Pakatan Harapan chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad has slammed the Registrar of Societies (ROS) for its superlative efficiency in helping Umno overcome its party crisis, compared to the delays in registering the opposition bloc.
This, he alleged in a video statement on his Facebook page today, was a glaring show of partisanship by the ROS.
“In Harapan's case, we have tried to apply (to register the coalition) eight months ago, but till now, don't even talk about a reply, we have not even an acknowledgement.
“They never said whether they are considering, or not considering the application,” said Mahathir, adding such an application should not take such a long time as eight to nine months.
“In Umno's case, wow, they acted so quickly,” he said.
On Monday, ROS gave its approval to Umno to extend its supreme council election till 2019, despite former deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin pointing out that such an extension went against the Umno constitution.
The former premier added the entire process surrounding the approval of Umno's extension was questionable.
Mahathir pointed to the apparent absence of any formal procedure by Umno over the extension of their party elections.
'Whither AGM, EGM decision?'
The former long-time Umno president said any such move by a party to extend its leadership polls needs to go through the proper procedure, which did not appear to be the case here.
“The decision must be made by Umno itself in a meeting, because it's a huge matter.
“Normally it is made at the annual general meeting or an extraordinary general meeting, where the decision is made.
“But we have not heard of any decision made in any Umno general meeting whatsoever,” he said.
He added there has been no news about this matter thus far.
“What documents have they to show that a meeting had been held and a letter had been sent to ROS for approval? We haven't heard of it.
“Only now we hear the ROS saying it has been approved. This is something that shows how biased the ROS is,” he said.
Muhyiddin earlier pointed out that Umno's first extension of its supreme council election till April 19 this year was final, as the party constitution only allowed a 18-month extension, which was made in 2016 purportedly to allow for an early general election that never materialised.
Furthermore, former Umno leader Saifuddin Abdullah also pointed out that first extension meant all Umno branches are to have concluded their respective elections by Feb 28 this year, failing which they should have automatically been deregistered.
Critics have pointed out that the postponements run counter to Umno's own constitution, which the ROS has no power to overrule as a mere regulatory body.
Meanwhile, in contrast to Umno's case, the ROS yesterday demanded Bersatu furnish its meeting minutes and financial documents of the party and all its branches and divisions in 30 days, or face deregistration.