Let's fight fairly, no need to hit below the belt, Muda tells home minister

Muda’s pro tem vice-president and lawyer Lim Wei Jiet speaks to reporters at the Kuala Lumpur High Court April 27, 2021. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
Muda’s pro tem vice-president and lawyer Lim Wei Jiet speaks to reporters at the Kuala Lumpur High Court April 27, 2021. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 27 — Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin should fight fairly and not delay the application by the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda) to be registered as a political party, its pro-tem deputy president Lim Wei Jiet said today.

Muda, naming 12 individuals, filed a judicial review application to challenge the actions of the home minister and the Registrar of Societies (RoS) that have yet to decide on its appeal to register Muda as a political party.

“Don’t punch below the belt, that's all we ask for,” said Lim when met at the Kuala Lumpur High Court today.

“We want a chance to compete fairly at the elections, and if that is something the minister can’t do, then it’s a failure on his part.

“We hope the courts will make the minister make a decision within seven days and our message to the minister is that we may have different political ideologies but we can still fight fairly.”

Muda has had trouble registering itself as a political party. Lim claimed the party’s efforts are being hampered by the powers that be so it does not pose a threat at the next general elections.

He however said he is fairly confident about the outcome.

“I'm fairly confident there was something unlawful done by the minister and I think the courts will make the right decision,” he added.

Prior to this, in February, the High Court dismissed Muda’s leave application for judicial review of the RoS’ decision to reject its attempt to register as a political party.

Judge Mariana Yahya ruled that the party should have exhausted its appeal process with the Home Ministry, as prescribed under the Societies Act 1966, before proceeding with court action.

On January 25, representatives from the Attorney General’s Chambers objected to Muda’s application on the basis that the “remedy of appeal against the ROS’ decision to the [home] minister had not been exhausted’.

However, Muda’s lawyers had argued it would be of no use to appeal to the home minister as they claimed he had “prejudged the matter”.

In its lawsuit filed on January 12, Muda via its 13 co-founders, including Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, sought a court order to quash the home minister and RoS’ January 6 decision refusing to register Muda as a political party.

Muda also asked the court to issue a mandamus order to compel the home minister and RoS to register it as a society under the political party category within seven days from the date of the court order.

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