KUALA LUMPUR – January 3, 2018: The debate on the legality of Pribumi Bersatu’s annual general meeting has led to some contentions, particularly what looks like the all-encompassing powers of the party’s highest echelon.
After a former leader claimed that the December 30 meeting was invalid due to a gross violation of its constitution, party secretary-general Datuk Dr. Sharuddin Md. Salleh retorted otherwise, stating that Article 29 of the party’s constitution allows its supreme council to call for AGM even if the branches and divisions have yet to convene their mandatory annual meetings.
“Should any dispute arise over the interpretation of the constitution or the rules of the party’s AGM, then the interpretation of the council is absolute,” reads Pribumi Bersatu’s Article 29.
According to Sharuddin, the branches and divisions could not meet simply because they have not been registered with the Registrar of Societies.
By convention, Pribumi Bersatu needs to hold the meetings of the branches and divisions before it can call for its national AGM as stated in Article 12 of its constitution.
The Mole had previously reported that Pribumi Bersatu’s branches and divisions would hold their annual meetings this year, although the dates were not known.
Interestingly, the act of invoking Article 29 to nullify the effects Article 12 seems to suggest that the supreme council can essentially dictate any matter concerning the AGM.
The debate had also unwittingly raised the question of Pribumi Bersatu’s organisational preparedness for the general elections if its branches and divisions appear to be disorganised structurally.
Incidentally Umno too has a constitutional provision almost similar to Pribumi Bersatu’s but as long as can be remembered it has never streamrolled this power over the lower levels of the party except to postpone party elections to better prepare for the general elections. As can be remembered too Umno’s supreme council has never decided to postpone meetings of the branches and divisions except when this may involve a legal technicality.