Malaysia's Registar of Societies rejects bid by Mahathir's Pejuang to be registered as political party

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Malaysia’s Registrar of Societies (RoS) has rejected an application by former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad’s Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) to be registerd as a political party.

Pejuang lawyer Mior Nor Haidir Suhaimi confirmed that the RoS had sent a letter to the party on Wednesday (Jan 6) about its decision.

“They have rejected our formal application, ” he told The Star.

When asked about the contents of the letter, Mr Mior said  the Malay-based party is expected to make a statement about this later on Thursday.

Tun Dr Mahathir and four other Members of Parliament (MPs) formed Pejuang following their sacking from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) in May last year after they sat with opposition MPs in a parliamentary session that month.

In December last year, Pejuang had filed a judicial review application to compel the RoS to decide on its registration status.

Mr Mior said that the leave application for a judicial review of the case was supposed to be heard on Thursday, but it has since become academic as the RoS has made a decision.

The RoS has not responded to the Star’s request for comments.

Last year, Pejuang submitted an application to the RoS to become a registered political party.

The application was made at the RoS headquarters in Putrajaya on Aug 19.

It was submitted to RoS director-general Masyati Abang Ibrahim.

“We hope that the party is registered as soon as possible so that we can take part in the democratic process of the country,” former Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir told reporters after he and several others submitted the application.

In October, the RoS brushed aside a complaint by Pejuang claiming that there had been no word on the party’s application.

The RoS in a statement on Oct 30,2020, said it had held several discussions with the party’s sponsor committee for reviews and opinions before taking further action.

It said then that the application for registration was still under review and that it did not fully meet the requirements.

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The RoS asked Pejuang to communicate directly with it to complete all the registration requirements.

On Dec 10, Pejuang secretary-general Amiruddin Hamzah filed a judicial review application to challenge the action of RoS, which has yet to approve the party’s registration.

In the application, Datuk Amiruddin applied for a declaration that the actions of both respondents in not giving any decision or registering Pejuang was in conflict with the statutory obligations of both respondents, as well as unreasonable and mala-fide.

He also alternatively applied for a declaration that the failure of both respondents to register the party’s registration application as a registered organisation is contrary to the applicant’s legitimate expectation.

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