IPOH, July 27 — Kampar MP Thomas Su Keong Siong was today acquitted of organising an illegal rally five years ago.
His acquittal was pronounced by Sessions Court judge Norashima Khalid in open court this afternoon after receiving a letter of representation from the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) for the charge to be withdrawn.
Su was initially charged under Section 9(1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 with failing to notify police 10 days prior to the Blackout 505 rally at Wisma Chin Woo here on May 9, 2013.
He was first charged on May 27, 2013 but was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal by the same court on May 16, 2014.
He was charged under the same Act again on October 14, 2016.
Speaking to reporters outside court, lead counsel Ramkarpal Singh said the Pakatan Harapan government has advocated for certain provisions in the Act to be repealed.
“Although it has yet to happen, we believe it will be soon,” he said.
He added with Su’s acquittal, it was a good step towards abolishing Section 9(1) of the Act.
“It curtails freedom of speech,” he said, adding that Su was now a free man without having to worry that a conviction will affect his parliamentary post.
Agreeing with Ramkarpal, Su said he was happy the charge has finally been withdrawn.
“I thanked my team of lawyers and also my supporters who cheered me on after I was charged,” he said.
Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran, who was also present, said the Cabinet had instructed the AGC to relook at Section 9(1) of the Act.
Describing the section as draconian, Kulasegaran hoped others who are charged under the Act will have their charges withdrawn.
“Politicians need direct access to voters and to meet the people,” he added.