PRS let off the hook
By Raynore Mering (Borneo Post Press, 3rd April 2008)
ROS not deregistering party but decision seems not to have solved party’s internal crisis
KUCHING: Registrar of Societies (ROS) Datuk Md Alias Kalil has on Monday decided not to deregister Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) but it does not seem to have resolved the party’s internal crisis.
Letters, containing Alias’ decision, were yesterday hand-delivered by two ROS officers from Kuala Lumpur to Dato Sri Dr James Masing at his office in Petra Jaya at 10am and to the party’s registered headquarters at Green Heights Commercial Centre at 11am.
The decision was on the show cause letter Alias’ predecessor had issued to the party after Masing had sacked six of PRS’ principal office bearers on May 25, 2006.
The show cause letter, which was sent on Sept 7, 2006, warned that the party could be deregistered.
Alias’ letter has drawn conflicting interpretations from Masing and Larry Sng, who are presently presidents of separate supreme councils.
However, the two presidents agree that the party is now safe.
In the first of the three-paragraph letter which was addressed to the PRS ‘Setiausaha (Secretary)’, Alias referred to a reply given by Masing on Sept 15, 2006, to the show cause letter.
The second paragraph read: “Dimaklumkan bahawa setelah meneliti alasan-alasan yang dikemukakan oleh pihak YB Dato Sri Dr James Jemut Masing berkaitan pemecatan ahli jawatankuasa Parti Rakyat Sarawak, saya bersetuju tidak meneruskan tindakan pembatalan Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) dibawah Seksyen 13(1)(c)(iv) Akta Pertubuhan 1966.”
Roughly translated, it said after studying the reasons or excuses put forward by Masing’s side on the sacking of PRS committee members, Alias agreed not to continue with the deregistration of the party under the said section in the Societies Act 1966.
In the third paragraph, Alias advised the leadership of the party to follow the provisions in the Act as well as the party’s constitution in the future.
He pointed out that any registered organisation that deliberately contravened the Act and their constitution would lead to deregistration under Section 13.
News about the letter was first broken by Sng at a press conference at the party’s office at 1pm.
Among those present were his secretary-general Sidi Munan and vice-president Ernest Chua.
Sng left it to Sidi to read out the letter but the latter said he would not read its whole content as it was not relevant to the press.
“What is important is that the Registrar of Societies has decided not to carry on with the deregistration of PRS…and the registrar also adds, in future to be careful not to go against the constitution such as sacking people without notice. This is a warning to us,” Sidi said.
Sng believed that the registrar’s decision was welcome news for PRS members who were worried that the party could be deregistered.
However, he said the letter did not offer solutions to the ongoing conflict and he left it to the Barisan Nasional (BN) leadership to offer such solutions.
Asked what his interpretation of the letter was, he said: “My interpretation is that the ROS has made a decision not to deregister PRS. That is my interpretation of the letter.”
Sng maintained that Masing had been expelled from the party by his supreme council early last year.
He also said the ROS had sent the letter to the party headquarters because “they only recognise one party here”.
When asked if the letter said the sackings by Masing were wrong, Sidi answered: “The letter warns us that the party would be deregistered because we already ‘bersengaja melanggar peruntukan (deliberately contravene provisions)’.
“Dr James purposely, deliberately went against the constitution of the party without giving a 14-day notice and against the Societies’ Act. So this paragraph is there to remind us, don’t do it again.”More...