Pejuang goes to court again over registration as political party

Hidir Reduan Abdul Rashid
·3-min read
Pejuang goes to court again over registration as political party
Pejuang goes to court again over registration as political party

The Parti Pejuang Tanahair (Pejuang) has gone to court again over its bid to be officially registered as a political party.

This time, the fledgeling group is targeting Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin’s alleged failure to make any decision over its appeal to be registered as a political party.

The judicial review leave application was filed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court earlier today.

The applicant is the party's sponsor committee secretary Amiruddin Hamzah, with the minister (who is not named) and the Registrar of Societies (ROS) listed as the two respondents in the legal action.

Previously, Malaysiakini reported that Pejuang may go to court again if the minister gave no response to its appeal to be registered as a political party.

Before this, Pejuang had gone to court to challenge the ROS' delay in making a decision over the group’s application to be registered as a political group.

However, the group withdrew that legal action following ROS making clear on Jan 6 its decision to reject Pejuang’s registration application.

Pejuang was formed last August as an offshoot of Bersatu.

Pejuang pro-tem chairperson and former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mahathir, pro-tem president Mukhriz Mahathir, and several others were previously ejected from Bersatu for refusing to sit with the Perikatan Nasional government during a parliamentary session.

Pejuang's sponsor committee secretary Amiruddin Hamzah.
Pejuang's sponsor committee secretary Amiruddin Hamzah.

In a media statement released after today's filing, Amiruddin said among the relief sought by Pejuang is a mandamus order to compel the minister to direct ROS to finalise the group's registration as a political party within seven days from the date of the court judgment.

He said Pejuang seeks a mandamus order to compel the minister to give its decision over the group's appeal against the ROS' move not to allow it to be officially registered as a political party.

Another declaration sought is that the minister's alleged failure to make any decision on the group's letter of appeal to him (minister) dated Jan 8 amounted to a contravention of his statutory duty under Section 18 of the Societies Act 1966, Amiruddin added.

Section 18 states that a local society or its office bearer may, within thirty days from the date of the decision of the ROS, appeal against the decision to the home minister, and the minister, whose decision shall be final, may confirm, reject or vary the decision of the registrar.

Amiruddin said Pejuang also seeks a declaration that the minister's alleged contravention of his statutory duty had "contravened the applicant's valid wish, is unreasonable, of bad faith as well as an uncalled-for attempt to deny the applicant's constitutional right to association and/or Pejuang's constitutional right to contest under its own logo for the general elections".

Before this via a separate email dated Jan 6, the ROS had also rejected the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance's (Muda) application to be officially registered as a political party.

Muda had mounted a failed legal bid to compel the RoS to officially register it as a political party.

Muda, which is spearheaded by former youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, had then proceeded to appeal to the home minister against the ROS' rejection of its registration application.

However, Malaysiakini reported that the group is still keeping its court option open, depending on the minister's response to its appeal.