RoS says blacklisted Muda deputy president due to past organisation's deregistration, acted based on law

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 2 — The Registrar of Societies (RoS) today said it acted based on the law when it blacklisted Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) deputy president Amira Aisya Abd Aziz from being an office-holder in registered organisations.

In a statement today, the RoS said it had blacklisted Amira Aisya due to the cancellation of registration for the Persatuan Ekonomi Merdeka — which she was previously part of — through an October 28, 2022 notice issued under Section 13(1)(c)(iv) of the Societies Act 1966.

“The action also binds her under Section 49 of the same Act,” it said in a brief statement today.

RoS said the blacklist on Amira Aisya from being an office-holder is based on investigation processes and laws and powers as enshrined in the Societies Act.

Malay Mail’s checks of the Societies Act shows that Section 13(1)(c)(iv) states that the RoS may cancel the registration of any registered society if the RoS is satisfied that the registered society has breached Societies Act provisions or regulations or that any members have habitually breached the Sedition Act by any acts or remarks related to the questioning of matters under the Federal Constitution’s Part III or Article 152, 153 or 181.

Based on Malay Mail’s checks, under Section 49, a person who was an office-bearer at the time when a society’s registration was cancelled under Section 13(1)(c)(iv) and who becomes or continues to remain an office-bearer of any other society without written permission from the RoS will be committing an offence, with this restriction to only end five years from the date of the deregistration. Section 49 excludes situations where the society being deregistered is a political party.

Amira Aisya had previously been a secretary in Persatuan Ekonomi Merdeka from August 3, 2017 to October 19, 2022.

On July 13, Amira Aisya had filed a lawsuit via a judicial review application at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur to challenge RoS’s blacklist which bars her from being an office-bearer in any registered organisation, which would include Muda itself.

In the lawsuit, she sought a court order to quash the RoS’ decision to blacklist her from holding positions in any registered society in Malaysia, and also a court declaration that RoS does not have the powers under the Societies Act 1966 to blacklist her.

In court papers, Amira Aisya said she had only found out about the blacklist when the RoS rejected her April 16 application to register a new organisation called Persatuan Impak Wanita Malaysia with her as its chairman.

On April 18, the Selangor RoS had sent an email to reject the application by stating that this was because Amira Aisya who was listed as the chairman had been blacklisted and was not allowed to hold positions in societies, and that the four committee members’ work address and residential address should be from the same state and with their residential address to be their current ones.

After searching on RoS’ website to check its online list of individuals blacklisted from being office holders, Amira Aisya said she found her name on the blacklist effective October 28, 2022 and with her offence stated as being under “Section 13(1)(c)(iv)”.

The website search result did not state how long she would be on the blacklist, with Amira Aisya saying that she was being barred for any unspecified period of time from holding positions in any organisations.

In her lawsuit, Amira Aisya said the RoS blacklist is against her right to form associations under the Federal Constitution’s Article 10(1)(c), saying that the decision blocks her from contesting any position within Muda and forming any other organisation for causes close to her heart such as women rights, education and the environment.

She claimed that there are no laws that give the RoS the power to indefinitely blacklist individuals from holding any position in any organisation, adding that it had exceeded its powers.

Also in the lawsuit, she argued that RoS was unreasonable and disproportionate in deciding to blacklist her, and that being a committee member of an organisation which allegedly breached Section 13(1)(c)(iv) does not mean the person can be blacklisted from holding positions in other organisations.

On August 17, she obtained leave from the High Court for her judicial review application or lawsuit to be heard.

Based on online court listings, the case is scheduled for case management on September 14, with no hearing dates fixed yet for the actual lawsuit.