KUALA LUMPUR: Sixteen former Umno members, who were sacked for taking their party to court, have withdrawn their bid to cite former Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor for alleged contempt.
Their lawyer, Haniff Khatri Abdulla, said today they did not want to proceed with the case due to the change in the federal government.
However, he said the 16 would pursue their appeal in the Court of Appeal to question the legality of Umno which they claimed had breached its own constitution by delaying party polls beyond the permissible period.
Haniff said the appeal would focus on Section 18C of the Societies Act, which bars members of an organisation or society from taking their dispute to court.
“We will speak to the Attorney-General’s Chambers on the issue to be argued in the appeal,” he said.
Salihudin Ahmad Khalid, who led the 16 former members, said it was meaningless to proceed with their contempt bid against Tengku Adnan, better known as Ku Nan, as he was no longer the secretary-general.
“After the recent Umno election, Annuar Musa took over as secretary-general and it does not mean anything to us now,” he said.
Tengku Adnan has been appointed as Umno’s treasurer.
Salihudin and his group applied for leave to initiate contempt proceedings after Umno sacked them in April for questioning the legality of the party.
In court papers sighted by FMT, Salihudin said Tengku Adnan’s public announcement that the 16 had been sacked from the party amounted to pre-judging their legal challenge to Umno’s legality.
The group sought a judicial review against the party on grounds that it had breached its constitution by delaying party elections.
They named as respondents Umno executive secretary Ab Rauf Yusoh and the Registrar of Societies.
The former Umno members said the party should hold elections every three years and the leadership could only delay them for a further 18 months.
Umno held its party elections late last month. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was elected as president while Mohamad Hassan was chosen as deputy president.
Zahid is also the current opposition leader in the Dewan Rakyat.