KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29, 2016:
Parts of the speech delivered by Batu MP Tian Chua during a public forum at the Selangor Assembly Hall after the 13th general elections did not procure the alteration of the government, the Sessions Court heard today.
Defence counsel New Sin Yew, who is representing Tian Chua, in his written submission, argued that the PKR leader’s speech did not mention about any change of the government.
“The prosecution witnesses during cross-examination also agreed that the accused’s speech did not invite citizens to challenge the results of the elections by going to the streets or touch on anything to deny the results of GE13, among others.
“The accused only mentioned ‘turun ke jalan raya’ and nothing more. However, ‘turun ke jalan raya’ does not necessarily lead to a public assembly.
“Even if ‘turun ke jalan raya’ means having a public assembly (which is denied by the defence), there is nothing unlawful about having a public assembly because the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012 guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peacefully and without arms,” he told the court this morning.
New further contended that having an assembly on the road is lawful as it was stated under Section 3 of the PAA that defines a road as public place.
Deputy public prosecutor Julia Ibrahim, however, said that the court should look into the whole context instead of just part of the speech.
“The speech was delivered after GE13 and he (Tian) claimed that there were wrongdoings, corruption and impunity to ask the rakyat to march to the streets.
“By looking at the whole context and environment after the elections, it is deemed seditious because one cannot just look at the words ‘turun ke jalan raya’ but on the whole context, it refers to unlawful assembly,” she said.
The two-page speech that was marked as exhibit stated among others, “Ayuh, kita bangkit, bangkit…Bangkit lawan rasuah…kezaliman” (Let us rise, rise… Rise against corruption and cruelty).
Sessions judge Abdul Rashid Daud fixed Feb 24 to deliver the decision.
Tian Chua, who is also PKR vice-president, was charged on May 29, 2013 for allegedly uttering seditious words.
He was slapped with a charge under Section 4 (1) (b) of the Sedition Act that provides a maximum fine of RM5,000 or three years in jail, or both if convicted.
He could be disqualified as an elected representative if he is convicted and the court imposes a fine of RM2,000 or one-year jail or both.