KUALA LUMPUR: PKR vice-president Tian Chua today withdrew his appeal in the charge brought against him for refusing to comply with a police order to leave the restricted Police Training Centre (Pulapol) in 2012.
Malaysiakini reported that this surprise twist occurred in his final appeal in front of a three-member bench led by Justice Datuk Mohtarudin Baki.
The English news portal reported that he discharged his counsel N Surendran, and personally addressed the appellate court by reading out a strongly worded speech.
He said his conviction by Session Courts was absurd, as he was charged with trespassing into a place that he had been brought to by force after participating in the Bersih 3 rally in 2012.
“My lords, in my opinion, it is an absurdity to penalise me for my being in the compound of Pulapol, in a situation which I was brought in by force and against my will.
“My participation in Bersih had been part of a very long journey of struggle for a fairer and better Malaysia.
“If the price for changing this repressive and corrupt system is to go to prison, I shall say I am more than ready to accept,” he said from the dock.
“At the same time, I would like to emphasise that accepting my prison sentence is not an admission of wrongdoing. On the contrary, I intend to highlight the wrongs of this very government, and call on the people not to be intimidated and frightened by the instruments of oppression.
“Respectfully, I wish to inform this court that I withdraw my appeal.
“Finally, this is my message to all Malaysians, the members of public out there: Thank you for your support. Please continue the fight for justice. We shall not and must not be afraid when we are on the side of truth! Prison walls cannot block our march towards change!”
The court was supposed to hear the submission by both parties today, but it stood down after this surprising turn of events.
The Sessions Court had imposed a one-month sentence and RM1,000 fine.
An MP would lose his seat in the Dewan Rakyat and be barred from contesting for a seat for five years if fined more than RM2,000 or sentenced to more than one year’s prison term.
““(There is) nothing much to worry, I think I’ll be jailed tomorrow. I’m ready to go to jail,” he told Malaysiakini yesterday
The Batu MP said he was expecting the Court of Appeal to uphold a High Court’s decision in November last year, which dismissed his initial appeal against the conviction and sentence handed down by the Sessions Court on Jan 23, 2014.
According to Free Malaysia Today, after hearing Tian Chua’s statement today, Justice Datuk Mohtaruddin along with Justices Zakaria Sam and Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil struck out his appeal and ordered the politician to serve his one-month sentence from today.
The Batu MP was seen shaking hands with his fellow PKR members and Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah before he was escorted to the court’s detention room.
The English news portal reported that PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said she was taken aback by her vice-president’s decision.
“He was inclined to tell us about his decision yesterday,” she told reporters outside the court.