by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Sunday, 4th April 1993:
The reason for notice of deregistration of Semangat 46 because it had used the UMNO symbol beside Semangat 46 in its banner during its annual general meeting in Kota Baru on Jan. 3 is most flimsy and ridiculous.
Yesterday, the Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Megat Junid Ayub, confirmed that the Registrar of Societies had issued a deregistration notice to Semangat 46 because it had used the UMNO symbol beside Semangat 46 in its banner during its annual general meeting in Kota Bahru on January 3.
This reason for deregistration of Semangat 46 is most flimsy and ridiculous and shows that the underlying motive for the action by the Registrar of Societies is more political than anything else.
In fact, for the same reason, the Registrar of Societies should issue a notice for the deregistration of UMNO Baru, for UMNO Baru has also been claiming that it is UMNO, which was declared ille-gal in 1988.
The competing claims of UMNO Baru and Semangat 46 to be the. true UMNO is a political issue and should be no concern of the Registrar of Societies.
It would make a complete mockery of the Registrar of Societies if UMNO Baru can with impunity claim to be UMNO while Semangat 46 faces deregistration if it makes the same claim!
No one would believe, as claimed by the Deputy Prime Minis¬ter and Deputy UMNO President, Ghafar Baba, yesterday, that the deregistration notice was a matter between ‘the Registrar of Societies and Semangat 46 and that “UMNO and the Government will not interfere”.
The political nature of the deregistration move is obvious from the increasing measure by UMNO Baru leaders publicly calling for the dissolution of Semangat 46. The Johore Mentri Besar, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin, for instance, was quoted yesterday as saying in Muar that “one of the factors which the Registrar could use to dissolve the party was to act on evidence that some former Semangat members, de¬spite joining UMNO, still had their names registered in the opposition party”.
UMNO Baru leaders should stop using the Registrar of Socie¬ties to fight their battle in the next general elections, by getting Semangat 46 dissolved, as this will only further expose Malaysia to the world as a country where democracy exists only in name but not in practice and substance.