The appellant whose case came within s 71 of the Societies Act 1966 Act

The appellant whose case came within s 71 of the

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been infringed by the ROS and the Minister. The appellant, whose case came within s. 7(1) of the Societies Act 1966 (‘Act’), submitted that the imposition of the ROS’ condition of registration amounted to unlawful legislation by the ROS as it was only Parliament that may impose restrictions. However, the real question requiring consideration was whether the departmental policy formulated by the ROS for himself when considering applications to register political societies at the national level was an unreasonable administrative act. Held (dismissing the appeal) Per Gopal Sri Ram JCA: (1) The appellant’s argument that the departmental policy of the ROS not to register PSM at the national level was a restriction not authorised by the Federal Constitution (‘FC’), was fallacious. The legislative response of Parliament under art. 10(2)(c) of the FC was the Act itself and for present purposes it was s. 7(1) of the Act. The only issue was whether this was a reasonable legislative restriction, and there was nothing in s. 7 that amounted to an unreasonable restriction on the freedom of association conferred by art. 10(1)(c) of the FC. All it does is to regulate the registration of associations to conform to the criteria set out in art. 10(2)(c) of the FC. Accordingly, s. 7(1) of the Act is a valid law. (paras 13 & 14)
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21 [2007] 1 CLJ A B C D E F G H I Dr Mohd Nasir Hashim v. Menteri Dalam Negeri Malaysia (2) The departmental policy requiring a political party’s committee to comprise of representatives from at least seven States of the Federation where registration is sought at national level is not an unreasonable exercise of the statutory power conferred upon the ROS by s. 7(1) of the Act. Since Malaysia has 13 States, the ROS probably had in mind that a political party seeking registration at the national level must seek to represent 50% plus one State in the Federation. There is nothing unreasonable about this. Some policy is necessary to guide the discretion conferred by s. 7 of the Act. Otherwise, it may become an unprincipled discretion. (para 17) (3) Nowhere in the process before the ROS was any issue of national security raised. It was raised for the first time by the Minister in his affidavit in reply to the appellant’s application for judicial review. It was a ground that was never put to the appellant before the commencement of proceedings, and he and PSM had no opportunity to deal with this point at all. There could be no clearer case of procedural unfairness and, as such, the Minister’s refusal to direct registration on grounds of national security could not be supported. Furthermore, in the present instance, there was not a scintilla of evidence to show that issues of national security were involved. There was only the mere ipse dixit of the Minister based on information given by the police to him, and nothing else. On the authorities, this was insufficient and the appellant’s complaint was, therefore, justified. (paras 20, 21, 22 & 23) (4) However, in this instance, it was crystal clear that the reason advanced on grounds of national security was not the predominant reason for the Minister’s decision. It stood as a
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