KUALA LUMPUR - Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice-president Tian Chua has been barred from defending his Batu parliamentary seat after the Election Commission ruled that a conviction for insulting a police officer disqualified him from contesting.
Although the 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.
According to Mr Chua, Returning Officer Anwar Mohd Zain refused to entertain his appeals.
"We lost Batu. Returning officer said it's final. No nomination for PH in Batu," he said, referring to the opposition Pakatan Harapan pact.
Mr Chua said he would file a legal challenge against the decision which he described as underhanded tactics to defeat the opposition.
Parliament Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia had ruled that Mr Chua was not disqualified as Batu MP as he was fined below RM2,001.
Batu, a seat in Kuala Lumpur, was expected to be retained easily by the opposition, which is already facing an uphill battle to unseat Prime Minister Najib Razak.
This puts the ruling Barisan Nasional in the hot seat to win back the constituency with Gerakan's Dominic Lau confirmed as a candidate.
Others contesting are Parti Islam SeMalaysia's Batu division chief Azhar Yahya, two other independents, Mr P. Prabakaran and Mr S. Raja Panjamurthy.