Pejuang goes to court over registration after 4-month wait

(FMT) – New political party Pejuang, which was formed more than four months ago, has gone to court to compel the Registrar of Societies (RoS) to make a decision on its registration.

It said the application was made at the time of its formation but there has been no response from the RoS.

In an application for judicial review filed at the High Court today, the applicant, pro-tem secretary-general Amiruddin Hamzah, wants the party registered seven days after a court ruling, based on section 7 of the Societies Act 1966.

Further, he said, failure to make a decision was also against Article 10 (1) (c) of the Federal Constitution where all citizens have the right to form associations.

The RoS and its director-general have been named as respondents to the action.

The party wants a declaration that the respondents’ action or omission to register it was unreasonable and done in bad faith.

“Further, the failure to register Pejuang is against the principles of legitimate expectation,” it said.

Amiruddin, in his affidavit in support of the application and sighted by FMT, also referred to the Perikatan Nasional coalition’s registration which is alleged to have been done speedily unlike that of Pejuang.

For judicial review, the applicant has to obtain the court’s leave first before the merit of the complaint could be heard.

Last month, one of Pejuang’s founders Dr Mahathir Mohamad, said that to date, he has not received approval for the party’s registration from the RoS, although all requirements have been met.

He said approval for the party’s registration now depends on the minister in charge.

“We have fulfilled all the conditions required by the government, but the decision (approval) has to be referred to the minister,” he told a press conference when asked to comment on the status of Pejuang which was formed in August.

RoS is a unit under the home ministry and the minister is Hamzah Zainudin.

Earlier, on Oct 29, Amiruddin said the party submitted seven requests to RoS but there had been no reply from RoS even after more than two months.

Pejuang was set up as an independent Malay-based party after a faction linked with Mahathir split from PPBM, which was also founded by the former prime minister.

The other founding members of Pejuang are Mahathir’s son Mukhriz, who is MP for Jerlun; Marzuki Yahaya, a senator; Simpang Rengam MP Maszlee Malik (who is no longer with Pejuang) and Sri Gading MP Shahruddin Md Salleh.

Mahathir said the party’s goals were to fight corruption and that other Malay-based parties had strayed from their original paths and have been swayed by money and power.