The PKR vice-president pleaded not guilty, claiming that the charge was politically motivated.
Leven Woon, FMT
PKR vice-president Tian Chua has been charged with sedition at a Sessions Court here today for allegedly attributing the bloodbath in Lahad Datu to an Umno conspiracy.
Ironically, this followed Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s announcement last April that he would repeal the Sedition Act 1948 and replace it with the proposed National Harmony Act.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Yusaini Amer Abdul Karim claimed that Tian Chua committed the offence when he labelled the Lahad Datu intrusion on March 1 as an Umno conspiracy, adding that the incident had raised questions and doubts on Umno’s “shadow play” (wayang mainan).
Tian Chua was also charged with describing the Sulu gunmen’s incursion as a government plot to frighten the people and for alleging that Umno was trying to divert people’s attention from the issuance of identification cards to foreigners in Sabah.
Some of the remarks were published in a Keadilan Daily article titled “Insiden Tembak-Menembak Konspirasi Umno” dated March 3.
The PKR vice-president was found to have breached Section 4(1)(b) of the Sedition Act. He faces a fine of RM5,000 or three years jail or both upon conviction.
Tian Chua pleaded not guilty and claimed that the charge was politically motivated.
“I will fight these slander to clear my name,” he said.
Justice Mohd Sekeri Mamat fixed April 12 for mention and set bail at RM5,000.
Scuffle breaks out
When met outside the court room, Tian Chua’s counsel N Surendran said he would file an application soon with the High Court to strike out the charge against his client.
He claimed that the charge was a gross abuse of power and politically motivated.
Sudrendran, who is also PKR vice-president, said the authorities of late had been targeting opposition members such as Azmin Ali and Gobind Sigh Deo in a series of investigations as the polls approached.
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