Tian Chua to file fresh appeal on whether someone fined RM2k can stand for election

  • Nation
  • Monday, 16 Jul 2018

PUTRAJAYA: Former Batu MP Tian Chua (pic) will file a fresh case after withdrawing his appeal to reverse the Election Commission's (EC) decision to disqualify him from contesting his former parliamentary seat.

Tian Chua's counsel Datuk Dr Gurdial Singh Nijar said, after the proceedings before the Court of Appeal here, that his client withdrew the appeal after the judges' panel had declined Tian Chua's request to remove the word "GE 14" in a section of his client's claim.

Gurdial said they wanted to start afresh after withdrawing the appeal.

"We will be filing a fresh application at the High Court to clarify my client's status once and for all whether he is qualified to stand for future elections.

"We are not challenging the outcome of GE 14 but we are challenging the status of my client in the light of two High Court cases and one Supreme Court case as well as the stand by a previous Dewan Rakyat Speaker about whether my client had been disqualified," he said.

Gurdial said he would also write to seek clarification from the EC on it's stand on three court rulings which stated that a person fined RM2,000 could still contest in the elections.

Following the withdrawal, the Court of Appeal's three-man panel chaired by Justice Umi Kalthum Abdul Majid struck out the appeal with no costs. Other judges on the panel were Justices Zaleha Yusof and Yaakob Md Sam.

Counsel Alvin Julian appeared for returning officer Anwar Md Zain and the EC.

On June 11, this year, Gurdial informed the Court of Appeal's three-man panel chaired by Justice Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim that they would be writing to the Attorney-General Tommy Thomas for clarification on whether an MP could be disqualified from contesting the election after being fined RM2,000 under Article 28(1)(e) of the Federal Constitution.

On May 4, High Court judge Justice Nordin Hasan ruled that any dissatisfaction should be brought by way of an election petition and not by an originating summons.

Justice Nordin said that Tian Chua, whose real name is Chua Tian Chang, had challenged the rejection of his nomination papers by Anwar, the returning officer, and this ought to be before an election judge as required under Article 118 of the Constitution.

On Apr 28, the PKR vice-president's nomination was rejected by Anwar who said he was advised by the EC to disqualify the nomination due to the RM2,000 fine imposed by the Shah Alam High Court.

The High Court had on March 2 allowed his appeal against the sentence.

In 2014, Tian Chua, 54, was fined RM2,000 by the Petaling Jaya Sessions for insulting the modesty of a police officer by using foul language.

It was earlier reported in The Star that 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).

Returning officer Anwar read the law which stated “not less than RM2,000” to mean Chua would only be qualified to contest should the fine be RM1,999.99 or less.

In contrast the Shah Alam High Court which allowed Chua’s appeal to reduce the fine from RM3,000 to RM2,000, explicitly spelled out that the MP would only be disqualified if “the fine was RM2,001 and above, and not from RM2,000”.

Former 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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