UMNO exempted from Societies Act 1966 for no-contest resolution on top posts, confirms Malaysia’s Home Minister

UMNO exempted from Societies Act 1966 for no-contest resolution on top posts, confirms Malaysia’s Home Minister

MALAYSIA — The Home Minister, Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, has confirmed that the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) has been exempted from the Societies Act 1966 (Act 832) with regard to the no-contest resolution for the president and deputy president posts, which was passed during the party’s 2022 general assembly.

“Based on UMNO’s constitution and meeting rules, the Ministry, in accordance with Section 70 of the Act, has decided to exempt UMNO from compliance with Section 13(1)(c)(iv) of the Act with regards to the additional motion passed,” the Minister said.

According to Section 70 of the Act, the Minister may grant an exemption to any society from any provision of the Act if he or she deems it necessary or desirable to do so in the public interest, or if it is otherwise expedient.

Currently, the UMNO top post is held by Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Deputy UMNO President Mohamad bin Hasan. Both of them are Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister in the cabinet led by Anwar Ibrahim.

Ahmad Zahid announced during a UMNO event in Penang on Sunday(5 March) that the party had received a letter from the ministry confirming the Registrar of Societies (RoS) ‘s acceptance of the party’s no-contest resolution for the top two posts.

Earlier, UMNO vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob challenged Ahmad Zahid to produce the letter from ROS following the controversy over the no-contest motion passed at the 2022 Umno general assembly.

Last month, it was reported that RoS was investigating UMNO for allegedly violating its constitution following the passing of a no-contest motion for the party’s top posts during the 2022 AGM.

Another ROS letter circulated online, ruled that the no-contest motion ‘invalid’

Another letter from the RoS on the matter of the no-contest resolution was circulated on social media.

The letter, allegedly sent to UMNO Secretary-General, Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan, on 2nd March, was on the letterhead of the ROS.

According to the letter, based on the information and documentation submitted in letters dated 27th January, 2nd February, and 14th February, the department found that the additional motion was irregular and contrary to the provisions under Article 9.3 of the UMNO Constitution.

On his Instagram story, Khairy Jamaluddin, Former Umno Youth chief, shared the circulated letter and questioned the validity of the motion of no contest for the UMNO’s top post.

“If the letter is legit then the motion by Rembau UMNO (Mohamad Hasan’s division) made during the assembly to protect the president and deputy president from contesting is invalid.”

“But this matter had been exempted by the home minister,” he said in his Instagram stories yesterday.

The party’s sec-gen Ahmad Maslan denied that the no-contest motion violated the UMNO’s constitution.

He thanked the Home Minister’s statement in a tweet yesterday, “This is not the first time that the positions of President and Deputy President are uncontested. Let us continue to move forward towards approaching and assisting the people.”

UMNO chairman denied knowledge of the RoS letter circulated online

When queried by the media last night (7th March), Zahid Hamidi denied knowledge of the RoS letter, which circulated online.

“I didn’t know about the viral letter,” he said briefly after attending an UMNO candidate introduction ceremony in Kota Kinabalu for the upcoming party election.

Instead, he insisted that the Home Minister had the final say in determining the outcome, and the latest statement from the Minister was sufficient to prove UMNO’s top two uncontested positions as legitimate.

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