In a surprise move yesterday, PKR’s Batu MP Chua Tian Chang, better known as Tian Chua, withdrew his final appeal against his conviction for trespassing and has been jailed for a month.
“I was not charged with taking part in an illegal assembly but in connection with my presence in Pulapol.
“My lords, in my opinion, it is an absurdity to penalise me for being in Pulapol’s compound in a situation in which I was brought against my will,” Tian Chua said.
He said he had joined the Bersih rallies as part of the struggle for a fairer and better Malaysia.
He added that he and other Malaysians wanted change, and a better world where justice, liberty and fairness are upheld.
“We want to speak up freely and share our thoughts openly without fear, as this is our right guaranteed under the Federal Constitution.
“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.
“At the same time, I would like to emphasise that accepting my prison sentence is not an admission of wrongdoing,” Tian Chua said in his speech.
He added that he plans to highlight the wrongs of the government and urged the people “not to be intimidated and frightened by the instruments of oppression”.
After hearing his statement, Justice Mohtaruddin along with Justices Zakaria Sam and Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil accepted Tian Chua’s withdrawal, saying it was his right under the law, and ordered him to serve his one-month sentence from yesterday.
Defence lawyer N Surendran confirmed Tian Chua would be able to contest in the 14th general election as an MP could only be disqualified should they be sentenced to more than one year’s jail or fined above RM2,000, upon conviction.
Tian Chua shook hands with his fellow PKR members and Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah before he was ushered to the court’s detention room.
In an immediate response, PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said she was taken aback by her vice-president’s decision.