HOME Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail has confirmed that UMNO was granted an exemption under the Societies Act 1966 for the resolution barring contests for its top two posts in the forthcoming party polls.
In a statement today he said the decision was made based on Section 70 of the Societies Act 1966, and UMNO has been given an exemption to Section 13(1)(c)(iv) of the same act.
Under Section 70, the minister is empowered to use his discretion to exempt any registered society from all or any of the provisions of the Act.
Section 13(1)(c)(iv), meanwhile, allows the Registrar of Societies (RoS) to cancel the registration of a society if it violates any provision of the Act, any regulations made thereunder, or any of its rules.
RoS is under the purview of the Home Ministry.
Saifuddin said yesterday that he had yet to see a letter from his ministry approving a no-contest motion for UMNO’s top two posts and would need time to verify party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s claim of RoS’ approval.
On Sunday (March 5) Zahid said he will be instructing UMNO secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan to show the letter to the media so as to “put to rest” doubts that the resolution was valid.
He also said the RoS’ letter will confirm that the UMNO general assembly is the highest decision-making body within the party and will also confirm that the party’s rules and constitution had been adhered to.
Zahid was responding to UMNO vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who was quoted by Berita Harian urging for the RoS letter to be made public as there were contradicting news reports on the response from RoS over the matter.
Last month, it was reported that RoS was investigating a possible violation of UMNO’s constitution after the no-contest motion was passed at its general assembly in January.
This is after two UMNO members had lodged a report with RoS seeking an investigation into the matter, insisting that the motion had to be tabled two weeks before the general assembly, or seven days if tabled by the Supreme Council.
However, during the general assembly on Jan 14, UMNO delegate Mohd Shukri Shamsudin had proposed a motion to exclude the posts of president and deputy president from being contested during party elections and the motion was approved. – March 7, 2023
Main pic credit: Bernama