KUCHING: The august House here today voted in favour of a ministerial motion to disqualify Dr Ting Tiong Choon (DAP-Pujut) from the State Legislative Assembly (DUN).
DUN Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar announced that 70 honorable members voted for while 10 voted against the motion.
“I hereby declared that the ministerial motion in the name of Minister of International Trade and E-Commerce Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh is approved.
“The honorable member for Pujut is hereby disqualified under Article 17(1)(g) of the State Constitution as a member of the House and ceases to be a member of the House forthwith. The sitting is adjourned to 2.30pm,” Asfia said as he made the ruling in the DUN Chamber.
Prior to the vote, a heated debate between the ruling and opponent benches took place during Wong’s winding up speech.
Wong asked Dr Ting to confirm whether he had acquired Australian citizenship, to which the DAP man said he was not obligated to prove that since Wong was the one who raised the allegation.
“I’m not the one who alleged it. So you need to prove it to me. Would you ask member for Batu Kawa (Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian) whether he has Australian citizenship?” quipped Dr Ting.
Asfia then rose to Wong’s defence by pointing out that “this is not a motion against Bawang Assan (Wong) but it’s against you.”
Wong was asked to proceed with his winding up and he advised Dr Ting: “Do not try to mislead this House anymore. Do not try to confuse anyone.”
An opposition member or two could have challenged Wong to repeat the issue outside the dewan as the minister was heard saying: “I will do it. Don’t challenge me. I will do it.”
Wong cautioned that such a challenge would only “land Dr Ting in hot water” as he insisted that he had concrete evidence that Dr Ting had accepted Australian citizenship on Jan 20, 2010.
With Dr Ting’s disqualification, the Pujut seat is now vacant now and a by-election should be called within 60 days.