PUTRAJAYA: While the Registrar of Societies (ROS) wants Umno to submit a fresh application to defer its elections along with fixed dates for the polls, the party says the postponement is legitimate.
ROS said the decision by Umno’s supreme council to postpone party polls for 18 months on July 7 was invalid, adding that ROS had found “irregularities” in the decision.
“What Umno needs to do now is to inform ROS that there is a postponement of the elections and give us the dates for the party polls.
“The elections must be held this year and cannot go beyond 2021 as the authority to postpone them for a period of 18 months has expired,” ROS director-general Jasri Kasim told The Star.
However, he said ROS would also take into consideration the Covid-19 situation when approving the dates for the Umno polls.
Jasri explained that Umno had informed ROS of the decision about the postponement in a letter dated June 24.
“We then asked for minutes to be submitted and other forms of confirmation that this decision was agreed upon by the party supreme council,” he said.
On July 30, Umno submitted the necessary documents to ROS.
“The minutes to postpone the supreme council, division and branch elections that were submitted to the ROS were from the Umno supreme council meeting held on July 7.“The decision (by Umno) is invalid because the term of the supreme council officer bearers for 2018/2021 ended on June 30,” said Jasri.
When contacted later, Umno secretary- general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan said Umno had a valid explanation.
He said 52 out of the 56 Umno supreme council members had agreed to the postponement on June 18 via a resolution circular, adding that the council could not hold its meeting due to the enforcement of the enhanced movement control order at that time.The resolution circular, he added, was permitted in decision-making as advised by party lawyers.
“On July 7, the Umno supreme council confirmed and legitimised the decision made by its members on June 18 to postpone the party elections.
“The letter sent to the director-general of ROS on July 30 contained the minutes of that supreme council meeting,” he said.
Ahmad said the party had received the latest letter from ROS and would send an explanation to the director-general on Monday.
“We have referred the matter to our lawyers and they have stated that there is no mistake on Umno’s part,” he added.
Umno elections are held every three years and the current term ended on June 30.