Tian Chua Backs 22-Year-Old Independent Candidate After KL High Court Dismisses His Suit

PKR vice-president Tian Chua filed a suit to reverse the Election Commission's (EC) decision to disqualify him from contesting the Batu parliamentary seat.

Former Batu MP Tian Chua will not be contesting in the 14th General Election (GE14) after the Kuala Lumpur High Court dismissed his suit today, 5 May

Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reported that High Court today ruled that it has no jurisdiction to hear Tian Chua's suit on his disqualification to contest as a candidate in the general election after allowing the preliminary objections raised by the Attorney-General's Chambers.

Justice Datuk Nordin Hassan, in his decision to dismiss Tian Chua's judicial review bid, said the High Court has no jurisdiction to decide on the matter as it was an election dispute.

Nordin, who cited Article 118 of the federal constitution, said all electoral matters can only be questioned through an election petition. He also reportedly said that he had no authority to hear the complaint since he was not appointed as an election judge. 

"I also do not have the jurisdiction and power to hear election petition cases," Nordin was quoted as saying by Malaysiakini.

Tian Chua, whose real name is Chua Tian Chang, filed an originating summons on Monday, 30 April, to reverse to rejection of his nomination to contest in the Batu parliamentary seat

The originating summons was filed to seek a declaration that Tian Chua is qualified and entitled to be a candidate for the parliamentary seat, under Article 48(1)(e) of the Federal Constitution.

Tian Chua's nomination was rejected by returning officer Anwar Md Zain on 28 April.

It was reported that Anwar said he was he was acting on the advice of the EC to disqualify Chua's nomination on grounds that the two-term incumbent from PKR was imposed with a RM2,000 fine on 2 March this year for insulting the modesty of a police officer.

According to the law, a person is disqualified as an MP or from contesting if he or she is sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than a year or fined not less than RM2,000.

In the previous general election, Tian Chua was allowed to contest in the Batu parliamentary seat although there was also a fine against him for RM2,000.

Following the decision by the High Court to dismiss his suit, Tian Chua has expressed his support for independent candidate P. Prabakaran

P Prabakaran, a law student, is the youngest candidate to contest in GE14.

Image via Free Malaysia Today

According to Tian Chua, Pakatan Harapan will back the 22-year-old P. Prabakaran to defend the seat for the opposition.

"He is young, energetic, and idealistic. We hope to groom him to be an activist. We hope he will uphold the spirit of justice as held by PKR. We also want to encourage youth participation in the party," said the former Batu MP, as reported by theSun.

The Batu parliamentary seat will see four candidates going up against each other, namely: independent candidate P Prabakaran, who is the youngest candidate that is contesting in GE14; independent candidate Datuk V. M. Panjamothy, whose MIC membership was immediately terminated when he decided to contest as an independent; Barisan Nasional's Datuk Dr Dominic Lau Hoe Chai, who is also Gerakan vice-president; and PAS Batu division chief Azhar Yahya.

Besides Tian Chua, a few other candidates also ran into problems on nomination day:

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