Tiong Choon (pix) as Pujut assemblyman.
Assistant Minister for Law, State Federal Relationship and Project Monitoring Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali said the state assembly should appeal against the ruling to determine the precise boundaries of constitutional authority between the legislature and judiciary with a greater degree of clarity.
Sharifah Hasidah said that the High Court decided that the Sarawak state assembly acted outside its constitutional limits in Dr Ting's disqualification despite the provisions of Article 19(1) of the state constitution, which holds that the decision of the assembly is final.
"A proper interpretation is needed of the provisions of Article 17(1)(g) of the state constitution on disqualification from election to the assembly when a person has acquired foreign citizenship," said Sharifah Hasidah.
She added that the High Court has not come out with a definitive interpretation of this Article in its judgment.
"The higher court could provide this interpretation to provide guidance to all relevant public bodies, including the Election Commission and aspiring election candidates," said Sharifah Hasidah in a statement on Tuesday.
On June 17, the Kuching High Court ruled against the Sarawak state assembly's decision to disqualify Dr Ting 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 defendants - to pay RM100,000 to Dr Ting as legal costs.
Following the court's decision, the Election Commission cancelled the Pujut by-election scheduled for July 4.
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.