Rafizi Remains Pandan Lawmaker Until Appeal Process Is Over – EC

Mohd Rafizi Ramli remains the Pandan MP until his appeal is heard.
Mohd Rafizi Ramli remains the Pandan MP until his appeal is heard.

PUTRAJAYA: Mohd Rafizi Ramli will remain the Pandan MP until his appeal is heard said Election Commission (EC) chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Hashim Abdullah.

Mohd Hashim said though the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court sentenced Rafizi who is also the PKR vice president to 18 months jail, according to the Federal Constitution, his position will remain unchanged until his appeal is heard.

“The seat will not be vacated,” he said in a statement here Monday.

Mohd Hashim said it would not be appropriate for the EC to speak on the possibility of a by election because the case has not been resolved yet.

“Furthermore, according to media reports, Mohd Rafizi would be filing for appeal,” he said.

The EC chairman said all matters pertaining to the Pandan parliamentary seat would only be decided once the appeal process has ended.

Rafizi will also not be able to contest in the next general election unless the conviction against him is reversed.

“If there is a conviction and he is sentenced to RM2,000 or more than one year imprisonment, he is disqualified as a candidate, so he cannot become a candidate,” said his lawyer Gobind Singh Deo.

The PKR vice-president was sentenced to 18 months in jail by the Sessions Court for unauthorised possession of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) audit report and exposing it to the media.

Rafizi was charged with possessing Page 98 of the 1MDB audit report without approval, which he acquired in violation of the Official Secrets Act 1972 (OSA).

He was also accused of exposing without approval, the contents of the same page of the audit report during a press conference on March 28, thus endangering the secret.

Sessions Judge Zulqarnain Hassan granted a stay on the sentence pending appeal.