SUARAM Secretariat Member investigated under Sedition Act 1948


Press Statement: 7th August 2013

SUARAM Secretariat Member investigated under Sedition Act 1948

SUARAM condemns selective persecution and use of the Sedition Act 1948 against Suaram Secretariat member and Human rights activist Ms Cynthia Gabriel under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act. We strongly believe that this investigation is politically motivated and is purely harassment against SUARAM and its members for exposing information related to the on-going Scorpene case in the French court.


Ms Cynthia Gabriel attended the investigation today on 7th August 2013 at 3pm at the IPD Petaling Jaya police station. During the investigation, the Investigations officer asked questions unrelated and non-relevant to the Sedition act. The investigating officer failed to produce or show the content of the police report that has been lodged against SUARAM in regards to the Scorpene dinner to Ms Cynthia Gabriel. The questions mainly focused on SUARAM as an organization, for example, what is SUARAM?, is SUARAM a company?, what does SUARAM do and stand for?. These are similar to the questions asked last year when SUARAM faced intimidation from government led agencies. This investigation led to nowhere and the Register of Societies (RoS) dropped their investigation of SUARAM. SUARAM sees this questioning as a waste of time and energy when the police should be investigating criminals involved in random shootings as well as those companies like Perimekar and Terassasi that have been linked to the French investigation.


We urge the Government and the police to put an end to any harassment against Ms Cynthia Gabriel, SUARAM as well as against all human rights defenders in Malaysia. We also call on the Government to abolish the Sedition Act 1948 which is against basic human rights principles and to drop charges of those who have been prosecuted for political reasons.


The Government must comply with all the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and in particular with, “Article 1, which provides that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”.


Released by,

Nalini Elumalai

Executive Director

2nd ROUND of Harassment against SUARAM: Silent Critical Voices proved that the Government is Desperate


Press Statement: 5th August 2013

2nd ROUND of Harassment against SUARAM:

Silent Critical Voices proved that the Government is Desperate


SUARAM condemns the recent selective investigation by the Malaysian police against SUARAM secretariat member Miss Cynthia Gabriel. We believe that the Malaysian government is determined to clamp down on human rights in Malaysia through a sustained campaign to intimidate and harass SUARAM in retaliation for SUARAM’s whistleblowing role in the Scorpene submarine scandal, involving at least RM500 million in suspected kickbacks.

This second round of political intimidation and harassment against SUARAM is proof that the government is determined to silence any form of criticism from human rights and civil society activists, following SUARAM’s last Ops Scorpene fundraising dinner which was held on 19th July 2013. Miss Cynthia will be issued notice 111 under the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) and a statement from her is due to be taken. We were informed that a police report has been lodged against SUARAM in relation to the fundraising dinner.

From July 2012 till February 2013, SUARAM was severely harassed and faced a barrage of investigations from the Company Commission of Malaysia (CCM), Registrar of Society (RoS) and the Police. The RoS by a letter dated 6 March 2013, have now withdrawn all pending notices against SUARAM. Recently the Home Minister said there is no further action against SUARAM.

Throughout the period between July 2012 and February 2013 however, SUARAM was investigated under at least three legislations, namely the Companies Act 1965, the Societies Act 1966 and the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012. We were accused of being foreign agents and furthering Jewish interests in Malaysia and SUARAM was also accused by Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) of allegedly bribing top government officials, including officials from the CCM in the midst of the CCM investigation. The world must view these worrying trends as a signal of a potentially broader crackdown against critical activists and human rights defenders and organisations in Malaysia.

We urge the government and its agencies to stop any further selective investigations in bad faith against SUARAM and other human rights defenders and human rights organisations that have fundamental duties to promote and protect the human rights. This is pure harassment and police actions constitute mala fide.

We challenge the police to spend time and energy to curb serious crime in this country rather than trying to intimidate and harass SUARAM. We also urge the police, Malaysia Anti -corruption Commission (MACC) and the CCM to investigate companies connected to the Scorpene Submarine Scandal such as Perimekar and Terasasi, as recently highlighted in the French media. Stop harassing the whistle-blowers, investigate the corrupt suspects.

Released by,

Nalini Elumalai

Executive Director

RoS withdrew notices, SUARAM withdrew Judicial Review

Press Statement: 18 March 2013


RoS withdrew notices, SUARAM withdrew Judicial Review



The RoS  (Registrar of Society) by a letter dated 6/3/2013, had withdrawn all pending notices against SUARAM. On 11/3/2013, as requested by the RoS, SUARAM withdrew its application for Judicial Review against the RoS and 4 others with no order as to costs. The CCM however, had not withdrawn any pending notices against SUARAM.



The exercise of freedoms in Malaysia comes with a caveat. Because of SUARAM’s resolute stance on defending human rights and civil liberties, the organisation was subjected to continuous harassment by a six-member taskforce orchestrated by the government since July 2012. Throughout the period, SUARAM was investigated under at least three legislations, namely the Companies Act 1965, the Societies Act 1966 and the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.


GONGOs flocked to the orchestra and blew whistles by the side. Apart from being accused of being agents and furthering Jewish interests in Malaysia, SUARAM was also accused by Jaringan Melayu Malaysia of alleged bribery to government top officials, including officials from the CCM in the midst of CCM investigation. Of late, Jaringan Cina Malaysia accused SUARAM of providing USD 2million to the Suluks in Lahad Datu. SUARAM had issued a challenge to them to substantiate their claims; however the whistles are now alarmingly silent.


Now that the RoS had withdrawn all pending notices and the AG had classified the case as No Further Action, SUARAM is still waiting for CCM’s withdrawal of its pending notices. The seven-month harassment had not only wasted SUARAM’s time and resources but also of the taxpayers’ monies. Now, who is going to compensate for the peoples’ losses just because of the government’s vindictive persecution?


Perhaps, it is apt to remind the government of the recommendations made by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, Maina Kiai, in his report, A/HRC/20/27 dated 21st May 2012.


1)                  Any associations should be allowed to function freely, and their members operate in an enabling and safe environment;


2)                  Associations should be free to determine their statutes, structure and activities and to make decisions without State interference;


3)                  Associations should enjoy the right to privacy; and


4)                  Associations should be able to access domestic and foreign funding and resources without prior authorization.




Despite the clear harassment of SUARAM, to date, no enforcement agencies have taken up the responsibility to publicly acknowledge that SUARAM had not committed any offences, let alone reveal the results of the investigations. SUARAM expresses its deepest gratitude and appreciation to all who had stood by SUARAM and will still do for many years to come. STAND UP 4 SUARAM!




Released by,


Nalini Elumalai

Executive Director

Summary of SUARAM Judicial Review Application

28 February 2013

Summary of SUARAM Judicial Review Application




Matter: Judicial Review Application No. R2-25-5-01/2013 (Hearing)

Venue: Mahkamah Tinggi RKK2, Right Wing, Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur

Judge: Dato Zaleha Yusof

Legal Counsel:  Edmund Bon Tai Soon, New Sin Yew, Khor Boon How and Wong Kar Fai




The matter was heard in chambers before Yang Arif Dato Zaleha Yusof. Suara Inisiatif Sdn Bhd (SUARAM) and Roger Chan were represented by Edmund Bon, New Sin Yew and Khor Boon How.  Counsel for the AG representing the Registrar of Society (RoS) has confirmed that they have concluded and ceased all investigation against SUARAM and will not investigate further. The RoS has issued a letter to this effect.


On that basis, SUARAM’s lead counsel Edmund Bon has requested for a short adjournment until 11th  March 2013 so that the AG’s chambers could instruct the RoS to issue a letter to withdraw all outstanding orders/notices which were issued to various individuals deemed to be related to SUARAM. In the event SUARAM does not receive such letter from the RoS, SUARAM will proceed with the leave application.


SUARAM’s judicial review was filed on 5th January 2013 to seek a certiorari order to quash a notice issued to SUARAM’s lawyer, Roger Chan under S51(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code, and to seek declarations that the said notice was null, void and unenforceable. Roger Chan, had been ordered to produce SUARAM’s documents to the Investigating Officer. 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.



SUARAM and its lawyers had in the past advised and maintained that the RoS has no jurisdiction over Suara Inisiatif Sdn Bhd, a company duly registered under Companies Act 1965.  Section 2 of the Societies Act 1966 expressly defines a “Society” to inter exclude “any company registered under the provisions of any written law relating to companies for the time being in force in Malaysia”. SUARAM had since the beginning of RoS investigation provided its full cooperation in good faith despite RoS’ refusal to respond to SUARAM’s letters requesting them to state their jurisdiction and powers over SUARAM.


We would like to take this opportunity to thank all Malaysians who believe in our cause, civil societies, regional and international NGOs, as well SUARAM staff and volunteers to stand firm and fight the intimidation and harassment by the government.Our pledge to fight for human rights and civil liberties stand and will continue for many years to come.

RoS And Police Out To Get Company Secretary Of SUARAM’s Landlord

RoS And Police Out To Get Company Secretary Of SUARAM’s Landlord

Press statement: 7th December, 2012

The Companies Commission of Malaysia (“CCM”), Registrar of Societies (“RoS”) and the police are on high gears to harass SUARAM and other individuals they deemed to be related to SUARAM.

The Company Secretary of SUARAM’s landlord was served a notice under S66 of the Societies Act 1966 at or about 9:00am this morning. The manner of service of the said notice was both terrifying and embarrassing for the company secretary (“the secretary”).

Yesterday, the RoS had attempted to serve the said notice at the secretary’s residence at least twice at about 4:00pm and later returned at or about 8:00pm. Earlier this morning, the RoS has sought assistance from the police, possibly believing that the secretary was evading service. Blaring police patrol car arrived at his residence together with the RoS’ heavily tinted vehicle.

SUARAM strongly condemn the hysterical and heavy handed approach by the RoS just for the sole purpose of serving a notice. The entire episode has caused the wife of the secretary, a high blood pressure patient to suffer series of panic attacks since yesterday. She is currently undergoing medical check-up at Hospital Selayang at the moment.

SUARAM strongly urge the RoS to face SUARAM straight up in accordance to the law and cease harassing other individuals deemed to be related to SUARAM.

In another development, CCM had earlier today served notices under S7D(1) Companies Act 1965 to three SUARAM staff requiring them to appear at the CCM office on 17/12/2012 for investigation for undisclosed offences under the Companies Act 1965.