The issue of the validity of the Umno Supreme Council for the 2018/2021 term which ended on June 30, 2021 as stated by the Registrar of Societies (RoS) does not arise, the party’s secretary-general Ahmad Maslan said today.
He said the interpretation given by the Umno solicitor of Article 10.16 of the party’s constitution clearly states that the postponement of party elections is the prerogative of the Supreme Council, and that the party needs only inform the RoS of the matter.
Based on the chronology of correspondence between the RoS and Umno, he said there was a legitimate expectation by Umno for the RoS to endorse the postponement of the party’s election.
“Umno hopes with the explanation, that the polemic between Umno and the RoS is resolved.
“Besides, the high number of Covid-19 cases surpassing 20,000 a day has made it more difficult to hold a delegates’ conference and election which would involve 3.3 million Umno members and 66,287 Umno delegates throughout the country,” he said at a media conference today.
Yesterday, RoS director-general Jasri Kasim was reported as saying that Umno’s decision to postpone its party elections at all levels – branch, division and Supreme Council – this year was invalid.
Jasri said the decision to postpone the election by 18 months was based on the minutes of a Supreme Council meeting on July 7 when the term of office for the council for the 2018/2021 term ended on June 30, 2021.
Ahmad, who is also Pontian MP, said the RoS had verified receiving Umno’s letter dated June 24, 2021 through an RoS letter dated July 19, 2021 which among others stated that the RoS had no objection to postponing Umno’s party elections and that the decision was in compliance with Article 10.16 of the party’s Constitution.
Meanwhile, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in a statement on Facebook said Umno made the resolution to postpone the general assembly as it could not be conducted virtually.
“Umno has never carry out an assembly virtually, what’s more with Umno having more than three million members nationwide including in rural areas which have internet coverage problems,” he said.