Dr M disputes RoS letter on Bersatu chairmanship, says won post uncontested after resigning
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has disputed today the recent Registrar of Societies (RoS) letter which affirmed his resignation as chairman of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia. The Malay Mail reports:
Through his lawyers Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla, Dr Mahathir explained that even as he had resigned, he has been announced as the party chairman after he won in the party election uncontested.
Dr Mahathir is also contesting Datuk Marzuki Yahya’s removal as party secretary-general, to be replaced by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin with Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin. Hamzah is currently the Home Minister and the RoS answers to his ministry.
Haniff Khatri said the letter dated to May 5 and addressed to Bersatu’s working secretary Capt (Rtd) Muhammad Suhaimi Yahya, can instead be considered to more of the RoS’ point of view rather than a binding fact.
“As a preliminary, we wish to record that the letter dated to May 5 was submitted at any point in time up to the present, to our client,” he said in a written response dated today and sighted by Malay Mail, which has been confirmed by Haniff.
Although Haniff said there are no provisions under the RoS’ Societies Act 1966 which requires his client to provide any detailed response to its May 5 letter, he nonetheless acknowledged that under Section 3A of the Act, the RoS is authorised to generally observe and administer any organisation registered under it.
“Therefore we sincerely believe the May 5 letter was issued under Section 3A, and which our client considers it to simply be the RoS’ point of view. To this, our client has instructed us to respond to the letter as such.
The letter said although Dr Mahathir resigned as chairman on February 24, the party can neither reject the decision nor state that the resignation was final.
It also added that party president Muhyiddin, whom the RoS said is now acting chairman, has never regarded himself as one, and had attended the formal establishment of Perikatan Nasional on May 17 in his capacity as president rather than chairman.
It also highlighted that Bersatu’s internal elections have been suspended, but not before Dr Mahathir had nominated himself as chairman.
Subsequently on April 1, Bersatu’s election committee chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar informed Dr Mahathir that he won the chairmanship uncontested.
“As well as this, Muhyiddin did not nominate himself as chairman candidate but instead contested under the presidency where he is being challenged by Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, and which will be decided later on. This ought to have been taken into account by the RoS before issuing its viewpoint letter,” it added.
Dr Mahathir is also seeking an investigation by the RoS under Section 16(1) of the Act into the invalidity of Marzuki’s sacking as secretary-general and of Hamzah’s appointment, since both were done without his consultation.
The registrar’s May 5 letter, which was shared on social media yesterday, affirmed Dr Mahathir’s resignation as Bersatu chairman and said Muhyiddin is now acting chairman until party elections can decide later on.
The copy of the RoS letter was released seemingly timed with a statement from top Bersatu leaders insisting that the party had made the decision to leave Pakatan Harapan in a Supreme Council meeting.
Earlier, an audio clip was also leaked in which Dr Mahathir was heard attempting to delay his own party’s exit from PH in said meeting.