Curb registrar’s power over parties, says MP

PETALING JAYA: Upko president Wilfred Madius Tangau has urged that the law be changed to curb the powers of the Registrar of Societies over political parties, and called for the Election Commission to handle registration of parties.

Tangau, who is Tuaran MP, suggested that a private member’s bill be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat to curb the registrar’s powers, although this would only be a temporary measure.

For a long-term solution, he said the Election Commission should oversee the registration of parties, as suggested by the electoral reform committee in August.

“However, the EC must also be made accountable to Parliament, while candidates for EC membership must first be vetted by a parliamentary select committee in charge of elections,” he said.

Tangau’s comments come in the wake of the registrar rejecting the registration of new political parties Pejuang and Muda. Tangau said the registrar’s decision highlighted a conflict of interest as the registrar came under the control of the home ministry, which was headed by a member of PPBM.

“Malaysians are tired of political parties and politicians talking loudly about reforms and criticising the government when in opposition but doing nothing when in government,” he said.

He said the former Pakatan Harapan government led by Dr Mahathir Mohamad had failed to make the RoS independent of political control and had only removed its previous chief, who had abruptly deregistered PPBM prior to Parliament being dissolved.

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