Sarawak Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar showing the official notification on the vacancy of the Pujut state seat to Election Commission. Pix by Nadim Bokhari

PETRA JAYA: State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar has submitted an official notification on the vacancy of the Pujut state seat to Election Commission (EC).

Asfia said he had informed EC chairman Datuk Seri Hashim Abdullah about the disqualification of DAP’s Dr Ting Tiong Choon as the assemblyman.

"I had informed the chairman that the seat is now vacant under Article 21(5) of the State Constitution and for the EC to take up necessary action," he told the reporters at the state legislative assembly complex here.

With the notification, a by-election is expected to be held within 60 days, he said.

On the legal action expected to be taken by DAP within a month to sue the Speaker and the state legislative assembly, Asfia said they can proceed with their intention.

"It's up to them and if they file a writ, we will make an application to strike off that writ," he stressed.

The New Straits Times learnt that the EC will later today announce the date for the special meeting on the impending by-election.

A by-election must be called within 60 days after a state seat have been vacated or declared vacant.

Dr Ting, a general medical practitioner by profession, was disqualified after 70 assemblymen voted in favour of the ministerial motion moved against him for allegedly holding dual citizenship and a bankrupt twice in Australia in 2012.

Only 10 assemblymen voted otherwise on the ministerial motion moved by State International Trade and E-Commerce Minister Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh under Article 17(1)(g) of the State Constitution of Sarawak.

The Article provided that a person is disqualified from being elected as an elected member of the DUN if he has voluntarily acquired citizenship of or exercised rights of citizenship in or has made declaration of allegiance to any country outside the Federation.

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