PETALING JAYA: DAP has yet to receive the green light from the Registrar of Societies (RoS) on its proposal to hold party re-elections on Sept 10 as several conditions need to be verified first.
“RoS director-general Mohammad Razin Abdullah said that they will have an internal meeting on this and get back to us,” DAP vice-chairman Teresa Kok told FMT today.
According to Kok, the RoS needs to confirm the details of the party’s delegates list as well as the records of two DAP branches.
The issue of DAP having to hold fresh Central Executive Committee (CEC) elections arose on July 7 when the RoS released a media statement saying that the appointment of CEC members and those who held key positions in DAP via its re-election on Sep 29, 2013 was deemed unlawful.
“The re-election should be based on the list of delegates entitled to attend and vote in the CEC election on Dec 15, 2012 which involved 2,576 delegates from 865 branches.
“This is because only valid and recognised CEC members can appoint individuals to the main positions, in accordance with the Societies Act 1966 and DAP’s constitution,” Mohammad Razin said in the statement.
RoS finally followed up with an official letter to the party on July 18 repeating its instructions from the statement, and giving its reasons.
DAP has since agreed to hold fresh party polls, but under protest.
On July 20, DAP dismissed the RoS’ basis for instructing it to hold a re-election of its CEC, saying the order was completely unfounded.
“We are stunned by the decision of the RoS to ‘advise’ (on the need for) the re-election of the 2013 CEC members based on false and unfounded reasons,” DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said at a press conference.
He disputed the RoS’ claim that there were qualified delegates for the re-election held in 2013 who were denied their right to vote.
“The RoS said there was a discrepancy between the number of qualified delegates because there were a reported 865 qualified branches in the 2012 CEC election while there were a reported 985 branches in 2013.
“This allegedly showed an additional 120 branches for the 2013 re-election. This is false.”
According to Lim, there were only 751 qualified branches in 2012.
“The same 2,576 delegates from the same 751 qualified branches were notified for the 2013 CEC re-election.
“There was indeed a total of 985 branches in DAP in 2013. However, only 751 branches with 2,576 delegates were qualified to vote in the 2013 re-election.”
Lim explained last month that the RoS seemed to have picked up the number 865 for the qualified branches in the 2012 CEC election from a news report in Utusan Malaysia, attributed to one “Father Augustus”.
The Penang chief minister said that the 865 branches was a fabricated number in the “fake news report”.
“The DAP supremo even successfully sued publishers Utusan Melayu for defamation over the ‘Father Augustus’ report and was awarded RM250,000 in damages by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Dec 10, 2014,” Lim said.
The DAP CEC election controversy revisited
The whole issue with the dispute over DAP’s last party elections started more than four years ago, less than three weeks before the 13th general election (GE13), which was held on May 5, 2013.
On April 17, 2013, the RoS sent a letter to Lim stating that it did not recognise DAP’s CEC which had been elected during the party elections the year before.
Then RoS director-general, Abdul Rahman Othman, said the non-recognition was due to the alleged dispute surrounding the party polls.
“Until the disputed matters are resolved, the RoS under Section 3A of the Societies Act does not recognise the office bearers in DAP, formed by the CEC on Dec 15, 2012,” he had said, adding that DAP faced the risk of being de-registered.
However, the RoS issued another letter on April 19 informing that the party would be allowed to use its rocket symbol in GE13.
A re-election of the CEC was eventually carried out by the DAP on Sept 29, 2013 but that too ran into problems, with the RoS still refusing to recognise the CEC.
Then, on Jan 22, 2014, Lim filed a judicial review application on behalf of the party, saying the RoS had no power under the Societies Act 1966 to refuse the recognition of the CEC which was re-elected on Sept 29, 2013.
DAP decided to drop the application on Sept 23, 2014, following the RoS’ recognition of the re-elected CEC and its stand that statements on the matter were merely advice and not legally binding.