Saturday, February 17, 2024

REFORM - Vetting of Ministerial Candidates, Parliament verification Ministerial Regulations/Orders,etc..REPEAL power of Minister to exempt compliance with law??? Did PH get a Ministerial Exemption?

Malaysia needs to consider VETTING of potential Members of Parliament and Senators that the Prime Minister wants in his Cabinet(the Executive) - We do not want the 'wrong' person to become Minister or Deputy Minister, noting that this Ministers, after appointment, has a lot of powers - many of which that could be exercised by the Minister/Deputy Minister alone without the need of any prior approval of the Prime Minister or Cabinet, or even Parliament. In most Acts, the Minister has the power to even make subsidiary legislation, orders, etc.. The Minister also have the power to make 'political appointments' including to GLCs that come under the ambit of the Ministry. He/she can also decide on who gets contracts, and the terms of such contracts. 

Therefore, is it time for maybe PARLIAMENT to be given the power to VET potential Cabinet Members before they are appointed by the King acting on the advice of the Prime Minister. We want qualified and CLEAN persons to be appointed as Ministers and Deputy Ministers, if not there is always a SERIOUS RISK of abuse of power or other wrongdoings.

LET us look at the HOME MINISTERS powers under the Societies Act as an  example:- 

5  Power of the Minister to declare a society unlawful

(1) It shall be lawful for the Minister in his absolute discretion by order to declare unlawful any society or branch or class or description of any societies which in his opinion, is or is being used for purposes prejudicial to or incompatible with the interest of the security of Malaysia or any part thereof, public order or morality.

Comment:- Those affected can go to court for a Judicial Review - which can result in the quashing of the Order of the Minister. BERSIH was successful in their application??

67  Regulations

(1) The Minister may make regulations for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of this Act. 

Comment:- Whilst the Act of Parliament is debated and approved by Parliament > such 'REGULATIONS' and/or ORDERS are not. Should not ALL Regulations,etc of Ministers be brought to Parliament for ratification? This is only right, as these regulations/rules often also create crimes that are punishable by law? It is best that there permanent Select Committees in Parliament that will continue to monitor all new Regulations/Rules, Orders and Exemptions. Better if there are several Select Committees, each to specifically monitor a Ministry or some Ministries > to monitor all the different Ministries will be tough. 

70  Power to exempt 

The Minister may at his discretion in writing exempt any society registered under this Act from all or any of the provisions of this Act.

Comment:- This provision in this Act(and similar provisions in other Acts) must be REPEALED - for it is absurd to have LAWS, and then give any Minister the power to EXEMPT some or any society from obeying the law in full, or obeying particular provisions. This can be seen as DISCRIMINATORY, and also a violation of Art  8(1) All persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law.

There can be NO justification for saying that Society X is 'EXEMPTED" from following this provision of the law, and escapes the Act imposed penalty, but then all other Societies must follow the law, and if not suffer the penalty in law for non-compliance.

The HOME MINISTER using his power of 'EXEMPTIONS' - meaning that a particular society(including political party), although they broke the law is EXEMPTED from compliance of the law, in the case of UMNO from a particular section Section 13(1)(c)(iv)

"In reference to Umno's constitution and meeting rules, the ministry had decided to grant an exemption from compliance Section 13(1)(c)(iv) through Section 70...

Section 13(1)(c)(iv) is as follows

13  Cancellation and suspension (Societies Act) 

(1) Subject to subsection (2), the Registrar may, in the following cases, cancel the registration of any society registered under section 7:

 (c) if the Registrar is satisfied—

(iv) that the registered society has wilfully contravened any provisions of this Act or of any regulations made under this Act or of any of its rules or that any members of the society have habitually contravened the provisions of subsection 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948 [Act 15] by any acts or utterances to which paragraph 3(1)(f) of that Act applies;

Now, the Minister's Exemption reasonably will come after the Registrar of Society has come to a decision/finding that UMNO was in breach of  Section 13(1)(c)(iv)- and thus was at risk of having its registration cancelled. Then, and then only will the Minister come in and use his Power of Exemption... 

In my opinion, it is more JUST if a society that had broken the law be simply given more time to comply with the law. In terms of UMNO, the issue seemed an UMNO Resolution tabled during a General Meeting(and not before - usually at least 7 days b4 a General Meeting) calling for a NO-CONTEST for the top 2 position of UMNO) - which may be also unlawful as the only way one is elected is usually by elections, and no RESOLUTION can overrule the requirement of an election. Would it not be ABSURD to call for a General Meeting of a Society, and then pass a RESOLUTION naming the President, office bearers and committee members) - thus cancelling the need for a society's elections, which normally how the leadership of any society determined.

A PARLIAMENT QUESTION:- How many times have the Home Minister used his power of EXEMPTION, and for what societies, and how many other societies were actually penalized by law for a violation of Section 13(1)(c)(iv)

HENCE, RIGHTFULLY THE POWER OF MINISTER'S TO EXEMPT COMPLIANCE OF THE LAW, OR FOR CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE LAW MUST BE REPEALED? If the law is bad, amend it - provide for extra time for compliance, rather than de-registration...  

An interesting question is HOW DID PAKATAN HARAPAN GET REGISTERED AS A SOCIETY(POLITICAL PARTY) given the fact that it did not have the required 7 or more members? Did it also get a Minister's exemption so that it could register with 4 members, rather than comply with the minimum requirement of 7 or more...???

One requirement for registration of a Society(including Political Party) is that it must at least have 7 or more members. This can be individual human persons, or registered legal entities. 

The definition of "society" under s. 2 of the Act includes "an association of seven or more persons... whatever its nature or object whether temporary or permanent." The word "person" is defined under s. 3 of the Interpretation Acts 1948 and 1967 to include "body of persons, corporate or unincorporated." Applying that definition, the word "persons" in s. 2 included coalition of NGOs... from the Judgment of the DATO' AMBIGA SREENEVASAN & ORS v. MENTERI DALAM NEGERI & ORS,  [2012] 7 CLJ 43 - which is simple summary of what the law is today
Everywhere I look on the internet, I see that Pakatan Harapan has only 4 Members - PKR, DAP, Amanah and UPKO? Are there other members in PH that has not been disclosed? Maybe there were 3 or more other NGOs who are members...

What about Perikatan Nasional - how many members does it have? 7 or more, or did it also get a Minister's EXEMPTION to be registered as a society?

In the Malaysian Bar, as an example, at every Bar Council meeting, all minutes and decision made under various committees or sub-committees are looked at and approved. If there is anything not right, the Bar Council communicates back its approval/objections/questions back to the relevant committees. Do the Malaysian Cabinet also go through the various decisions or proposed plans of Ministers including regulations/rules, Orders by the Minister, Exemptions granted?

Today, in view of the Anti-Hopping law, there is a need for a FULL DISCLOSURE of the Constitution/Rules of Pakatan Harapan, Perikatan Nasional, Barisan Nasional - as these were political parties/societies that contested in GE15 and other subsequent elections - and a MP will be disqualified only if they leave PH, BN, PN,... A MP may leave DAP - but nothing will happen unless he/she leaves PH - then, he/she will be disqualified and a by-election will be called for. So, we must consider the PH Constitution - when does it say that a PH MP leaves PH. Would a MP that leaves DAP and join another PH member party, Amanah (for instance) be considered a MP that has left PH - resulting in disqualification and by-elections?

Hence, all political parties including PH, PN and BN must make available its Constitution/Rules to the public and its website. Now, it is so difficult to find these political party Constitution/Rules. Unlike other societies, political parties must openly disclose its Constitution, Rules, it is a matter of public interest.

see also:- 

Ministers(as part of Executive) must resign as soon as they are charged, just like the King who ceases to function when the King is charged? Art.48 need to be amended, 48(4) repealed?



Finally, Pakatan Harapan gets registered

KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 — The Registrar of Societies (RoS) has today approved Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) registration to be an official political coalition.

The news was confirmed by sources in both DAP and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), two of the ruling pact’s four component parties.

However, when contacted, PPBM’s strategic director Datuk Rais Hussin told Malay Mail to wait for the official announcement by the Home Ministry tomorrow.

“I cannot say further, but all I can say is wait for the announcement from KDN tomorrow,” he said, referring the ministry by its Malay acronym.

Similarly, PH secretariat chief Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah tweeted that the coalition had yet to receive the registration certificate, and also asked the public to wait for an official statement from the Home Ministry.

The registration certificate was circulated on social media this evening.

It was signed by the RoS director-general Surayati Ibrahim, who had previously blocked the move.

On February 22, PH had through five of its leaders filed for judicial review against the RoS over the latter’s alleged unlawful failure to respond to a registration bid.

The RoS said it could not proceed with the application since PH’s component PPBM had yet to respond and provide all the information and documents required.

PH parties then contested the election under PKR’s ticket and logo in Peninsular Malaysia, and the pact then took over Putrajaya after a shock win against then-ruling Barisan Nasional. - Malay Mail, 16/8/2018

Pakatan Harapan registration approved, says Muhyiddin

Registrar of Societies has also restored status of PPBM, says its head

KUALA LUMPUR: PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin has confirmed that Pakatan Harapan’s registration has been approved by the Registrar of Societies (RoS).

“I am happy to inform that Pakatan Harapan’s registration has been approved by the RoS.

“It was given without any interference on my part, because I have not even been officially sworn in as home minister.

“I’ve also been informed by the RoS that PPBM’s status has been restored.“It is no longer a party facing registration issues,” said Muhyiddin, who has been named by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the home minister in the new PH government.

He was speaking at a rally in Padang Timur, Petaling Jaya, to celebrate the release of PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim. - FMT, 16/5/2018

RoS confirms Perikatan as registered entity, says approved on Aug 7

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 — The Registrar of Societies (RoS) today confirmed that Perikatan Nasional (PN) is a registered entity as of August 7 and said claims that the coalition had no record of being a registered party was baseless.

Earlier today, PKR challenged PN and its leader Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to reveal the coalition’s true status as to whether or not they have been formally recognised as a political party by the RoS.

PKR information chief Datuk Seri Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin, and PKR deputy Youth chief Syed Badli Shah Syed Osman alleged that checks with RoS’ online registration system failed to show PN as an official political entity.

RoS, in a statement, said PN was registered as Parti Perikatan Nasional through the issuance of registration certificate PPM-019-14-07082020, which was approved and signed by the RoS.

“PN was approved and came into force on Aug 7, under the political category, under the provisions of the Societies Act 1966 (Act 335).

“The registration certificate, party logo and constitution were signed and submitted to PN as soon as the party’s registration was approved.

“In this regard, RoS would like to stress that the statement alleging that PN has no registration record is completely unfounded,” it said.

RoS also said PN’s successful registration could not be found on its website as its system automatically updates every two months, adding that PN would only show up on the website in early October.

“However, if a specific search is made in the eROSES system, it will clearly display that the PN party had been approved on August 7.

“However, the information on the party, found in the eROSES system, can only be accessed by the secretary of the party,” it added. - Malay Mail, 19/9/2020

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