The Registry of Societies of Malaysia is a department under the Ministry of Home Affairs handling non-governmental organisations and political parties. In Section 2 of the Societies Act 1966, a society is defined as any club, partnership or association that consists of seven (7) or more persons, whatever its nature or object, whether temporary or permanent, but does not include bodies that require registration under any written law, such as companies, cooperatives, trade unions, parent-teacher associations and sports bodies.
The objectives of the department is to ensure the growth and development of a healthy and orderly society which is not in conflict with the requirements of peace, welfare, security, public order or morals.
The main functions of the department are to administer and enforce the Societies Act 1966, Societies Regulations 1984 and policies pertaining to societies; control and supervise societies so as not to become incompatible with peace, welfare, security, public order, decorum or morality of Malaysia as well as manage and keep registration records relating to registered societies and their branches.
To discharge its responsibilities, the department carries out registration, monitoring and control. In this respect, emphasis is given to the following activities:
- Processing applications for registration of new societies and permission to establish branches
- Processing applications from registered societies for change of name and address, amendments to their rules, registration of new rules and permission to use flags, emblems, badges and other insignia
- Registering the societies’ public officers for court prosecution purposes
- Confirming the appointment of the societies’ office bearers for completion of all instruments relating to the societies’ immovable assets
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