Posted on February 22, 2012, Wednesday
PUTRAJAYA: The dispute over the registration of political party Sarawak National Party (SNAP) is not over yet as the Registrar of Societies (ROS) has been given the nod by the Federal Court here today to appeal against a court decision which had restored the party’s registration. Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin chairing a three-member panel unanimously allowed ROS’s application for leave to appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal in setting aside the ROS’s order in 2002 to de-register SNAP following the party’s failure to resolve its protracted leadership crisis.
The panel, also comprising Federal Court judge Datuk Suriyadi Halim Omar and Court of Appeal judge Datin Paduka Zaleha Zahari agreed with the argument by Senior Federal Counsel Datin Azizah Nawawi representing ROS that the questions of law posed for the determination of the Federal Court concerned the interpretation of Section 13 and Section 16 of the Societies Act which were not decided by the Federal Court.
The Federal Court would have to determine four legal questions in the appeal proceeding including a question on whether under Section 16 of the Societies Act 1966 read together with Section 13 (2) of the same act, ROS was required to act mechanically or have the discretion to cancel a society’s registration if conditions under Section 16 (1) was not complied.
Another question of law was whether Section 16 of the Societies Act 1966 read with Section 13 of the same act, ROS is required to give reasons for his decision in cancelling the registration of a society if conditions under Section 16 (1) were not complied.
On June 23 2010, the Court of Appeal allowed the appeal brought by SNAP’s then deputy president Datuk Justin Jinggut to set aside the High Court’s dismissal of his judicial review bid to quash the ROS’s decision to de-register the party.
The ROS de-registered SNAP on Nov 5, 2002, following the party’s failure to resolve its protracted leadership crisis since April that year, and was dissatisfied with the office-bearers constituted because of the internal dispute.
Jinggut then filed a judicial review of the ROS ruling but that was dismissed by the High Court on Sept 15, 2006.
The party leadership was split by its former president, the late Datuk Amar James Wong Kim Min heading one faction, and the late Datuk Seri Peter Tinggom, the party’s former deputy president who subsequently formed a new political party called the Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP).
Set up in 1961, Snap was once a Barisan Nasional component in Sarawak.
Its current president is Stanley Jugol. – Bernama