PETALING JAYA (April 12): PKR Vice President Tian Chua has filed an application to strike out a sedition charge against him for allegedly making a statement linking Umno with the Lahd Datu incident.
His lawyers Latheefa Koya and Eric Paulsen filed the application to strike out the case on the grounds that the Sedition Act can only be applied for remarks against the King.
“The charge against him is wrong in the law for the offence of sedition under the Sedition Act can only be applied if the words refer to YDPA (the King) or state leaders or the Government, not political parties like Umno,” read the application which was filed in High Court today.
His lawyers argued that the charge against the Batu MP was “politically motivated, selective prosecution and done with malice”.
Tian Chua, 50, was charged under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act 1948 (Act 15) and punishable under Section 4(1) of the same act for allegedly making comments that the Lahad Datu incident was an Umno conspiracy to frighten the people.
If convicted, he is liable to a fine of RM5,000 or three years’ jail or both. A subsequent offence may lead to five years’ imprisonment.
The application also stated that the Sedition Act was an arcane law as caretaker Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak himself announced in 2012 that the Act will be repealed and replaced with a National Harmony Act.
The application added that far more serious seditious remarks were made of late but no action was taken on those who allegedly made the statements as they were linked to Umno.
Among the statements cited was Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali’s statement in January this year where he urged Muslims to burn Malay language Bibles, the Al Kitab, which contained the word “Allah”.
Latheefa told Sessions Court judge Norsharida Awang that the application was filed this morning at the High Court Registrar . DPP Yusaini Amir Abd Karim said that he will file an affidavit of reply.
The next mention for the case will be on June 6.
by Tarani Palani