Media Statement by Tony Pua, DAP National Publicity Secretary and Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara in Kuala Lumpur on Friday, 15 August 2013 in Kuala Lumpur
The DAP CEC has decided to organise fresh leadership elections under protest to eliminate the risk of arbitrary de-registration by the ROS
Further to the statement issued by DAP National Chairman Karpal Singh earlier today, we would like to once again express our regret that the ROS has continued to deny DAP our rights under the law by providing a full and reasonable explanation on its orders for the party to carry out fresh CEC elections. Even not one, but two request to meet the Registrar by the Party Secretary-General, Lim Guan Eng, has been turned down curtly.
Instead, the ROS has besmirch the party with unfounded allegations that we have not been cooperative with the ROS. This is despite the fact that the DAP has complied with every single request and responded to every single query by the ROS within each stipulated period.
The DAP has to date made every attempt to obtain a reasonable explanation from the Registrar on the decision to require the DAP to hold fresh elections for the CEC. As stated previously, we repeat that the ROS has no powers under the Societies Act to demand fresh elections for the DAP and it has stubbornly refused to show us under which law they are able to take such actions.
Not only do they not want to point out which law gives them the powers to demand re-election, they have also most unjustifiably failed to provide any reasons at all as to why a fresh election is required. The only clue given by the ROS in their correspondence is that "some members were not satisfied" with the previous election. The above demonstrates without doubt the degree of unprofessionalism by the ROS in handling the matter.
Such autocratic dictats from the ROS only points to direct political interference by UMNO, and more specifically the Minister of Home Affairs, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi.
Under normal and routine circumstances, the DAP would not have hesitated to strike out the ROS order in the courts of law. The Party's lawyers have confirmed that the ROS has absolutely no power to "punish" a party with fresh leadership elections. On the other hand, the law states very clearly under 18C that the "Decision of political party to be final and conclusive".
The law says "the decision of a political party… shall be final and conclusive and such decision shall not be challenged, appealed against, reviewed, quashed or called in question in any court on any ground, and no court shall have jurisdiction to entertain or determine any suit, application, question or proceeding on any ground regarding the validity of such decision."
But where an insidious and wicked political agenda from the ruling political party is involved, these are certainly not normal and routine circumstances. If the ROS can abuse its non-existent powers to demand that DAP hold fresh elections, then certain it will not hesitate to abuse the powers which it has - that is to de-register a political party - if the powers that be deem it politically expedient and necessary.
The DAP CEC has last evening in an emergency meeting decided that we have exhausted all avenues barring a recourse to the Courts to seek justification for, or to reverse the ROS decision. We have also contemplated that any attempts to defy the unlawful ROS order via a judicial review will give "justification" to, and pretext for the ROS to de-register DAP. The Party is fully aware that the BN and ROS are certainly not beneath such unscrupulous actions, despite what the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak might want to say about his "political transformation programme".
Hence to protect the gains by the DAP in its struggles over the past 45 years and in the long term interest of the party, the CEC has decided against its will, to proceed with a fresh election of the party leadership to prevent the devastating impact of a de-registration attempt by the ROS.
The decision to do so is in no part a concession to the incredulous accusations made of the DAP party elections such as vote-rigging with 547 phantom delegates, or the failure to notify 753 party delegates. Instead, the decision to hold fresh elections will allow our delegates to prove once-and-for-all that the Party has done absolutely no wrong.
As such, the CEC of 2008-2011 will meet next Thursday to follow through with preparations for the said fresh CEC election.
- Tony Pua