The Malaysia Paralympic Council (MPM) is wading into another legal quagmire.
Instead of calling for an Annual General Meeting (AGM) to resolve their current election standoff, there are now efforts to remove its secretary Siti Zaharah binti Abdul Khalid for allegedly, among others bringing disrepute to the MPM.
The MPM president SM Nasarudin SM Nasimuddin in a letter dated 20th September has issued a show cause letter against Siti. And against norms, the show cause letter was copied to all affiliates of the MPM.
She was given ten days to answer the allegations made against her. It is learnt that an extension was given until yesterday for Siti to reply.
While the merits of the show cause letter has yet to be determined, the move is seen by some as means to seize total control of the council to pursue the agenda of certain members.
The MPM has been embroiled in controversy following the rejection of the late nominations of five candidates for the MPM elections on June 29. The general body were unable to make a decision on the late nominations and decided to postpone the meeting to a later date.
The MPM board met soon after the postponement to resolve the issue through mediation but were unable to break the deadlock. It was the obvious result, considering that some of the members, who filed their nominations late, were also MPM board members deliberating on the matter.
Instead of looking at ways to call for the long overdue AGM, there were attempts to call for an EGM to ensure the late nominations were accepted. This was in contrary to the MPM constitution that requires any dispute not resolved by mediation to be referred to the Sports Minister or to an independent arbitration.
Megat D Shahriman Zaharuddin, who had had filed his candidacy on time to contest the presidency, was unhappy with the direction taken by the MPM and filed an injunction to stop the EGM.
The EGM was withdrawn on the eve of the court decision as the petition to request the meeting did not meet the necessary requirements. The Sports Commissioners Office had also directed the MPM to cancel the EGM.
However, a second attempt to hold an EGM through another request letter to members was made.
Ten affiliates rejected the proposal put forth while another three abstained. Of the 24 MPM affiliates 11 had agreed to the proposal, one short of the required number as per Article 16.1 (b) of the MPM Statutes.
The decision by Siti as well as Dr S Radha Krishan to withdraw their nominations also put a spanner on the hopes of holding the EGM.
Incumbent deputy president John Ng from the Table Tennis Association of Malaysia and former Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin from the Wheelchair Rugby Associations, who were originally considered ineligible, are still hoping to get their nominations endorsed.
The show cause letter issued to Siti also cast a shadow on the rule of law within the MPM.
No council meeting of the MPM has been called since the called off AGM. The board has met twice in the meantime, when the council as the higher authority should have met to make a final decision on such delicate matters.
The president himself having not attended at least five council meeting and not seeking reelection should have taken the high road by calling for the council to get a collective decision.
And considering that the current council itself has already ended its mandated term as of end of June, it is seen highly improper for the board to take such steps as initiating disciplinary action against the secretary.
The current term of the office bearers ended in end March but were given a second extension to hold the the AGM and election by end June.
And to make worse the MPM Legal and Ethics Committee is headed by John Ng, who is an interested party in wanting the EGM to take place.
It is also learnt that the same committee may not even have any authority to decide anything as John Ng is the sole member. Apparently he had failed to appoint the six members to the committee as required by the MPM constitution.
It is not immediately known whether Siti had replied to the show cause letter. But whether she had replied or not, who in the MPM has the legal authority to look into it.
Justice must be seen to be done and from the current scenario, neither the MPM Board nor the Legal and Ethics Committee has the moral right to act on it.