NEW YORK, Sept 23 — The Registrar of Societies (RoS) will act professionally in handling former Umno vice president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal’s request to take over a political party in Sabah, the deputy prime minister said.
Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also home minister, said the RoS would look into the matter just as how it acted in the registration of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s new party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.
“We will act fairly and the RoS will act professionally just as how we registered PPBM,” Zahid was quoted as saying in New York according to national news agency Bernama.
Zahid reportedly said the former rural and regional development minister’s decision to take over a Sabah-based party would not shake the strong Barisan Nasional (BN) leadership in the state.
Zahid said Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman was a tremendous leader, adding that the latter is able to cope with any form of attacks from the opposition.
He, however, pointed that Shafie’s decision to lead a new party was an embarrassment to Umno and likened it to Dr Mahathir and former deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin setting up Pribumi.
“But I must say that on the basis of respect and professional ethic, we will not negate the people’s rights by expressing the government’s spirit of democracy,” Zahid said.
Yesterday, Shafie went to the RoS in Putrajaya in a bid to lead a new multiracial party that will replace an existing Sabah-based one.
He announced plans to take over the party, which he did not name, and to transform it into a multi racial organisation.
Shafie previously turned down Dr Mahathir’s offer to be the deputy president of the new Bumiputera-based Pribumi, in order to lead his own party in Sabah and to lead a local cause.