KUCHING: SUPP has engaged a legal team to formulate their reply to a show-cause letter to the Registrar of Societies (ROS).
“We have been spending many hours with lawyers on the reply. The party central leadership has been silent because we all are busy with our legal team.
“We were assured by the legal team that there is a good legal case to reply. Of course, there will be a political reply as well given that we are a political party,” Secretary-general Prof Dr Sim Kui Hian told journalists at SUPP headquarters here.
He stressed that the party was still legal for it had been given 30 days to explain why it should not be deregistered.
Dr Sim was speaking after SUPP held a briefing for five branches namely Kuching, Pending, Batu Lintang, Kota Sentosa and Batu Kawa to keep leaders and members abreast with what the party central leadership was doing with regards to the show-cause letter.
He did not name a date when asked how soon the party would present its reply to ROS. Instead, he said: “We are given 30 days to reply.”
SUPP central leadership was served the show-cause letter dated Jan 6, which means the party has until Feb 5 to deliver a formal reply to ROS.
On the deregistered Bekenu and Piasau branches, Dr Sim said the party had also been given 30 days to appeal to Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Dr Sim said he would be in Miri today to meet members of the two branches on their membership status.
“To avoid confusion, we need to explain whether or not they are still party members. To us, until SUPP is deregistered or members quit or are expelled, they are still party members.
“For example, if you are a member of an association, even if you do not pay membership fee, you are still a member, just not in good standing.”
On the 14 complaints to ROS in 2012, he said all except Bekenu and Piasau were baseless. He recalled Bekenu and Piasau branches having replied their respective show-cause letters last June, but ROS got back to them only early this month.
“I do not know why ROS issued us the letters only this year. But we want to appeal to people to calm down as we will resolve the issue once and for all.”
About 100 leaders and members of the five branches in southern zone attended the briefing.