Tian Chua still MP, for now

By Debra Chong (Malaysian Insider)
KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 — The High Court confirmed today its ruling last week to fine PKR’s Chua Tian Chang RM2,000 for biting a policeman in 2007, leaving the politician’s status as MP open to challenge.
Judge Datuk Ghazali Cha met with Chua’s lawyers as well as the prosecution in his chambers this morning and made clear his intention to lower the fine from RM3,000 to RM2,000 was to prevent a by-election taking place.
“Nothing has changed,” Chua’s lawyer, Ranjit Singh, told reporters after exiting the judge’s chambers.
“The judge confirmed he is functus officio,” Ranjit added, explaining that the Latin term means the judge’s ruling announced in open court last Thursday has been put on paper, signed and sealed.
“We take the view that Tian Chua is not disqualified. If any party takes a different view, they can take it to court,” the lawyer stressed, referring to the PKR chief strategist by his popular moniker.
The suited 47-year-old who was present in court appeared pleased with the judge’s reiteration.
“Nobody has challenged his comment so far,” Chua pointed out.
“People are giving their own opinion to the interpretation of the law. They are entitled to their own view [but] his intention is to not have a by-election,” he stressed, referring to Justice Ghazali’s reasons for reducing the fine.
Deputy public prosecutors Hanafiah Zakaria and Ishak Mohd Yusoff were reported to have said last week that Chua was no longer an MP. They left the court hurriedly today, declining to comment on the issue.