Muhyiddin willing to consider appeal by Johor Dong Zong against deregistration

Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin with Dong Zong chairman Tan Tai Kim after their meeting in Putrajaya today. (Bernama pic)

PUTRAJAYA: Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said he is willing to consider the appeal of the Johor chapter of Chinese educationist group Dong Zong against its deregistration by the Johor Registrar of Societies (RoS).

He said he is leaving it to RoS to study the matter first, including calling up representatives of the group for clarification.

“I have asked the association to respond fast so that this matter can be brought to me and I will consider its status,” he told a press conference after meeting representatives of the Johor chapter of Dong Zong and its national body here today.

Among those who attended the 20-minute meeting were Johor chapter chairman Tan Tai Kim, who is also the Dong Zong chairman, and central committee members Yang Yin Chong and Low Chee Chong.

Muhyiddin said he was briefed on the history of the association, which was set up in 1955, and the technical issues which caused its deregistration by the Johor RoS.

“I found that this is a normal matter, not an isolated case. There were several bodies and associations which had been deregistered on certain grounds and which appealed to the minister,” he said.

On Aug 20, Dong Zong received the letter of deregistration, dated Aug 8, for not submitting an explanation for the changes to its constitution regarding the involvement of teachers.

Low said after today’s meeting that Muhyiddin said he would annul the deregistration if Dong Zong could meet all of RoS’ requests.

“It’s just a matter of technical issues. Maybe there are certain parts in the constitution which need minor changes. So it is up to our lawyers to discuss with RoS,” he said.

On another matter, Muhyiddin declined to comment when asked about speculation that Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail would take over his portfolio in a Cabinet reshuffle.

“You should ask the prime minister,” he said.

A newspaper today reported that Saifuddin would take over the home ministry while Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng would be moved to a new portfolio.