No Pujut by-election despite Ting’s disqualification

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 12 Feb 2020

KUCHING: There will be no by-election in Pujut despite the disqualification of its assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon as it occurred less than two years before the Sarawak Legislative Assembly’s end of term, says state Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar.

He cited Article 21(5) of the state constitution, which provided that a by-election need not be called if a vacancy arose in the state legislature within two years of its expiry, unless such a vacancy affected the majority of the ruling party.

He said any notification of the vacancy from yesterday is within two years of the dissolution of the state assembly in June next year.

“Furthermore, the vacancy does not affect the numerical strength of the party that constitutes a majority of the members of the state assembly, where Gabungan Parti Sarawak has a two-thirds majority.”

As such, he said there was no need for him to notify the Election Commission of the vacant seat.

In a majority decision, the Federal Court earlier yesterday disqualified DAP’s Ting as Pujut assemblyman.

It overturned a Court of Appeal ruling that the Sarawak Legislative Assembly’s move to disqualify him for previously acquiring Australian citizenship was unlawful.

Asfia, yesterday, welcomed the Federal Court’s decision, calling it a “magnificent victory” for the Sarawak state assembly because the nation’s highest court had upheld the doctrine of separation of powers.

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