After court defeat, Muda to appeal to home minister over RoS rejection

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Syed Saddiq and 12 others failed in their bid to obtain leave to challenge the ROS decision rejecting their bid to register Muda. Their lawyers later said their next step would be to appeal to the home minister.

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Former Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and 12 other individuals today failed in their bid to obtain leave to challenge the decision of the Registrar of Societies (RoS) in rejecting their application to register Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) as a political party.

This followed a decision by High Court Judge Datuk Seri Mariana Yahya in allowing the objection by the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) to the leave application for judicial review filed by them.

Mariana Yahya made the ruling during online proceedings with parties involved in the matter.

Former attorney-general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas acted as lead counsel for Muda, while senior federal counsel Ahmad Hanir Hambaly @ Arwi represented the RoS and Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin.

Ahmad Hanir confirmed the dismissal when he met virtually with the press later.

He said the court found that the applicants had failed to comply with the provision under Section 18 of the Societies Act 1966, where they should have first appealed the matter to the Home Minister.

The court dismissed the application with cost of RM2,000, he said.

When contacted, the judicial review leave applicants’ counsel S Ambiga confirmed this as the reason for the dismissal.

“The court rejected it (judicial review leave application) on grounds that they (judicial review leave applicants) should have appealed to the minister within 30 days (of the ROS’ decision), per the Societies Act.

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“The court held that Muda must exhaust that remedy first,” she said.

On January 25, representatives from the AGC objected to Muda’s application on the basis that the “remedy of appeal against the ROS’ decision to the [Home] Minister had not been exhausted’.

However, Muda lawyers had argued it would be of no use to appeal to the home minister as they claimed he has “prejudged the matter”

In its lawsuit filed on January 12, Muda via its 13 co-founders, including Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, sought a court order to quash the home minister and RoS’ January 6 decision refusing to register Muda as a political party.

Muda also asked the court to issue a mandamus order to compel the home minister and RoS to register it as a society under the political party category within seven days from the date of the court order.

Muda additionally sought compensation from the home minister and RoS.

Muda’s lawyers later stated they will advise the co-founders of the party to pursue an appeal to the home minister after the High Court today dismissed their leave application.

“It is important for everyone to know that the court has not reached any decision on the merits of the Muda sponsor’s case against the ROS.

“Although we disagree, we respect the court’s decision.

“In order to protect Muda’s legal rights and due to time sensitivity, we have advised Muda’s sponsors to take steps to file an appeal to the home minister against the RoS decision. This will be done by the Muda’s sponsors soon,’’ the lawyers said.

The 13 who filed the judicial review application were Syed Saddiq, Amir Hariri Abd Hadi, Dr Mathen Muniasupran, Dr Teo Lee Ken, Dr Thanussha Francis Xavier, Lim Wei Jiet, Luqman Long, Mohd Fakhruradzi Tajuddin, Mohd Saufy Nizar Abdul Rahman, Nur Afiqah M. Zulkifli, Shahrizal Denci, Siti Rahayu Baharin and Tarmizi Anuwar.

Apart from Ahmad Hanir, the AGC was also represented by Mohd Sabri Othman and Kogilambigai Munusamy.


Earlier report: Feb 3, Muda won’t appeal RoS rejection, says home minister’s remarks will be fuel for court case