Home Minister’s refusal to rule on Pejuang a breach of duty

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Home minister Hamzah Zainudin breached his legal duty in refusing to make a decision after Pejuang filed an appeal to be registered as a political party, said its pro tem committee today.

“His failure or omission to make a decision is a breach of a statutory duty under Section 18 (b) of the Societies Act 1966,” the committee said in its written submissions to obtain leave for judicial review.

In court papers sighted by FMT, the committee said the minister’s non-response was also a denial of a fundamental right under the Federal Constitution for all citizens to form associations.

“It has denied Pejuang its rights to set up a political party and contest in the general election under its own logo. More so when there is an uncertain political climate now,” the papers said.

Lawyer Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali, appearing for pro tem secretary-general Amiruddin Hamzah, said High Court Judge Ahmad Kamal Shahid will be hearing the leave application on Thursday.

Last December, Pejuang, which was formed in August, filed a judicial review application to compel the Registrar of Societies (RoS) to make a decision on its registration. Just before the matter went to court, the RoS rejected Pejuang’s registration.

On March 5 Pejuang filed a challenge to compel the minister and the RoS to make a decision on the party’s registration.

Pro tem chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad last year said the party’s goals were to fight corruption, and that other Malay-based parties, such as Umno and PPBM, had strayed from their original paths and been swayed by money and power. – FMT