Home Nation Tian Chua charged for uttering seditious words over Lahad Datu intrusion

Tian Chua charged for uttering seditious words over Lahad Datu intrusion

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 14 – Batu Member of Parliament Tian Chua(Pic) was charged in the Sessions Court here today for having uttered seditious words in four statements over the Sulu intrusion in Lahad Datu, Sabah.  Tian Chua, 50, whose real name is Chua Tian Chang, pleaded not guilty to committing the offence at No. 62-2-A, Fraser Business Park, Jalan Metro Pudu, off Jalan Yew, here, at about 11 am on March 1.

The four statements are:

1. The shooting in Lahad Datu is believed to be a planned conspiracy of the Umno government to divert attention and intimidate the people.

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2. The incident has raised many questions and doubts as to the drama staged by the Umno government.

3. Described the intrusion in Lahad Datu as only a drama of the government to intimidate the people to make it seem that Sabah is not peaceful. The intrusion in Lahad Datu was only a drama of the government to intimidate the people to make it seem that Sabah is not peaceful.

4. There is a conspiracy by the Umno government to divert the attention of the Sabah people, particularly from the issue of giving identity cards to foreigners.

Tian-Chua1Tian Chua was charged under Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act 1948 and can be penalised under Section 4(1) of the same act which provides for a maximum fine of RM5,000 or up to three years in jail, or both, upon conviction for the first offence, and up to five years jail for subsequent offences.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Yusaini Amir Abdul Karim proposed bail at RM5,000.  Tian Chua’s lawyer N. Surendran, however, requested that his client be released on a personal bond without any payment on the grounds that he had extended full cooperation to the police during the investigation and that he would not fail to attend court.

Surendran said the charges had no merit and there was a possibility that the prosecution would fail to prove a prima facie case against his client.  He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had on July 11 last year issued a statement that the Sedition Act 1948, under which the charges were made against Tian Chua, would be repealed.

“It is unfair for the accused because there is a pledge made by the prime minister that the Sedition Act will be repealed and the possibility of the prosecution proving its case is very slim,” he said.

Yusaini Amir, on the other hand, said all evidence and statements would be submitted to the court during the trial and that it was premature to say that a prima facie could not be proved in the case.  On the prime minister’s statement about the Sedition Act, he said the act was still in effect and, hence, could not be violated.

Surendran also told the court that the defence would file an application to the High Court to strike out the charges on the grounds that there was an abuse of power as the charges were politically motivated.  Judge Mohamad Sekeri Mamat allowed Tian Chua bail of RM5,000 in one surety and set April 12 for mention of the case.  He also said that the act was still in effect and, hence, valid.

BERNAMA