Sarawak Assembly Should View High Court Ruling Seriously, Avoid Such Mistakes In Future - Analyst

KUCHING, June 18 (Bernama) -- The Sarawak State Legislative Assembly should take note of the Kuching High Court's ruling yesterday of overturning the former's decision to disqualify DAP's Dr Ting Tiong Choon as Pujut assemblyman, and not repeat such a mistake to avoid negative implications on the Barisan Nasional (BN)-led government, says an analyst.

Socio-political Analyst at the Socio-Cultural Department, Academy of Malay Studies, University of Malaya, Assoc Prof Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi said the high court's decision should be examined more seriously to ensure that there was a clear separation of powers in a democratic system.

"Separation of the three branches, namely the executive, legislative and judiciary is to ensure a system of justice that is transparent, possess integrity and is respected," he told Bernama.

He said the state assembly as the legislative branch which enacted laws could not act as judge and meddle in the affairs of the judiciary.

"This is contrary to the practice of real democracy, and an unnecessary intervention, as the three bodies have their own functions and duties and cannot overlap," he explained.

Awang Azman added that the move by the state assembly had undermined the integrity of the concept of separation of powers, adding that it should be avoided, so as not to lead to the abuse of power and one body subverting another.

He said Sarawak BN, led by Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg should take the necessary measures to prevent such an issue from recurring in future as it reflected badly not only on the state government and the chief minister, but also the Speaker, the state minister who proposed the motion and the assemblymen who supported it without due diligence.

Meanwhile, Sarawak PKR chairman Baru Bian welcomed the decision of the high court yesterday, describing it as a 'victory for justice'.

He said the judge had made a clear decision based on the prevailing law which stipulated that the state assembly had no express power to intervene in an election result.

The whole episode had tarnished the image of the state government and state assembly, he added.