RoS says the matter will be referred to the home minister
by AFIQ AZIZ / pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN
FORMER Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (picture) claimed that the Registrar of Societies’ (RoS) rejection of the newly formed Parti Pejuang Tanah Air’s registration was politically motivated.
Dr Mahathir, who is also the Langkawi MP, said Pejuang’s secretary general Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah, who was entrusted to register the party, had accommodated all of RoS requirements from the first day of submission in August last year.
Despite efforts to meet all the necessary conditions, Dr Mahathir said the application to register Pejuang was rejected as stated in a letter from RoS yesterday.
“The secretary has been meeting with RoS representatives several times. In their last meeting, RoS said we have complied with all the requirements.
“They — while saying it can be approved — said the matter will be referred to the home minister,” Dr Mahathir told a media conference in Putrajaya yesterday.
He added that according to the Societies Act 1966, RoS is authorised to approve or reject such applications.
“However, RoS decided to refer it to the minister. That means the administration process has turned into a political matter — which is above the provision of the law, because it was not an obligation,” Dr Mahathir said.
The RoS letter was sent on Wednesday evening, amid the hearing of the judicial review scheduled for yesterday before High Court Justice Datuk Seri Mariana Yahya. The decision has prompted Pejuang to withdraw legal action against the RoS for the delay in deciding on the party’s registration status.
Dr Mahathir said the party will file an appeal to Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin to reconsider the decision.
“So now, according to the rules, we will appeal because we always follow the law and believe in the rule of law. We will submit by tomorrow (Friday),” he said.
Dr Mahathir said he could not find any reason for RoS to reject the application as the party haseverything in order according to the rules.
Earlier, Amiruddin said RoS claimed that Pejuang did not follow one of the provisions in the act, the Schedule 1.
However, he said the party did check and verify that all of the conditions and requirements in the schedule had been fulfilled according to what was suggested by RoS.
“On Oct 20, we wrote to the home minister because there was no response or feedback from the RoS since our last meeting on Sept 28.
“But there was also no response from the minister and then we decided to file a judicial review to the court seeking RoS answer.
“We were also informed that RoS did not file the affidavit to the court. And yesterday, we finally got the reply that the application has been rejected,” Amiruddin said.
Pejuang application is crucial, as the party is seeking to contest in the next general election (GE), which is expected to be held within the next two years.
Speculation that a snap election would take place is also rife as Umno, which makes the biggest number of the current Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, has urged GE15 to be held by March.
Currently, PN is ruling with the support of 111 seats in the Dewan Rakyat, from the total of 220 members of MPs, while two seats — Batu Sapi and Grik, are still vacant following the death of the respective lawmakers.
Dr Mahathir also said PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should resign from his post to allow a new coalition to take over, as the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president is commanding a very slim majority in the Dewan Rakyat.
“I told him and advised him, but he refused and wanted to work with Umno. Now, you are not commanding strong support. So, just resign,” Dr Mahathir said.
Apart from Pejuang, RoS also rejected the application by Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman to register his party Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda).
However, RoS did not give any reasons why they rejected the application that was filed on Sept 17, 2020.
In a separate statement, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said RoS’ decision to deny the registration of Pejuang and Muda as political parties is completely unacceptable.
The Opposition leader said such rights are enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
Anwar also demanded the Registrar to explain why the two groups were denied registration.