IF the Registrar of Societies (RoS) applies the same standard to Umno as it does Bersatu, the dominant Barisan Nasional component party would be declared illegal by April 19, said Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s lawyer.
Haniff Khatri Abdulla said RoS should equally enforce all political parties hold their meetings on time, as required by their constitutions.
“By right, Najib Razak should not take the oath as prime minister before the Yang Di-pertuan Agong after April 19,” he told The Malaysian Insight.
Haniff was responding to a statement by Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor on Tuesday that the party’s elections were only due by April 19 of next year.
Tengku Adnan said RoS had approved the party’s application to postpone its party elections to April 19, 2019 at the latest.
The Umno secretary-general said RoS’ approval was in line with Section 13A (4) of the Societies Act 1966, which states: The Registrar may, on application in writing made to him by a registered society, extend the time provided by him to the society in any order made under subsection (1) or (2) if he is satisfied the society has given good grounds in its application and it would be just and proper to grant such extension.
Haniff, however, said the deadline for Umno’s divisional and supreme council elections is April 19, this year as Umno last held its party elections on October 19, 2013.
According to Umno’s constitution, stipulated under Clause 9.3, the supreme council is required to hold its next election within three years, or by October 19, 2016.
A further extension of 18 months is allowed under Clause 10.16 of the party’s constitution.
Najib announced the postponement of the party’s elections on June 27, 2015, saying Umno needed to prepare for the general elections.
By April 19, this year, it would have been fifty-four months since Umno last held its elections, the absolute limit allowed by the party’s constitution.
“By right, Umno’s divisions and supreme council would be unlawful under their constitution, as stipulated under Clause 10.16,” Haniff said.
“Najib Razak would automatically cease to be president of Umno and prime minister after April 19, this year,” he said.
“RoS is now challenged to take the necessary action.
“Will they use the same rigorous standards on Umno and they did against Bersatu, which has lawfully followed its constitution?”
RoS has cited irregularities as reasons for its continuing investigations into Bersatu.
RoS director Surayati Ibrahim has said the investigations were into claims Bersatu’s annual general meeting on December 30 was illegal and had violated the party’s constitution.
DAP was made to hold its central executive committee re-election on November 12 last year, finally receiving a notification in early February it has complied with all requirements as directed by RoS.
Bersatu appears to be the last main obstacle in Pakatan Harapan’s registration as a legally recognised coalition.
Last Wednesday, PH took legal action to compel RoS to reply to the coalition’s application to be registered.
Bersatu sued RoS over the status of the party’s registration two days later.
PH submitted its application for registration on July 24 last year.
Bersatu and PH chairman Dr Mahathir has accused RoS of acting in Barisan Nasional’s favour.