March 8, 2023
PETALING JAYA – There appears to be some breach of the Societies Act 1966 if the Home Ministry had to give an exemption to Umno’s no-contest resolution for the president and deputy president posts, says Khairy Jamaluddin (pic).
In reference to the statement by Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail on Tuesday (March 7), Khairy said it was unclear what was actually breached.
“If you read the statement, you won’t be able to identify what went wrong,” the former health minister said in a TikTok video on Tuesday.
In the statement earlier, Saifuddin confirmed Umno was given an exemption under the Societies Act 1966 (Act 832) regarding the resolution for no-contests for the posts of president and deputy president passed during the party’s 2022 general assembly.
Saifuddin said the exemption was made based on Section 70 of the Act, which indicates that the minister may at his discretion in writing exempt any society registered under the Act from all or any of the provisions of the said Act.
On the letter which went viral, supposedly from the Registrar of Societies (ROS) to Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan, Khairy said it looked legitimate from his experience as a former minister.
“In the letter, it read that based on its findings, the ROS found that the motion for not contesting the Umno president and deputy president positions was invalid and breached the party’s constitution.
“This means that the main positions including the president and deputy president shall be elected without exemption,” he said.
The former Umno Youth chief then took a stab at Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and his followers, saying that party members were denied their right to elect a new president and deputy president.
“You have been robbed by this bogus motion by Umno’s Rembau division.
“Ahmad Zahid’s supporters are also now spinning the issue, saying that the Home Minister’s decision (to grant an exemption) actually saved Umno, and that it saved the Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim-led government.
“This is not right,” he said.
Referring to the letter again, Khairy said it clearly stated that Umno had to correct its mistake and open up the president and deputy president positions for election during party polls.
On the argument that contesting the party’s president and deputy president posts could jeopardise the stability of the unity government (in which Ahmad Zahid was the deputy premier), Khairy said this was false.
“I have said clearly that if there is an election (during party polls) and we win, we will continue giving support to Anwar as we too want stability.
“Sadly, this commitment could not be realised with the pride and rights of Umno members being pushed aside, and Umno’s constitution being taken for granted.
“Despite no longer being an Umno member, my heart is still for Umno and I am saddened by what the party is left with,” he said.
In January, Umno sacked Khairy and supreme council member Tan Sri Noh Omar.
Others punished included former vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, whose membership was suspended for six years.
Former Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan, former Youth exco member Datuk Dr Fathul Bari Mat Jahya, former Johor state exco member and Tebrau Umno division chief Datuk Maulizan Bujang and former Jempol MP Datuk Seri Mohd Salim Mohd Shariff were also suspended for six years.