Friday January 18, 2013
SNAP officially deregistered
PUTRAJAYA: The Sarawak National Party (SNAP), a political party formed in 1961, has been deregistered.
A Federal Court five-member panel yesterday upheld the Registrar of Societies’ (ROS) 2002 decision cancelling SNAP’s registration.
The decision was made after the party failed to produce evidence that its leadership crisis had been settled.
The court allowed ROS’ appeal to overturn the Court of Appeal’s decision in June 2010, restoring SNAP’s registration.
Federal Court judge Tan Sri Abdull Hamid Embong, who chaired the panel, held that ROS was empowered under Section 16 (1) of the Societies Act 1966 to direct a party to settle its dispute.
The ROS, he said, needed to form an opinion whether there was a dispute as quickly as possible or else the fate of a society would be left in limbo, and all its activities would have to be suspended.
Justice Abdull Hamid said the decision to deregister SNAP was merely consequential to the failure of SNAP to comply with the ROS’ notice, adding that no reason was required under the law.
“There is no evidence of any bad faith or bias against SNAP when the ROS acted under section 13 (1) (c) (ix) (of the Societies Act). His (ROS) action is more administrative than quasi judicial, even though the rights of SNAP were affected,” he said.
The panel, also comprising Federal Court judges Tan Sri Suriyadi Halim Omar, Datuk Ahmad Maarop, Datin Paduka Zaleha Zahari and Datuk Sulong Matjeraie, awarded ROS a sum of RM20,000 in legal costs.
In 2002, the SNAP leadership was split into two factions headed by its former president the late Datuk Amar James Wong Kim Min and the late Datuk Seri Peter Tinggom, the party’s former deputy president.
On Nov 5, 2002, the ROS deregistered SNAP after it failed to produce evidence that the crisis was settled. SNAP’s then deputy president Datuk Justin Jinggut filed a judicial review on the ruling, which was dismissed by the High Court on Sept 15, 2006.
On June 23, 2010, the Court of Appeal restored the party’s registration after allowing Jinggut’s appeal to set aside the High Court’s decision. On Feb 21, 2012, the Federal Court gave ROS the nod to appeal against the Court of Appeal.
SNAP was once a Barisan Nasional component in Sarawak.
ROS was represented by Senior Federal Counsel Amarjeet Singh while SNAP was represented by lawyer Khoo Guan Huat. — Bernama