Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has defended Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail’s decision to allow Umno’s no-contest motion for the top two posts in the upcoming party election.
“He (Saifuddin) has already explained the matter.
“The law requires the Registrar of Societies (RoS) to refer (the matter) to the minister and the law provides him certain powers,” he told reporters after opening the Kuala Lumpur Park Festival today.
Anwar said he had also overridden decisions made by civil servants in the past, including reversing instructions to allow direct negotiation for projects.
Saifuddin had on Tuesday confirmed Umno was granted an exemption from compliance of Section 13(1)(c)(iv) through Section 70 of the Societies Act 1966 on the motion made at the party’s general assembly to prohibit contests for the president and deputy president’s posts.
Under Section 70 of the Act, the minister is empowered to use his discretion to exempt any registered society from being subjected to all or any of its provisions.
Saifuddin said the decision did not involve any personal interest and that those dissatisfied with the exemption given by RoS could challenge the matter in court.
It was reported that Pas secretary-general Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan and former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin have criticised Saifuddin’s decision to grant the party an exemption. – NST