Praba, Tian Chua Keep Mum on Call for Batu MP to Vacate Seat

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Batu MP P Prabakaran and PKR vice-president Tian Chua have declined to comment on a call by 14 NGOs urging for a by-election in the constituency.

In a statement today, the 14 NGOs had proposed that Prabakaran vacate his seat to pave the way for Tian Chua to return as MP.

When asked to comment on the matter, Prabakaran simply said, “No comment.”

Annabelle Lee/Malaysiakini

Tian Chua also told FMT the same thing, adding that the focus should instead be on the Nov 16 Tanjung Piai by-election.

On Nov 6, the Kuala Lumpur High Court had ruled that Tian Chua was qualified to contest in the May 9 general election last year.

He had initially been barred due to a RM2,000 court fine previously imposed for insulting a policeman.

As a result, the Batu parliamentary seat was won by Prabakaran, a law student, who stood as an independent candidate. He joined PKR days after winning the seat.

His candidacy was endorsed by Pakatan Harapan (PH) in Tian Chua’s absence.

Helmie Mohamad Arof, a representative of a coalition of Batu NGOs, said Tian Chua’s support, coupled with the strong election machinery, had enabled Prabakaran to win with a huge majority.

Helmie said Tian Chua’s service as an MP was needed, adding that he had performed well during his two terms in 2008 and 2013.

Last week, Tian Chua said he was not focused on a by-election in Batu after he won his bid for a court to declare that he had been eligible to contest in the polls last year.

“I didn’t demand that the court issue an order for a by-election to be held because it was more important to determine whether my status was valid or not.

Muhd Zaaba Zakeria

“The by-election depends on the situation and need.

“I leave it to my party (whether to hold a by-election or not).

“My purpose in doing this was to demand justice, not just for myself,” he told FMT. – FMT