MTUC says still temporarily suspended, deregistration still possible

(From left) MTUC vice-president (private sector) R. Jey Kumar, president Datuk Abdul Halim Mansor and secretary-general J. Solomon attend a press conference in Subang Jaya December 26, 2019. — Picture by Choo Choy May
(From left) MTUC vice-president (private sector) R. Jey Kumar, president Datuk Abdul Halim Mansor and secretary-general J. Solomon attend a press conference in Subang Jaya December 26, 2019. — Picture by Choo Choy May

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SUBANG JAYA, Dec 26 — The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) said today it remains “temporarily suspended”, and any form of meeting is barred until the Registrar of Societies (RoS) completes its investigation.

MTUC president Datuk Abdul Halim Mansor, in confirming the matter, said this was made known during a meeting with the Selangor RoS and its director Nurul Azhar Husin earlier today.

“The meeting we had today with the Selangor RoS went very well. Our true objective was to obtain some sort of approval from them to conduct our scheduled activities such as the triennially held general council meeting on December 29.

“However, the RoS explicitly told us to not convene any forms of meeting and we accept its advice,” he said during a press conference at Wisma MTUC here.

He also did not dismiss the possibility of deregistration, stating that such a move would result in major repercussions within the labour sector as the organisation’s presence was ubiquitous throughout the country.

“The MTUC is the only body that represents workers in Malaysia. So when a suspension takes place, then indirectly the MTUC’s identity will therefore be questioned as to whether those who represent the MTUC which has not been suspended have the capacity to do so.

“We have appealed to the RoS for us to not get deregistered because the MTUC is an important institution.

“We sit in all meetings with the government on labour issues, we represent Malaysia in the International Labour Organisation, and we represent workers at the industrial court,” he said.

Previously, the media had reported that the RoS has given the MTUC 30 days from the date of notice to reply as to why it should not be deregistered.

In a statement issued on Friday, the RoS said the notice was issued on December 18 after it received complaints on July 2 over the MTUC’s alleged mismanagement. As a result, an investigation paper was opened on August 29.

Admitting that the temporary suspension was “unexpected”, Abdul Halim however remained optimistic that investigations by the RoS should be completed in “a week or two”.

“They did not give us a timeframe for the completion of their investigations. In one- or two-weeks’ time, that is what they told us,” he said, referring to the RoS.

The temporary suspension also means that its December 29 general council meeting will have to be postponed to next year around March or April if investigations are to be concluded, as Abdul Halim said a minimum of 12 weeks’ notice must be given to call for a council meeting.

He also dismissed claims that the MTUC failed to convene a general council meeting, clarifying that a total of 10 such meetings were held between 2017 and December 2018.

Following the suspension, Abdul Halim also revealed that the MTUC was unable to appoint a new financial secretary as the incumbent is currently “missing in action”.

“What is even more saddening is that our financial secretary has quit without notice.

“What we are worried about right now is the compensations from the Industrial Court to be paid to workers are currently outstanding as we are missing his signatory,” he said, adding that the compensation amounts to at least RM500,000 in total.

On the letter that went viral on social media, Abdul Halim said the MTUC had no interest in taking any action, including terminating the said individual.

“Making this viral was not good but the MTUC is always optimistic and therefore we will not take any dismissal action arbitrarily.

“The power to dismiss is vested in the general council, what is more important now is to solve the pressing matter regarding the MTUC’s status,” he said.

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