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Why intervene when Umno hasn't been banned, Hamzah asks Saifuddin

The Bersatu leader says Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail should only have used his discretionary powers if Umno had been banned.

Azzman Abdul Jamal
2 minute read
Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin. Photo: Bernama
Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin. Photo: Bernama

Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin today questioned Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail's use of his discretionary powers to intervene in the affair between Umno and the Registrar of Societies (RoS) even though the party had not been banned.  

He said the minister's powers under Section 70 of the Societies Act 1966 should only be used when a party has been banned. 

"By right, these powers can only be used if a party has been banned.

"Here, nothing has happened yet so why pre-empt things? What's that about? This means that Saifuddin really does feel that Umno should be banned," he told reporters outside the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters in Putrajaya.

Saifuddin said on March 7 that he had used his ministerial power to exempt Umno from a clause in the Societies Act, allowing the party to forgo elections for its top two posts.

He said yesterday that it had been an "applicable" decision, and that if Umno members who had previously brought the issue to the RoS were not satisfied with the decision, they could take it to court.

This followed the circulation of a letter dated March 2, purportedly from the RoS, stating that the additional motion, passed at Umno's 2022 general assembly in January, was irregular and in conflict with the party's constitution. 

Hamzah said different parties had the right to view the matter from their own perspectives. 

"As long as it's in line with the laws of the country," he added. 

"So the people, especially Umno members, should realise that there are many things to be questioned. But it's up to them."