Press Statement 4th September, 2012


The civil service of any democratic country is meant to be totally independent of the government-of-the-day. But what we have been seeing ever since SUARAM’s complaint to the French judicial system regarding the suspected corruption in the Scorpene scandal is the shameful perversion of the Malaysian civil service to try to discredit SUARAM.

In recent months, SUARAM has been placed under the microscope of the Companies Commission Malaysia (“CCM”), PERKESO, United Malays National Organisation (“UMNO”), Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (“JMM”), PERKASA and government’s mouthpiece, Utusan Malaysia and News Straits Times. Even the Inland Revenue has been roped in to “routinely investigate” one of SUARAM’s partners. Looking at the composition alone, one could not agree more that the campaign was undoubtedly politically motivated.

Backtracking, on 20th July 2012, SUARAM had produced all documents and information required for CCM’s routine inspection, in accordance to the law. In our letter to CCM on even date, we have affirmed our cooperation to provide further documents and information to CCM upon receiving a written request from the same. Hitherto, we have neither received any response from the CCM nor being notified that CCM has commenced investigation.

PERKESO was next commissioned by the government. PERKESO had, in a notice dated 3rd August 2012, ordered SUARAM to produce a list of documents to the office on 30th August 2012. In compliance to the notice, we have produced the requested documents to the office. However, to our surprise, the officer in charge was clueless to our presence even after being shown the letter sent to us which were signed off by none other than himself. This was despite a strict warning in the letter stipulating a fine up to RM10, 000.00 or 2 year imprisonment or both in the event of non-compliance.

On 3rd August 2012, the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister, Ismail Sabri Yaakob had stated in a press conference that SUARAM’s accounts are highly suspicious. He maintained that CCM’s investigation on SUARAM was not politically motivated despite the obvious on-going campaign against SUARAM. An UMNO lawyer had also implied that SUARAM is money laundering terrorist organisation and called upon Bank Negara to take immediate actions against SUARAM.

For the record, SUARAM was formed as a support group for families of former ISA political detainees in 1989 and have since developed and worked on police misconducts, rights of asylum seekers, refugees and persons of concerns, local and participatory democracy as well as a plethora of human rights and civil liberties educational programs and trainings. We claim a moral victory over the recently abolished ISA 1960 and three emergency proclamations after 23 years of struggle together with the people.

SUARAM, and many other organisations’ registrations under the Registrar of Companies were necessitated by the fact that the freedom of association in Malaysia, like many other freedoms is not realizable. Other NGOs have been forced to similarly register under the Register of Companies to continue advocating for human rights due to the restrictions and limitations in the Societies Act 1966.

From the facts laid out above it is no one’s guess that the attacks on SUARAM were highly political and indifferent to the findings revealed in the Paris Papers in regard to Perimekar Sdn Bhd and Terasasi Sdn Bhd’s highly suspiciousaccounts.

SUARAM hereby challenges the government and its agencies to inspect and investigate Perimekar Sdn Bhd and Terasasi Sdn Bhd and reveal its findings to the public in the same manner they had on SUARAM.

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