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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Tian Chua's disqualification as Batu candidate is unlawful & outrageous

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I refer to this morning's disqualification by the EC of Tian Chua, PKR's candidate for Batu.
The returning officer purported to disqualify Tian on grounds of a conviction under s 509 of Penal Code which carried an RM 2000 fine.
The disqualification this morning is unlawful, unconstitutional and liable to be set aside by the court.
Article 48(1)(e) of the federal constitution provides that disqualification occurs when the punishment is ' a fine not less than two thousand ringgit'.
It is settled law that this means that the fine must be more than two thousand ringgit for the disqualification to operate. There are various legal authorities confirming this including the Supreme Court in PP v Leong Yin Ming (1993). In another written judgment involving Tian Chua himself in 2010, the KL High Court made a similar ruling.
In the case relied on this morning by EC to disqualify Tian, Justice AB Karim of the Shah Alam High Court had on 2/3/2018 reduced his punishment to RM 2,000.
Hence, the law says he was qualified to contest!
It is shocking and incomprehensible that the EC's officers were ignorant of the above legal authorities. The disqualification is unacceptable, and is a taint upon the electoral process in the Batu constituency.
Issued by,
N Surendran,
Advisor,
Lawyers for Liberty
28 April 2018

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