The Registrar of Societies (ROS) has confirmed allowing Rafizi Ramli to contest in the PKR election despite being convicted of a crime.
In a statement, registrar Masyati Abang Ibrahim said this is in accordance with its powers under Section 9A(4) of the Societies Act 1966.
“He had applied for the exemption to hold a position in a registered society in Malaysia through a letter dated July 9, 2018, and the ROS has approved the request through a letter dated July 20, 2018 […]
“The ROS stresses that no preferential treatment has been given to any individual applying for the exemption to hold office after being disqualified from holding office in any registered society in Malaysia.
“Instead, each exemption is based on the application made by any individual and processed according to a standard operating procedure in accordance with the Societies Act,” she said in a statement today.
Rafizi is contesting the post of deputy president against incumbent Azmin Ali, the economic affairs minister.
Section 9A(1)(b) of the Societies Act prohibits a person from becoming an office bearer in a registered society if they are convicted of any offence and sentenced to a fine of not less than RM2,000 or to imprisonment of not less than one year.
This is unless they are exempted under Section 9A(4) of the same act.
Rafizi had been sentenced to 18 months' jail for possessing and disclosing the 1MDB audit report, which was then a state secret. He had since been let off on an RM10,000 two-year good behaviour bond.
He was also sentenced to 30 months’ jail for leaking banking information from National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd (NFC) accounts. The case is pending appeal.
In contesting for deputy presidency, Rafizi had reportedly said on various occasions that he has obtained an exemption from the ROS that would allow him to hold office despite the convictions, but not all are satisfied with the explanation.
Earlier today, theSun quoted party sources questioning whether Rafizi was actually granted the exemption since he supposedly never shown the ROS letter to anyone.
The source also reportedly said party regulations do now allow convicts to contest in party elections, and the party’s Central Election Committee is putting the party at risk by not stating whether the regulations had been breached.
The report claimed that PKR could face deregistration if it allows Rafizi to contest.