KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The High Court has ordered Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin to make a decision on an appeal by Parti Pejuang Tanahair (Pejuang) regarding its registration within 14 days from Friday (June 25).
Justice Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid allowed Pejuang's application for a judicial review against the action of the Home Minister and Registrar of Societies (ROS) for having yet to decide on its appeal to register the party.
In his judgment, Justice Ahmad Kamal said the first respondent (Home Minister) could not be taking too long to decide on the appeal as the issue involved was not too complicated and he was of the view that the time taken by the Home Minister in deciding the appeal, approximately five and a half months from Jan 8, 2021, was beyond the convenient speed.
"I agree with the respondents (Home Minister and ROS) that it is necessary for the first respondent to carefully review each appeal before a decision is made. However, considering the facts and circumstances of the case, the time taken for the first respondent to carefully review the appeal must be of a reasonable time or with all convenient speed.
"In the instant case, it is my view that there are no complicated issues involved in making the decision. The reasons put forward by the first respondent as to his busy schedule does not carry weight. The first respondent has officers to assist him with all the tasks, including preparing all relevant documents and files for the first respondent to decide on the appeal filed by the applicant (Pejuang)," he said in his 32-page written judgment made available to the media.
Justice Ahmad Kamal said although the first respondent is not required under the Societies Act 1966 or Interpretation Act 1948 and 1967 to provide an estimated time frame, but without any effort to provide an estimated time frame makes it difficult for the first respondent to justify that the time taken for him to make a decision is the all convenient speed or reasonable time.
"To me, an unknown period of time cannot be interpreted as all convenient speed or reasonable time in this instant case. The respondents submitted that there are 102 appeals for the first respondent to decide.
"However, it is unclear to me how many of the 102 appeals are related to the registration of a political party and how many of the other appeals has the same or higher degree of importance and urgency which requires the first respondent to take speedier action to decide," he said, adding that even though there were other cases and appeals for the first respondent to consider, the time taken to decide Pejuang’s appeal should not be too long as it did not involve complicated issues.
Justice Ahmad Kamal further said that it was clear that the first respondent was the only person who will make the decision and the process did not involve other persons.
"I take note that as a minister, the first respondent has other functions and duties, but to me, the period of five and a half months is unreasonable for him in making such decision," he said.