Umno leader accuses Bersatu of trying to ban party over ‘secret’ account
Umno supreme council member Razlan Rafii has questioned if Bersatu is threatening to deregister the party.
Yesterday, Bersatu leader Muhammad Faiz Na’aman urged the Registrar of Societies (ROS) to probe an allegation about Umno’s “secret” unaudited bank account.
In a statement today, Razlan accused Faiz of “threatening” Umno when the party needed Umno’s support.
“I am sure the ROS knows the scope of their work. Bersatu leaders do not have to rush to have Umno banned.
“Using a technical excuse, for this reason, is an ungentlemanly move. Bersatu should fight Umno by winning the people’s hearts, not by trying to bring down a party that was established by the people in 1946,” Razlan said.
“One criticism after another has been hurled at Umno as if the party is hated in the eyes of those in Bersatu. I want to remind Bersatu leaders not to forget that Muhyiddin Yassin is the prime minister today because of Umno’s goodwill,” he added.
Muhyiddin’s legitimacy came into question after two Umno MPs withdrew their support for him last month, leaving him with 109 out of 220 lawmakers on his side.
Bersatu and Umno are allies in the Perikatan Nasional government but are increasingly at odds with one another.
Razlan also took a dig at Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin, who oversees ROS in his capacity as the home minister.
“Faiz is implicitly trying to show off by teaching his party’s secretary-general (Hamzah) how to do real work at the ministry.
“Maybe this is one of the reasons why many parties that want to be registered can’t do so. Apparently, there is interference by Bersatu leaders in the Home Ministry,” he claimed.
Bersatu was set up back in 2016 to challenge Umno for the Malay vote in GE14. It won the election as a part of Pakatan Harapan and later accepted a slew of Umno defectors.
However, it quit the coalition in February 2020 to join forces with Umno and other opposition parties to form the Perikatan Nasional government.
Yesterday, government prosecutors in a 1MDB-linked forfeiture suit against Umno’s Obyu Holdings said the party had a secret unaudited account specifically to receive political donations.
Umno claimed the money belonged to the party, but the prosecution claimed there were political donations.
“The unaccounted, unverified and unaudited nature of cash seized is also in contravention of various provisions of the Societies Act, which may result in the de-registration of Umno by the ROS,” the prosecution had contended.
ROS urged to not jump the gun
Meanwhile, opposition lawmaker Hassan Abdul Karim hoped the ROS would refrain from taking any “premature” action on Umno.
“The prosecution’s statement in court is not conclusive, we need to hear from Umno’s side as well.
“The judge needs to examine the documentary evidence and witness statements to decide if the prosecution’s revelation can be accepted. The ROS can only act based on the judge’s final judgement,” he said in a separate statement today.
“Or else the ROS will be acting prematurely,” added the PKR Pasir Gudang MP.
Umno has had secret bank account to receive political donations since 1988
: What was supposed to be a focus on the forfeiture hearing of assets worth between RM900 million and RM1.1 billion linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) has shifted to the revelation of a secret unaudited bank account held by Umno since 1988.
The ongoing case concerns Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s suit over some RM114 million in cash that was part of the loot seized from his home by police in 2018.
During proceedings last week, the prosecution led by DPP Muhammad Saifuddin Hashim Musaimi told the court that during the course of their investigations, the police discovered the existence of a secret unaudited bank account held by Umno.
The bank account, as revealed in the High Court, was opened in Southern Bank (which was acquired by CIMB Bank in 2006) at Wisma Genting in 1988, and the then party leaders — including the president, deputy president and treasurer — knew about it. The president was Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his deputy was the late Tun Ghafar Baba, while Tun Daim Zainuddin was party treasurer.
Subsequent Umno presidents, deputy presidents and treasurers would also have known about this secret bank account, as it was managed by them. The bank account was not audited by external auditors and the money is believed to have never been accounted for in the party’s annual financial statements.
“The evidence of Umno’s treasurer (not named) was that there was another unofficial, unaudited bank account that had been used by Umno since 1988 to receive political donations. The unaudited political donations in cash also contravened Section 14(1)(d) and (b) of the Societies Act 1966,” the prosecution told the court.
“The unaccounted, unverified and unaudited nature of cash seized is also in contravention of various provisions of the Societies Act, which may result in the de-registration of Umno by the Registrar of Societies,” the prosecution added.
It is understood that the account previously had more than RM193 million. However, in the middle of last year, that amount was withdrawn and given to a non-governmental organisation called Kelab Prihatin Graduan, police investigation revealed.
Nothing much is known about the club, but investigations into the bank account revealed that its present balance is slightly above RM2,700.
Will Umno Cease To Exist ?
With the current political turmoil sweeping Malaysia, how will the Federal Court rule on 25th January 2021? Will Umno, again, face deregistration like what happened 33 years ago in 1988?
More importantly, will the Federal Court be subjected to any political pressure to come out with a decision favouring certain parties? It could be that this ongoing Umno-PPBM “war” might in the end be “settled” by the Federal Court.
After the birth of Umno Baru 33 years ago, it is Umno lawan Umno all over again
Feedback which Malaysia Today received is that 33 years after Umno Baru was born — to replace the old Umno that lived for 42 years (1946-1988) — the party might again face deregistration. And this time it involves the 16 Umno members whose membership were terminated.
This matter was first reported by Charles Hector on 30th April 2018 in his blog posting titled “UMNO 16 terminated for going to court to seek justice? Something very wrong…”
16 members of Umno applied to court to review the decision of the Registrar of Societies (RoS) to allow Umno to postpone its Elections for another year…Well, according to the Umno Constitution, Elections are to be held every three years, and further that the Umno Supreme Council have the right to adjourn elections for 18 months. Well, that three years and 18 months extension had passed…and then Umno apparently applied to the RoS for a further one-year extension…and the RoS granted it.
A leave application for judicial review by 16 members to determine the legality of Umno was thrown out today as the court is not empowered to interfere in the affairs of political parties.
Judge Kamaludin Md Said ruled that Section 18C of the Societies Act 1966 excluded the jurisdiction of the courts in such matters. (“Court dismisses bid by 16 to determine legality of Umno”, Free Malaysia Today 27th April 2018.
16 members of UMNO applied to court to review the decision of the Registrar of Society(ROS) to allow UMNO to postpone its Elections for another year…
Well, according to the UMNO Constitution, Elections to be held every 3 years, and further that the UMNO Supreme Council have the right to adjourn elections for 18 months.
Well, that 3 years and 18 months extension had passed…and then UMNO apparently applied to the ROS for a further 1 year extension…and the ROS granted it.
So, simply put, the question that the 16 UMNO members wanted was to question was whether the ROS could legally grant this further extension of 1 year.
UMNO is a society(political party), and the members decide on its operations and rules. And for UMNO, that would be what the party Constitution states generally…and also Resolutions passed at AGMs
Delaying party elections is most UNJUST to members – it denies UMNO members the right to stand and/or choose their leaders democratically – BUT it is beneficial to the INCUMBENT leaders who can hold on to ‘power’ for a longer term…longer than the 3 years.
Well, Najib and the current Supreme Council had been in power for 3 years(Plus 18 months) plus a few months, and if elections is only going to be in 2019, well that means, they have succeeded in holding on to power for almost 2 terms without an elections, and all UMNO members have been denied the right and opportunity to change leaders(or maybe vote Najib back in as President?)
UMNO changed its Constitution – and now, to be a candidate for President, all one needs is one member proposing and another seconding. Previously, one had to get the nominations of so many Divisions…
Was it Najib’s fear that if there was an UMNO elections, 3 years after the last elections, that he may lose? In the last UMNO Elections, after the hanges to the UMNO Constitution came into effect, Najib was most lucky that there was no other candidates proposed for the post of President…
A society – Well, the ultimate power rest with the membership… When it comes to even terminating membership of a member, a member has the right to be heard… and usually there will be a hearing, where an ‘independent’ panel will decide on the guilt or innocence of a member…and also the punishment. Terminating membership is the worst punishment…and should seldom be used.
Now even after the the Executive Committee decides on a punishment(including termination), the member has the right to appeal to the membership, usually at the AGM or EGM…
And then, even take the matter to the Courts…
Now, in this case of UMNO, it shocking that UMNO denies the right of members to take UMNO to court. This is most unreasonable…(but, at the end of the day, it is still the UMNO members that decide…Wonder why UMNO members foolishly agreed to such a clause in their Constitution – did they think about it and vote? Or did they unthinkingly vote?)..With this clause, even if UMNO owes a member money, and does not pay – UMNO members cannot go to court to get an order that UMNO pays the member what is due?
Remember if a society owns a RM1 million building, then the owners are really all the members, and they deserve an equal share…if the society wants to shut down?
Now, the 16 UMNO members were taking the Registrar of Society to court – they wanted the court to review the decision of the Registrar to further delay the UMNO AGM…and, so what is the basis of sacking these members?
But, even if you terminate a member, after the case is filed – the case will still go on…What matters is whether you had the right to file when you filed the case?
UMNO Constitution gives too much power to the elected leaders …and reduces the rights of ordinary members…Members can simply be terminated…and now, they cannot even take a case against UMNO even if they allege injustice? Well, something is very wrong…
The Societies Act also is anti freedom of association, when too much power is given to the government(i.e. the Registrar of Societies). Now, the Registrar even has the power to reject amendments in society constitution even if the it is the decision of membership. This includes also the right to increase subscription fees…
How could the ROS even approve UMNO’s constitution that says a member loses his/her membership when he files a case against UMNO? It certainly is unjust…and members are deprived a remedy in court against the wrongdoings of the party?
There are many changes that are needed in Malaysian laws – most importantly the restoration of true freedom of association, which includes the ability to take membership disputes to court, and even take their own society to court especially in cases of wrongful dismissal of membership, or even breaches of the Constitution/Rules of the Society…
The 16 sacked Umno members, however, have appealed the court’s decision and the matter is now at the Federal Court and will be decided by a panel of five Federal Court judges on 25th January 2021.
Mohd Hafarizam Harun, lawyer for Umno
The Appellants filed an application for judicial review, inter alia for the following:
a) an order of certiorari to quash the decision of the RoS which allowed an extension of time for Umno to carry out its elections at all levels;
b) a mandamus order to compel the RoS to provisionally dissolve Umno and for RoS to suspend all Umno activities until the judicial review is completed; and
c) a declaration to cease the legality of Umno branches and dissolution of all party divisions and the Umno Supreme Council effective 20.4.2018.
The primary argument raised by the Respondent is that the Court has no jurisdiction to hear the matter because of the express provision of Section 18C of the Act 355.
The leave application was dismissed by the High Court. The Appellants then appealed the decision. However, the Court of Appeal (CoA) upheld the objection of the Respondent and dismissed the appeal. The CoA also distinguished S.18C from the case of Semenyih Jaya and Indira Gandhi which relates to a different matter.
Article 10.16 of Umno’s Constitution states:
Majlis Tertinggi berhak menangguhkan pemilihan di peringkat Majlis Tertinggi, Bahagian dan Cawangan. Penangguhan ini tidak boleh lebih daripada lapan belas (18) bulan dari tarikh pemilihan yang sepatutnya ia diadakan.
Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla, lawyer for the 16 sacked Umno members
The issues before the Federal Court are:
a) Is Section 18C Societies Act 1966 (Act 335) which ousts any Courts’ jurisdiction to entertain or determine any suit, application, question or proceeding on any matter relating to the affairs of the party, ultra vires Article 121 of Federal Constitution?
b) Is the Federal Court decision in Pendaftar Pertubuhan v Datuk Justine Jinggut  2 CLJ 362 still good law in light of recent decisions of the Federal Court in Semenyih Jaya Sdn Bhd v Pentadbir Tanah Daerah Hulu Langat & Anor Case  5 CLJ 526 and Indira Gandhi Muthiah v Pengarah Jabatan Agama Islam Perak & Ors And Other Appeals  3 CLJ 145?
With the current political turmoil sweeping Malaysia, how will the Federal Court rule on 25th January 2021? Will Umno, again, face deregistration like what happened 33 years ago in 1988? More importantly, will the Federal Court be subjected to any political pressure to come out with a decision favouring certain parties? It could be that this ongoing Umno-PPBM “war” might in the end be “settled” by the Federal Court.
Source : Malaysia Today
Source : Charles
Almost two-thirds Umno branches risk deregistration
More than 60 per cent of United Malays National Organisation (Umno) branches nationwide risk deregistration by Malaysia’s Registrar of Societies (RoS) for failing to submit their reports after conducting annual meetings.
Party sources said only 19,000 of the 21,000 Umno branches nationwide held annual meetings between May 19 and June 10 this year.
However, from this number, only 8,000 branches submitted their annual reports to the RoS in accordance with the Societies Act.The report should contain minutes of the branch meeting, its list of office-bearers and financial statement, and must be submitted to the RoS within 60 days of the annual meeting.
A source from Selangor Umno said branches which failed to submit their annual reports face the risk of deregistration.“Not for the party as a whole. If a branch is deregistered for breaching RoS laws, the division under which the branch is won’t be affected.
“The RoS can only deregister the branch which did not submit its report or failed to hold annual meeting. To revive the branch, it has to be registered again,” the unnamed source told The Malaysian Insight.
Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi previously said he did not rule out the possibility of the party being deregistered after it was issued a show-cause letter on October 28 by the RoS to explain operational irregularities.Zahid told party members that they must accept responsibility if the party was deregistered for failure to hold its annual general meeting.
RoS had asked 21,000 Umno branches to hold their annual general meetings but only 19,000 branches complied, he said.A source from Johor Umno said the failure of branches to submit their annual reports to RoS stemmed from the lackadaisical attitude of office-bearers in those branches.
He added that at every branch meeting, there must be observers from the divisional level to ensure everything was done according the law and procedures.“And previously, the divisions will assist the branches to comply with all RoS requirements but this year, everything was just handed over to the branches to handle.
Not all branch leaders are aware of the procedures.”Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan said the party has plans if it is deregistered by the RoS, including by “squatting temporarily” under the opposition Barisan Nasional coalition’s banner.