When the case of Batu MP being fined Rm2k happened, many thought that it was an UMNO’s expedient political decision to not push for the MP’s ouster and not to go for by-election at that time. But they forget that after the deadline for holding by-election-as has happened now the party can change its mind and push for the MP’s ouster-as could have also happened now! So : should the politicians follow the law-and at least get someone else to replace the Batu MP, or lost 1 MP in Parliament?
Actually we had raised the issue at that time-no matter how unpopular it was. So did Karpal the lawyer.
Tian Chua’s appeal thrown out, MP status in doubt
KUALA LUMPUR, May 23 — Chua Tian Chang’s status as Batu MP remains unclear after the Court of Appeal dismissed today his appeal against a conviction for biting a policeman.
The PKR vice president told The Malaysian Insider that the court rejected his appeal based on the deputy public prosecutor’s objection that it was filed after the 14-day window.
“So the sentence was not challenged and the High Court’s judgment was upheld and my MP status remains unchanged,” Chua said.
The first-term lawmaker was accused of biting a policeman outside Parliament three years ago and sentenced to six months’ jail and fined RM3,000 by the Magistrate’s Court last year.
The High Court reduced the fine to RM2,000 on June 17, 2010 but upheld the guilty verdict.
Under Article 48 of the Federal Constitution and preceding cases, Chua stands disqualified as an MP because he was fined “not less than” RM2,000.
A 1975 case saw a DAP MP losing his parliamentary seat because he was similarly fined RM2,000.
Chua’s appeal was seen as an acknowledgement that he risks losing his seat although he continues to maintain his innocence.
In his application, he asked the Court of Appeal to decide “whether a fine of RM2,000 has the effect of disqualifying a Member of Parliament by virtue of Article 48(1) of the Federal Constitution”.
The politician highlighted the High Court judge’s view that the amount did not disqualify him based on the 1993 case of the Public Prosecutor vs Leong Yin Ming but conceded that others viewed otherwise based on Article 48.
The provision in the highest law in the land states: “Subject to the provisions of this Article, a person is disqualified from being a Member of either House of Parliament if… (e) he has been convicted of an offence by a court of law in the Federation (or, before Malaysia Day, in the territories comprised in the State of Sabah or Sarawak or in Singapore) and sentenced to imprisonment for a term not less than one year or to a fine of not less than two thousand ringgit and has not received a free pardon”.