Monday, April 30, 2018

UMNO 16 terminated for going to court to seek justice? Something very wrong...

16 members of UMNO applied to court to review the decision of the Registrar of Society(ROS) to allow UMNO to postpone its Elections for another year...Well, according to the UMNO Constitution, Elections to be held every 3 years, and further that the UMNO Supreme Council have the right to adjourn elections for 18 months. Well, that 3 years and 18 months extension had passed...and then UMNO apparently applied to the ROS for a further 1 year extension...and the ROS granted it.
So, simply put, the question that the 16 UMNO members wanted was to question was whether the ROS could legally grant this further extension of 1 year.
UMNO is a society(political party), and the members decide on its operations and rules. And for UMNO, that would be what the party Constitution states generally...and also Resolutions passed at AGMs
Delaying party elections is most UNJUST to members - it denies UMNO members the right to stand and/or choose their leaders democratically - BUT it is beneficial to the INCUMBENT leaders who can hold on to 'power' for a longer term...longer than the 3 years. Well, Najib and the current Supreme Council had been in power for 3 years(Plus 18 months) plus a few months, and if elections is only going to be in 2019, well that means, they have succeeded in holding on to power for almost 2 terms without an elections, and all UMNO members have been denied the right and opportunity to change leaders(or maybe vote Najib back in as President?)
UMNO changed its Constitution - and now, to be a candidate for President, all one needs is one member proposing and another seconding. Previously, one had to get the nominations of so many Divisions...
Was it Najib's fear that if there was an UMNO elections, 3 years after the last elections, that he may lose? In the last UMNO Elections, after the hanges to the UMNO Constitution came into effect, Najib was most lucky that there was no other candidates proposed for the post of President...
A society - Well, the ultimate power rest with the membership... When it comes to even terminating membership of a member, a member has the right to be heard... and usually there will be a hearing, where an 'independent' panel will decide on the guilt or innocence of a member...and also the punishment. Terminating membership is the worst punishment...and should seldom be used.

Now even after the the Executive Committee decides on a punishment(including termination), the member has the right to appeal to the membership, usually at the AGM or EGM...

And then, even take the matter to the Courts...

Now, in this case of UMNO, it shocking that UMNO denies the right of members to take UMNO to court. This is most unreasonable...(but, at the end of the day, it is still the UMNO members that decide...Wonder why UMNO members foolishly agreed to such a clause in their Constitution - did they think about it and vote? Or did they unthinkingly vote?)..With this clause, even if UMNO owes a member money, and does not pay - UMNO members cannot go to court to get an order that UMNO pays the member what is due?

Remember if a society owns a RM1 million building, then the owners are really all the members, and they deserve an equal share...if the society wants to shut down?

Now, the 16 UMNO members were taking the Registrar of Society to court - they wanted the court to review the decision of the Registrar to further delay the UMNO AGM...and, so what is the basis of sacking these members? 

But, even if you terminate a member, after the case is filed - the case will still go on...What matters is whether you had the right to file when you filed the case?

UMNO Constitution gives too much power to the elected leaders ...and reduces the rights of ordinary members...Members can simply be terminated...and now, they cannot even take a case against UMNO even if they allege injustice? Well, something is very wrong...

The Societies Act also is anti freedom of association, when too much power is given to the government(i.e. the Registrar of Societies). Now, the Registrar even has the power to reject amendments in society constitution even if the it is the decision of membership. This includes also the right to increase subscription fees...

How could the ROS even approve UMNO's constitution that says a member loses his/her membership when he files a case against UMNO? It certainly is unjust...and members are deprived a remedy in court against the wrongdoings of the party?

There are many changes that are needed in Malaysian laws - most importantly the restoration of true freedom of association, which includes the ability to take membership disputes to court, and even take their own society to court especially in cases of wrongful dismissal of membership, or even breaches of the Constitution/Rules of the Society...



Expulsion of 16 Umno members according to the law, says Zahid

Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said move to expel 16 Umno members from five states who were sacked for filing a judicial review to dissolve Umno at the Kuala Lumpur High Court was in accordance with the resolution in the Umno constitution and regulations. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said move to expel 16 Umno members from five states who were sacked for filing a judicial review to dissolve Umno at the Kuala Lumpur High Court was in accordance with the resolution in the Umno constitution and regulations. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
BAGAN DATUK, April 21 — The move to expel 16 Umno members from five states who were sacked for filing a judicial review to dissolve Umno at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, yesterday was in accordance with the resolution in the Umno constitution and regulations.

Umno vice-president who is discharging the duty of party deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said this was because any Umno member who filed a court application or action, would automatically lose their membership.

“(Under) the Umno Constitution, Umno members cannot take any issue concerning the party to the court and if it is taken to court, the members concerned will automatically be expelled from Umno.

“We also suspect that the action of the Umno members was masterminded by the opposition. However, a detailed study must be carried out to obtain its validity,” he told reporters after launching the new GiatMara Building in Hutan Melintang, here today.

Yesterday, 16 Umno members took legal action to challenge the validity of Umno as a political party for postponing the party election.

Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said the action of the 16 Umno members clearly went against Clause 20.7 of the Umno Constitution which states that any member who files a court application or action would automatically lose his or her membership.

Commenting further, Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, said the allegation was baseless as Umno had asked the Registrar of Societies (RoS) to postpone party elections until April 2019.

He said such action had to be taken because the RoS had issued a postponement letter for the Umno election and the directive should not have been challenged by anyone as it was an official decision.

“I believe the announcement on the candidates and the document to be made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the name of Umno was according to the law and legally binding,” he said. — Bernama - The Malay Mail, 21/4/2018

Court dismisses bid by 16 to determine legality of Umno

 | April 27, 2018 
Judge Kamaludin Md Said says the court cannot interfere in the internal affairs of political parties.

Lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla speaking to reporters after the court verdict.

KUALA LUMPUR: A leave application for judicial review by 16 members to determine the legality of Umno was thrown out today as the court is not empowered to interfere in the affairs of political parties.
Judge Kamaludin Md Said ruled that Section 18C of the Societies Act 1966 excluded the jurisdiction of the courts in such matters.

“Effect must be given to the intention of Parliament in legislating Section 18C,” he said in allowing the Registrar of Societies’ (RoS) preliminary objection to refuse the leave sought by the 16.

Kamaludin said he had considered two recent Federal Court rulings – Indira Gandhi v Pengarah Jabatan Agama Islam (2018) and Semenyih Jaya Sdn Bhd v Pentadbir Tanah Daerah Hulu Langat (2017) – relied on by lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla, who represented the Umno members.

“Those cases in my view can be distinguished from the present application,” he said.

Kamaludin said the rulings in general terms reminded the stakeholders that judicial power may only be vested in the courts, safeguarded by constitutional provisions to ensure judicial independence and separation of powers.

He said the cases were not dealing with the decision of a political party on any matter related to the affairs of Umno within Section 18C.

“I cannot ignore the Federal Court decision in Pendaftar Pertubuhan v Datuk Justin Jinggui (2013) that clearly excluded the court from going into the merit of any disputes between members of a political party,” he said.

Umno Seri Merpati Pandan Indah branch leader Salihudin Ahmad Khalid and 15 fellow Umno members, who have since been sacked, are seeking a judicial review against the party on grounds that it breached its constitution by delaying the party elections.

They named as respondents Umno executive secretary Ab Rauf Yusoh and the RoS.

The 16 said the party should hold elections every three years and the leadership could only delay them for an 18-month period. However the party was granted an extension by the RoS until next year.

The applicants allege that a second extension given to Umno is not provided for in the party constitution.

They also said the delay had denied them their right to pick their leaders.

Meanwhile, Haniff told reporters he had instructions from his clients to file an appeal.

He said another application for leave to initiate contempt proceedings against party secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor over his announcement that the 16 had been sacked would not be heard on May 16 following today’s ruling.

Haniff expressed disappointment over the ruling, saying Kamaludin had failed to appreciate the legal principle established in the Indira Gandhi and Semenyih Jaya cases.

“The judge appeared to have ignored the binding precedent of a recent ruling by a superior court,” he said.
Haniff said today’s ruling had also shut the doors to members seeking legal remedy against those administrating political parties.

He said the election of Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates could be questioned if today’s ruling was later reversed.

“BN will be in crisis if Umno, which is a coalition member, is declared an unlawful society later,” he said.-FMT News, 27/4/2018


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