KUCHING: All potential Sarawak Barisan Nasional candidates for the upcoming general election will undergo thorough background checks with relevant government agencies.
State chairman Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg (pix) said that its list of nominees would be submitted to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to ensure that no one is involved in graft or abuse of power.
The list will also be submitted to the Immigration Department, police and Inland Revenue Board to ensure that candidates have not violated any laws or are under investigation, which could lead to future disqualification, added Abang Johari, who is also Sarawak Chief Minister.
“We will vet all potential candidates as we don't want to take anything for granted.
“We don’t want a situation where our elected representatives are disqualified while serving halfway due to some violation,” he told reporters after opening the Satok Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) delegates meeting here on Sunday.
The meeting was held ahead of the party’s triennial delegates conference next February.
Abang Johari cited a situation in Australia where former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce was disqualified for having dual Australian and New Zealand citizenship.
He later renounced his New Zealand citizenship and won the by-election in New South Wales on Dec 2. The dual citizenship row cost nine MPs – including Joyce – their seats and the majority for the ruling government. Under constitutional rules, MPs must solely be citizens of Australia.
In May, the Sarawak Legislative Assembly disqualified DAP’s Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon as he had previously acquired Australian citizenship.
However, Dr Ting was retained as an elected representative after the Kuching High Court ruled in his favour, following a suit he filed against the state legislative assembly over his disqualification.
The case is currently in the Court of Appeal.