MIRI: The state Democratic Action Party (DAP) should not question the state government’s effort to forward the citizenship issue involving Pujut Assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon to the Home Ministry (KDN).
United People’s Party (UPP) Senadin branch chairman Keith Chin stressed that KDN is the ministry that is responsible in determining the citizenship status of any Malaysian as well as those stated on other identification documents such as birth certificates, Mykad and passports.
“The KDN is obligated to determine whether the recently-reinstated Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon is a Malaysian citizen.
“Put simply, determining whether an individual is a Malaysian citizen is the jurisdiction of the federal government, not the Sarawak government,” said Chin, who is also a lawyer.
His remarks was made in response to the recent press statement made by Bandar Kuching MP and Kota Chong assemblyman Chieng Jen, who is also DAP Sarawak chairman, in which he said the DAP would oppose should the case on Dr Ting’s citizenship status be brought to the KDN.
On this, Chin said DAP Sarawak was making nonsensical argument to rationalise Dr Ting’s acts of making false declaration of his citizenship and keeping the government as well as the people in the dark.
“DAP Sarawak cannot argue the fact that the KDN is responsible in determining the citizenship status of Malaysians. Thus, the ministry has every right to look into the citizenship issue involving Dr Ting, who once held Australian citizenship from Jan 20, 2010 to April 4, 2016.
“Malaysia does not allow its citizens to hold dual-citizenship. Most importantly, when a Malaysian acquires the citizenship of another country, he or she has to pledge allegiance to that country and exercise the rights as a citizen of that country.”
As such, Chin agreed that KDN would need to probe into the citizenship status of Dr Ting as this had everything to do with an individual’s integrity and loyalty.
“Dr Ting’s case is a concern to the state government. It does not matter which minister moves the motion – as long as it is a ministerial motion, it represents the government to uphold the solemnity and sanctity of the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) of Sarawak.”
Specifically, Chin pointed out that the High Court’s ruling last Saturday did not touch on Dr Ting’s citizenship.
Based on the High Court’s ruling, he pointed out that it was in favour of Dr Ting because the DUN did not have the power to decide on constitutional issues.
“The DUN disqualified Dr Ting as a member of the House because he once held dual citizenship – it (DUN) made that decision based on both the federal constitution and Sarawak state constitution.
“The High Court’s ruling and the DUN’s decision are entirely different. The argument by DAP’s lead counsel Chong Chiew Chiang had questioned whether the DUN had the final decision, and not about Dr Ting having infringed the Sarawak Constitution and held dual-citizenship.”
Source: The Borneo Post