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Saifuddin urged to explain exemption for Umno in no-contest motion

Takiyuddin Hassan of Perikatan Nasional asks if the decision will function as a binding precedent for all other parties as well.

Ahmad Mustakim Zulkifli
1 minute read
Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail. Photo: Bernama
Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail. Photo: Bernama

Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail was today urged to explain the criteria considered in granting Umno an exemption from a clause in the Societies Act in its decision to prohibit contest for the top two posts in its ongoing party election. 

Perikatan Nasional (PN) chief whip Takiyuddin Hassan also referred to a letter from the Registrar of Societies (RoS) dated March 2, stating that the additional motion, passed at Umno's 2022 general assembly in January, was irregular and in conflict with the party's constitution. 

"This is a matter of public interest," Takiyuddin said in his debate on the Supply Bill 2023 in the Dewan Rakyat. 

"If this is the current practice, can other bodies also follow this example? Is this a binding precedent for all parties? 

"This is an important matter which must be explained by the government." 

Saifuddin said earlier today that he had used his ministerial power to exempt Umno from a clause in the Societies Act, allowing the party to forego elections for its top two posts.

The PKR secretary-general said that based on the powers vested in him under Section 70 of the Societies Act, he was exempting Umno from abiding by a provision under Section 13 of the same act.

Umno vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who objected to the motion, had urged party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to make public the letter from the RoS reportedly approving the no-contest motion for the positions held by himself and his deputy Mohamad Hasan. 

This followed conflicting reports over the contents of the letter.