Flurry to register BN-friendly Sabah parties

(FMT) – Top Umno leaders were in town to shore up Umno Sabah and to make sure more friendly parties are registered quickly.

KOTA KINABALU: Amidst increasing concerns over Umno Sabah’s ability to hold itself together ahead of a defining 13th general election, Home Ministry officials today met with representatives from 12 groups aspiring to register themselves as political parties.

The meeting with the 12 pro-tem presidents and secretaries-general also saw the presence of a deputy minister. This indicates that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has given the “green light” for more parties to be registered in Sabah and for this to be done “quickly”.

Some of these parties had applied for registration years ago and had been put on hold until now.

Among the aspiring political parties represented at the meeting were Usno Baru, Parti Cinta Sabah, Parti Perpaduan Rakyat, Parti Kebenaran Sabah, Parti Kebangsaan Sabah, Pakar, Parti Pembangunan Warisan Sabah, Parti Ekonomi Rakyat Sabah, and Parti Bersatu Bugis Sabah.

Each of the parties was represented by its president and secretary-general.

According to those present at the closed-door meeting with with deputy minister Lee Chee Leong, they were told them that their applications would be given due consideration bearing in mind “their democratic right” and the impending general election.

He apparently said: “We will bring today’s matters to another (higher level) meeting where we will deliberate on your applications…”

Registrar of Societies (ROS) officers, who were approached, refused to reveal the names of the parties and the nature of the discussion with Lee except to say that “it is the final process (of registration)”.

‘Three new parties likely’

Meanwhile, a pro-tem secretary-general of an aspiring party told FMT that the meeting could have been ordered by Najib who is already being accused of practising doubl standard in democratisation and transparency by delaying or refusing outright to register applications of new political parties from Sabah.

“I sense that the authority may approve three new parties soon in Sabah.

“We don’t know which parties will be approved but it seems they do not want to be accused of denying us our democratic rights.

“They know we can go to court for a ‘mandamus order’ to compel the ROS to register, so why must go to court if Najib is sincere in liberalising the country?” said the man who requested anonymity.

Another secretary-general, who also asked not to be identified, claimed that he deciphered “signals” from the briefing that new parties would be registered if it is to bring advantages to the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

Speculations are rife that Najib is setting in motion his gameplan to contain Umno Sabah and BN’s weakening grip in the state.

BN is struggling under relentless attacks over alleged abuse of power, land grabs, unfair federal policies, victimisation and escalating cost of living.

Read more at: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/2012/01/17/flurry-to-register-bn-fflurry-to-register-bn-friendly-sabah-partiesriendly-sabah-parties/