RoS confirms: Rafizi allowed to contest in PKR election

KALBANA PERIMBANAYAGAM and VEENA BABULAL

KUALA LUMPUR: The Registrar of Societies (ROS) has confirmed that Rafizi Ramli is allowed to contest in the PKR elections despite being convicted of a crime.

In a statement, RoS 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 on Monday.

As of July 31, Masyati said the RoS has approved a total of six applications for exemption to qualify for office in any registered establishment in the country.

However, it is subject to the decision of the party to allow any person who receives the exemption approval to contest in an election of any association.

She said that too must be in accordance with the clauses set in the constitution and rules of the establishment.

"Every registered establishment must carry out its business in accordance with its registered constitution and provisions as stated in the Societies Act 1966 [Act 335]," she said.

Rafizi is contesting for the PKR vice-presidency incumbent Datuk Seri Mohd Azmin Ali, who is the economic affairs minister.

Meanwhile, outgoing PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail believes that there should not be any issue with Rafizi’s bid for the deputy presidency.

“That is under the Registrar of Societies. Why should we sees how RoS looks into the matter.

“Because by right, Rafizi should not be convicted. He is innocent. What did he do wrong?,” she said.

Asked if the party had any problems with the matter, she said that the party's central election committee will handle the issue.

A news report had quoted a senior party member claiming that Rafizi had alleged that he has been given special permission by the RoS to contest in the polls.

The well-placed source also said that the party's central election committee has not come out with a statement on whether party regulations have been breached.

It was learnt that the former Pandan MP has two convictions. In 2016 was sentenced to 18 months in jail by the Sessions Court for unauthorised possession of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) audit report and exposing it to the media, and early this year to 30 months' jail for exposing bank accounts related to the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) and its chairman Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail.

Rafizi also did not contest in the 14th general election as article 48(1)(e) of the Federal Constitution stipulates that an MP is automatically disqualified if sentenced to jail for a year or more or fined RM2,000 and above and has not received a pardon, and this applies equally to party polls.

Meanwhile PKR central election committee secretary Ismail Yusop said the body would be looking into the matter.

“Apart from the committee the appeals, objections and a disciplinary committee is also involved. (But) up to now I have not received any documents on Rafizi’s case,” he added. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd