GEORGE TOWN, April 13 — DAP has been told to attend an inquiry by the Registrar of Societies (ROS) on April 18.
DAP national chairman Karpal Singh said the party received a letter from the ROS on April 9 instructing the party’s election returning officer Pooi Weng Keong and election strategist Ong Kian Ming to attend the inquiry as witnesses.
The inquiry, which will start at 10am, will be conducted by investigating officer Insp Mohd Nawawi Mat.
The inquiry is regarding the party polls in December last year where a ‘technical glitch’ occurred, resulting in an error in the vote count which saw none of the Malay candidates being elected into its central executive committee (CEC).
A recount was conducted which saw Zairil Khir Johari elected to the CEC where the actual votes received by him totalled 803 as compared to 305 in the erroneous results.
The whole CEC lineup remains unchanged despite the recount.
The party then conducted audits of the recount, led by Ong and also by an external chartered accountant firm, and confirmed the results of the recount as accurate and free from error.
This issue attracted criticisms from the party’s political foes and also from disgruntled members who filed complaints with the ROS.
“We have been requested to supply documents relating to the party elections including notices sent out to delegates during the inquiry,” Karpal said in a press conference at the Air Itam Market this morning.
“We will supply all the information and documents in support of the party elections in compliance with ROS,” he said.
He pointed out that the errors in the party polls were due to a technical glitch so there was no fraud or misrepresentation involved.
“There have been calls for DAP to be deregistered. The deregistration of a party is a serious matter,” he said.
He said the ROS may have the power to deregister a party but this can only be done after an in-depth investigation had been conducted and backed up by solid evidence.
“As the investigation falls on April 18, it is virtually impossible that they will make a decision before April 20, which is the nomination date, so the ROS should refrain from making decisions before then,” the incumbent Bukit Gelugor MP said.
Karpal is not asking for the inquiry to be postponed but urged the ROS to allow the party to make its case and that both sides, the party and the complainants, should be given space to be heard.
“I am not asking them not to make a decision but they could make the decision after the elections,” he said.
“If this happens, it will be blatantly weird that they could deliver a decision before nomination day,” he added.
In the meantime, Karpal called on all parties including the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak not to interfere in the investigation process or to use any tactic to pressure ROS into making a decision.
He then urged the ROS to make its decisions based on the conclusion of a thorough investigation into the information and documentation supplied by the party.
“DAP should not be hampered from participating in the upcoming polls which fall on May 5 and we should also be allowed to use our party symbol for the polls,” he said.