Wednesday, March 29

‘RoS order to postpone conferences, general assemblies still stands’


KUCHING: The special order by the Registrar of Societies (RoS) instructing all registered organisations in the country to postpone any conference or general assembly until June 30 still stands, said RoS Sarawak director Georgina Apphia Ngau.

Georgina Apphia Ngau

As such, she said organisations or associations registered under RoS are still not allowed to hold any physical general meeting, assembly or conference even during the current Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) period.

According to her, there has not been any announcement from the department’s headquarters in Putrajaya regarding any change to this special order.

“The deadline (not to hold any conference or general assembly) is still June 30. We are yet to come out with another date.

“(It is) Depending on how the situation is with the pandemic after the end of June,” she said when contacted yesterday.

The special order announced by RoS in Putrajaya on March 16 was issued in accordance with Section 3A of the Societies Act 1966.

In a statement to announce the special order, RoS said the move was made in line with the federal government’s instruction to ban mass gatherings due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It also said the ban was applicable to organisations at all levels including their branches nationwide.

“However if by June 30 the Covid-19 outbreak situation is still at a serious level, an organisation must send in a request to the registrar for a period extension.

“The extension is meant to prevent abuse by registered societies of existing laws as well as the Act,” it said in the statement.

The special order by RoS and the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO), introduced on March 18 to break the chain of Covid-19 transmission, had caused many associations and organisations to reschedule their general meetings and assemblies including those slated for election of office-bearers.

On April 18, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had said all annual meetings of companies, cooperatives, associations and organisations must be postponed until a date to be determined by the Ministry of Health.

He explained the move was to avoid large gatherings for these meetings, but said online meetings such as video conferencing would be allowed.

In the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) circular issued by the RoS for the MCO, it stated online meetings are allowed provided the meeting is handled in accordance with the constitution of the respective organisation or association.

It said the organisation or association must also provide documentation as proof that the meeting was conducted in compliance with their own constitution.

The FAQ also stated that for those who had conducted general meeting, assembly or conference before the MCO, they can submit or file their annual returns online through the department’s eRoses system in accordance with the Societies Act 1966 (Act 335).

The RoS meanwhile in its website announced all its offices nationwide are operating again during the CMCO, but any dealings at its counters will only be made on appointment basis.