Tian Chua takes EC to court over nomination rejection

  • Nation
  • Monday, 30 Apr 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: PKR vice-president Tian Chua (pic) has filed a suit to reverse the rejection of his nomination to contest for the Batu parliamentary constituency.

The suit filed at the High Court here Monday (April 30) morning named election returning officer Anwar Md Zain and the Election Commission (EC) as respondents.

Anwar had rejected Chua's nomination last Saturday, stating that election rules disqualified him on account of a previous RM2,000 fine imposed by the courts.

Chua, who held the Batu parliamentary seat since 2008, sought a declaration that he was qualified to run for the seat in GE14, under Article 48(1)(e) of the Federal Constitution.

He also sought a declaration that he was entitled to contest and be nominated for the seat.

In a supplementary affidavit filed, Chua said he had no issue with an RM2,000 fine in GE13, nor had it impeded him from acting as an MP over the previous term.

Speaking to reporters in the court lobby, his counsel Ngeow Cheow Ying said they had not yet been assigned a High Court judge to hear the matter, but they were moving to have it heard urgently before polling day.

Asked if the matter would be rendered academic if otherwise, she said she would still seek her client's instructions if they should continue.

On April 28, Chua's nomination was rejected by Anwar, who said he was advised by the Election Commission (EC) to disqualify the nomination due to a RM2,000 fine imposed on Chua in a 2017 court case.

The sentence was in relation to his conviction over insulting the modesty of a police officer by using foul language four years ago.

The decision to disqualify Chua was made according to Section 7(1)(c) of the Elections (Conduct of Elections) Regulations 1981, read together with Article 48(1)(e) of the Federal Constitution.

Section 7(1) (c) gives any electorate or candidate in a constituency to object to a nomination paper if it is apparent from the contents of the nomination paper that the candidate is not capable of being elected as a member of the Dewan Rakyat or a State Legislative Assembly.

Article 48(1)(e) provides for the disqualification for membership of Parliament if the person has been convicted of an offence by a court of law and sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year, or to a fine of not less than RM2,000 and has not received a free pardon.

This comes despite the Shah Alam High Court's grounds of judgement that explicitly spelled out that Chua would only be disqualified if "the fine was RM2,001 and above, and not from RM2,000".

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia had in 2011 also ruled that Chua would remain as Batu MP and that the RM2,000 fine would not automatically remove him from his role as MP.

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