Injunction obtained to stop MTUC re-election

J-SolomonPUTRAJAYA: The scheduled Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) meeting to re-elect its secretary-general and seven vice-presidents on Sunday has been put on hold pending a court ruling.

Lawyer Alex De Silva, who is appearing for incumbent secretary-general J Solomon, said his client had obtained an injunction against the MTUC general council to stop conducting the election for the posts.

“The injunction remains enforced until Solomon’s application to seek a declaration that the council’s decision to hold the election again for both posts is null and void,” he told FMT.

Solomon obtained the restraining order about 10 days ago and the High Court has fixed the case to be heard on Sept 21.

The lawyer said this in response to FMT’s query about whether his client had sought legal redress after the council decided, on July 16, to conduct the polls again as two unqualified delegates had taken part in the election.

Solomon, in a statement after the meeting, claimed the decision to hold re-election for the post of secretary-general and the seven vice-presidents’ posts allotted to private sector unions, was not a collective decision as expressed by president Abdul Halim Mansor.

He said the only collective decision made was to revoke the eligibility of Kamarul Baharin Mansor, a vice-president and Mohamed Dauzkaply Nor Ghazali, a member of the council, but who contested and lost the contest for the secretary-general’s post in a three-cornered fight last year.

He said Kamarul Baharin and Dauzkaply immediately ceased to be members or representatives of MTUC.

He said Rule 10 (8) of the MTUC constitution stated that in the event of a vacancy, that position shall be filled by the council.

However, Solomon claims, the president and his supporters in the council pushed ahead with the decision to hold a re-election.

He said the re-election for the post of secretary-general did not arise as there was no vacancy created by Dauzkaply’s disqualification as he had lost.

He said the proposed re-election for the secretary-general and the seven vice-presidents was unconstitutional.

In the November election, Abdul Halim, a former MTUC secretary-general, caused a major upset to win the post of president at its triennial delegates meeting.

Halim polled 279 votes to defeat acting president and Kuala Langat MP Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid, who secured 251 votes.

Solomon, the National Union of Bank Employees general-secretary, was another surprise winner, edging out incumbent secretary-general Gopal Kishnam.

Solomon polled 189 votes, Gopal had 169 while Dauzkaply secured 165.

Halim and Solomon were said to have formed an alliance to defeat the incumbents.

FMT understands the duo’s working relationship soured over the last few months when the government appointed Halim to be the MTUC representative in the Employees Provident Fund and Social Security Organisation management boards.

Solomon had also filed a defamation suit against Halim and former secretary- general G. Rajasekaran.

Halim and Solomon were not available for comment.