Fresh polls, possible PKR deregistration if Anwar wins presidency, lawyers say


(MM) – The Registrar of Societies (RoS) will likely order PKR to hold fresh elections if Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim wins the party presidency since he was convicted of sodomy, lawyers said today.

Legal experts also told The Malay Mail Online that the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lynchpin risks deregistration if the opposition party refuses to comply with the RoS.

“It’s highly unlikely that the Registrar of Societies will give an exemption,” Syahredzan Johan told The Malay Mail Online today.

The civil liberties lawyer said Section 9A(1)(b) of the Societies Act 1966 states that one shall be disqualified from being an office-bearer of a registered society if they are convicted of an offence and sentenced to a fine of more than RM2,000, or imprisonment of not less than a year.

Last month, the Court of Appeal sentenced Anwar to five years’ jail after ruling that he was guilty of sodomising his male aide in 2008, but the PR de facto leader was freed pending appeal.

Although Section 9A(4) of the Societies Act states that one may be granted an exemption from their disqualification, Syahredzan said there was no reason for the RoS to give PKR special treatment.

“If office bearers in other societies have been disqualified and not allowed an exemption, why would they want to allow that in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s case?” said Syahredzan.

“That’s a reasonable stand to take. You should not be discriminating or giving preference to certain societies, just because it’s a political party and the opposition leader is involved in it,” he added.

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