KUALA LUMPUR – Batu Member of Parliament (MP) Tian Chua was sentenced to three months jail and fined RM1,800 after he was found guilty of making seditious remarks in a post-GE13 speech.
The sentence meted out means that Tian Chua will retain his parliamentary seat as it is below the one-year jail and RM2,000 fine threshold that will cause a lawmaker to lose their seat.
Sessions Court judge Zulqarnain Hassan ruled the prosecution had proven the charge against Tian Chua, who is also PKR vice-president, beyond reasonable doubt.
He added that he was satisfied that Tian Chua, had a “tendency to utter seditious words with the intent of toppling a democratically elected government”.
“The accused had already used words such as ‘bangkit’ (rise), ‘turun ke jalan’ (take to the streets), not long after the 13th general election.
“There is no doubt his speech had the tendency to incite people to change the legally elected government,” the judge added.
Zulqarnain said the court was satisfied on the prima facie case.
Chua was represented by PKR lawyers N Surendran and Latheefa Koya, while Deputy Public Prosecutor Julia Ibrahim represented the prosecution.
Chua was charged under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act on 29 May 2013 for allegedly uttering seditious words.
He made the speech at the Kuala Lumpur Chinese Assembly Hall, shortly after the General Election that year.
Earlier this year, another counsel for Tian Chua , New Sin Yew said that the PKR lawmaker had merely uttered words that are used every day by people.
Hishamudin Rais, Adam Adli, Safwan Anang, Tamrin Ghafar and Haris Ibrahim, other speakers at the event, have also been prosecuted for sedition.
Earlier this year Haris was also found guilty and was sentenced to eight months in prison. However, the court granted his application for a stay of execution pending appeal, while his bail was increased to RM10,000 from RM5,000.
Last year Safwan, a student activist, was found guilty for uttering seditious statements. Fortunately for him, he had his 10-month jail sentence amended to a RM5,000 fine instead.