DAP rejects ROS directive for fresh polls
DAP unanimously reject the ROS directive, and demand an explanation on the legality of its decision.KUALA LUMPUR: The DAP central executive committee (CEC) tonight resolved to reject the Registrar of Societies (ROS) directive ordering them to conduct fresh polls after a vote counting mistake, saying that the ROS has no power to give such a directive.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng told a packed news conference that the party would reject the ROS directive until and unless:
a) The registrar provides reasons for which it is dissatisfied with the explanation provided by the DAP in respect of the conduct of the CEC elections on Dec 15, 2012 pursuant to the Section 16(1) notice under the Societies Act 1966 as stated in the letter,
b) The Registrar explains under which provision of law the directive to hold fresh CEC elections is given as stated in the letter.
“We find it extraordinary. They can’t just instruct us to conduct fresh election, without giving grounds.
“We feel that the party is held to ransom. In the interest of natural justice and due process of the law, ROS must provide reason… why do they reject our explanation and under what provision they can instruct us to conduct fresh polls,” he said.
In an one-paragraph letter dated yesterday, the ROS had said that he was dissatisfied with the explanation given by DAP over a counting mistake it committed in the party polls last December, and instructed it to hold fresh polls.
The ROS, however, did not explain why he was dissatisfied, and DAP today claimed that they have provided ample grounds and documents to prove the credibility of the internal polls.
The matter originated from DAP’s open confession in January that its returning officer committed an error when transferring the tabulated votes for several candidate using Microsoft Excel, causing a blunder on the election results.
The amended results saw Lim’s political secretary, Zairil Khir Johari, moving up from the 39th position to 20th – the last spot in the CEC.
ROS has no power
At the press conference tonight, DAP national legal bureau secretary Gobind Singh said Section 16 of the Societies Act 1966 did not provide power to the ROS to instruct a registered body to hold fresh party polls.
Section 16(1) states, in a gist, that if there is a dispute, the Registrar can order a registered society to provide an explanation within one month.
Section 16(2), meanwhile, says that if the notice issued under subsection (1) is not complied to the satisfaction of the Registrar, the Registrar may take steps to cancel the registration of the society under Section 13.
“Before we take steps to comply with the directive, it is essential under what provisions the directive is made,” Gobind said.
“They cannot direct us to do something that is not within their power. Decision must be made within the power of law,” he added.