Thursday, June 12, 2008

'Baiduri should be handed over to new govt' - The Star

IPOH: Jun 12, 2008 By CLARA CHOOI

The Perak government wants Baiduri, the state association of Barisan Nasional assemblymen’s wives, to be handed over to the wives of Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen to manage.

Senior exco member Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham said the association rightfully belonged to the present state government since it took over after the March 8 elections.

He added that the amendment to Baiduri's constitution -- changing its membership from the wives of state assemblymen (with the exception of opposition assemblymen) to the wives of Perak Barisan representatives -- was void because it had been done after the dissolution of the state legislature.

“After the dissolution on Feb 12, Baiduri held an annual general meeting on Feb 18 at the former Mentri Besar’s residence to amend the constitution.

“The legality of the amendment is questionable for after the dissolution of the assembly, all assemblymen and MPs are considered as ‘former’ assemblymen and MPs.

“This means that after the dissolution, Baiduri members had also become ‘former’ members for they were no longer the wives of elected representatives,” he said.

Ngeh added that the Registrar of Societies (ROS) had only approved the proposed amendment to the Baiduri constitution on April 9.

Ngeh also questioned the “odd reason” behind Baiduri calling for a meeting to amend the constitution after the assembly was dissolved.

“Baiduri was formed 25 years ago. Why did they, all of a sudden, feel a need to amend the constitution? How did they know that their husbands would lose in the general election? Even we were surprised by the outcome,” he said.

“The association has got good objectives and we completely support that. We hope that the present members will step down gracefully before the state government writes to the ROS to study the legality of their amendments,” he said.

Ngeh added that the state also wanted Baiduri to declare how much it had in its bank account and how much had already been spent.

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