Press Statement: 9 October 2012
RoS : Immediately Cease all Forms of Bad Practices
Three notices pursuant to section 111 of the Criminal Procedure Code (“CPC”) dated 8th October 2012 have been sent to the office of Suara Inisiatif Sdn Bhd’s (“SUARAM”) lawyer on 8th October 2012. The notices ordered three individuals i.e Mohd Nasir bin Hashim (Adun Kota Damansara and also co founder of SUARAM), Fan Yew Leng @ Fan Yew Teng (deceased) and SUARAM’s Executive Director, Nalini Elumalai to appear before Registrar of Societies’ (“RoS”) Investigating Officer, Ab Rahim bin Mohammad on 12th October 2012 to record a statement under S112 CPC.
SUARAM is perturbed at the notices and view with concern that this may be the possible outcome of the legal research task force set up by the RoS in September 2012. SUARAM sees a mind blowing attempt to stretch the jurisdiction of RoS beyond its legal scope to probe into a company registered under the Companies Act 1965.
On 4th October 2012, lawyers representing Sivarasa Rasiah (MP Subang and co-founder of SUARAM) and Cynthia Gabriel (SUARAM Secretariat member) at the RoS had respectfully stated that SUARAM’s cooperation to the RoS was in good faith and had advised that the RoS has no jurisdiction to act against a registered company. It is clear that SUARAM, as a registered company, owes no duty and obligation to the RoS. Despite this, the RoS still saw it fit to continuously harass SUARAM, as demonstrated in the latest notices.
The notices were all served to the office of SUARAM’s lawyer, instead of the named individuals. It is embarrassing to note that one of the named individuals, Fan Yew Leng @ Fan Yew Teng had deceased in 2010 but RoS still issued the notice out of ignorance.
SUARAM’s lawyer had also been ordered to produce SUARAM’s documents to the same Investigating Officer pursuant to a notice under section 51(1) CPC dated 5th October 2012. By requesting privileged documents and information belonging to SUARAM from our lawyer, the RoS has violated solicitors/client privilege and confidentiality under the Legal Profession Act 1976. This is a complete mockery of fundamental principle of solicitor- client confidentiality by which lawyers are bound.
We wish to put on record that SUARAM’s cooperation to the RoS was premised on protecting and upholding the rule of law in this country despite the ultra vires acts of RoS. SUARAM notes with concern that the RoS may have breached its professional duties as civil servants by acting on political instructions to harass SUARAM. On this note, SUARAM strongly urge the RoS, as law enforcers to immediately cease all forms of bad practices and act in accordance to the law.