Malaysia's DAP told to hold fresh elections

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysia's Registrar of Societies (ROS) has no intention of deregistering the Democratic Action Party (DAP), but the opposition party must hold fresh elections for its central executive committee (CEC), said director-general Mohammad Razin Abdullah.

Mr Mohammad Razin said in a statement yesterday that ROS will be issuing a directive to the party to hold a re-election for the 20 CEC members. The decision was taken following a recent meeting he had with Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also Home Minister.

"He (Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid) proposed that any action taken by ROS should be based on the Societies Act 1966 and DAP's Constitution. I want to stress that ROS recognises DAP as a valid party in the eyes of the law. We have no intention whatsoever to deregister DAP," said Mr Mohammad Razin.

He added that some DAP members had expressed unhappiness over the re-election process of the CEC which was held on Sept 29, 2013. He said that based on the complaints, ROS believes the re-election process of the CEC members and main office-bearers was not legally carried out.

DAP legal bureau chief Gobind Singh Deo said he was informed of the ROS decision, but would wait for a formal letter from the regulator before deciding on the party's next course of action.

"I hope ROS can write to us by this evening or tomorrow, so the leadership has a clearer picture of what's going on," he added.

DAP's senior leaders will hold an emergency meeting in Kuala Lumpur today to discuss their next move. Some DAP leaders had previously accused the government of a conspiracy to deregister the party, ahead of the country's next general election, to be held by August 2018.

Yesterday, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang tweeted, "Most ridiculous", in response to the ROS directive.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 08, 2017, with the headline 'Malaysia's DAP told to hold fresh elections'. Print Edition | Subscribe