Minister in Prime Minister's Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz said that it would be "dishonourable" for BN to seek Batu MP Chua Tian Chang's disqualification as an elected representative.
"As a fellow MP, it is not right for me to put a motion to seek for his removal. We are all honourable members of the house," Nazri told reporters at the Parliament lobby today.
He said that Chua's status is best decided by the speaker of the house.
"Moreover, I've to take cognisance from the first judge's decision on the matter, from the judgement it showed that he had lowered the fine to not disqualify him," he said.
Tian has lost his appeal against a conviction of obstructing a police personnel from performing his duties, which carries a RM2,000 fine. While the High Court Judge Ghazali Cha said that the amount was set in such a way as to avoid Tian from being disqualified, the Dewan Rakyat Speaker has the ultimate say on his status.
Nazri was responding to a Malaysian Insider report which quotes an anonymous BN backbencher claiming that a motion to disqualify Tian would be made.
"My personal take on this is that the matter, whether he is still a member of the Parliament or not is not for us to decide and to pursue.
"If he has been fined by the court, it's the duty of the Speaker to inform the Election Commission that because he (Tian) was fined more than the required amount, as a result of that the (could be declared) seat is vacant," said Nazri.
Nazri, who is the de facto law minister, explained that his ministerial powers would only take him as far as tabling a motion to suspend a MP for breaching Parliament's Standing Orders. "That is all. To remove a fellow member as a MP is beyond me. It's not for me. Even the backbenchers cannot do it, I would advise them not to because it's not an honourable act," he said.
However, it is understood that the backbenchers were toying with the idea following deputy speaker Wan Junaidi Jaafar's statement that the Dewan Rakyat has to be informed by the members if Tian is convicted and thereby stands the chance of being disqualified.
'We can't deny Batu of their rep'
The Court of Appeals last month rejected Tian's appeal against a conviction, effectively supporting last year's High Court decision to uphold his conviction and sentence of a RM2,000 fine in default of two months' jail.
Initially the Kuala Lumpur Magistrate Court had fined RM3,000 and jailed six months, pending an appeal.
Under Article 48 of the federal constitution and preceding cases, Tian stands disqualified as an MP because he was fined more than RM2,000.
"Whatever the rationale behind the (High Court) judge's decision is not my concern but I take cognisance of his and because of that I feel that Tian should not be disqualified," said Nazri.
Among other reasons, Nazri added that the Dewan Rakyat is in its third year now and declined to call for a by-election.
"Which means we are going to deny Batu of having a representative in the Parliament, which in fairness the government feels we should not deny the voters of their legally elected representative during the 2008 general election.
"So because of all these, I have decided against any move on the part of the government to disqualify him," he added.
Nazri: Tak bermaruah bagi lucutkan MP Batu
Throwing out Tian Chua ‘dishonourable’, says Nazri
Someone got to explain to the court, that not less than RM2,000 include RM2,000 and above.I think Najib,Mahyuddin and the Speaker pun blur about this.
Rasa-rasa Nazri deman kot hari ini....