Malaysia election: Disqualified PKR V-P Tian Chua says too early to endorse any other candidate for Batu

PKR vice-president Tian Chua says he will not yet be endorsing any candidate for the Batu parliamentary seat.
PKR vice-president Tian Chua says he will not yet be endorsing any candidate for the Batu parliamentary seat.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PETALING JAYA - The opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat's (PKR) vice-president Tian Chua, who was disqualified from defending his Batu parliamentary seat, will not be endorsing any other candidate for the seat yet, saying it is too early to do so, The Star reported.

"I think it's too early to say. We will continue to campaign for everybody to support Pakatan Harapan. We will know what will be feasible after we take the next step of action which is to take a legal case," he was quoted saying at a press conference on Sunday (April 29).

 

"I will wait for my legal team to finalise our strategy then we can talk about what step to take in Batu," he added.

Batu, a seat in Kuala Lumpur, was expected to be retained easily by the opposition Pakatan Harapan (PH) alliance, which is already facing an uphill battle to unseat Prime Minister Najib Razak. PKR is one of the four parties in the PH alliance.

Chua was barred from defending his Batu parliamentary seat on Saturday after the Election Commission ruled that a conviction for insulting a police officer disqualified him from contesting.

The seat will now be contested by Gerakan vice-president Dominic Lau, Batu Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) chief Azhar Yahya and two other independent candidates - P. Prabakaran and Datuk Panjamorthy Muthusamy.

Tian Chua claimed that the election was still between Barisan National and PH and it was up to voters if they wanted the status quo or change.

 

"We do not simply endorse any candidate like that. We want people who fight with our struggle and agenda for change. If there are any circumstances where we endorse another candidate, the candidate must first accept our principles. Otherwise we are irresponsible by recommending candidates who are not consistent with the objective of our struggle," he said.

Although Chua, a two-term MP, was earlier fined RM3,000 (S$1,000) and jailed six months by the Sessions Court, a High Court ruling last month reduced the fine to RM2,000, which is below the threshold for disqualification from elected office.

Parliament Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia had ruled that Mr Chua was not disqualified as Batu MP as he was fined below RM2,001.

Chua has said he would file a legal challenge against the decision which he described as underhanded tactics to defeat the opposition.