There is currently no law to stop companies and organisations from receiving funds from foreign sources - consequently, no legal or criminal action can be taken against those who do, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

NONEMinister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz said this when winding up for the department on points raised during the policy stage of the Budget 2013 debate.

Companies are regulated under the Companies Act 1965, while organisations come under the Societies Act 1966.

"However, there are no provisions in both these laws that prohibit companies or organisations from receiving foreign funds," Nazri said.

"In relation to that, no legal action can be taken against companies or organisation that receive any foreign funds."

Nazri also stated that an NGO can register itself as an organisation with the Registrar of Societies (ROS) or as a company under the Companies Commission Malaysia (CCM).

There are enough laws

On the suggestion to enact a legislation to require all companies and organisations to report any and all foreign funds acquired, Nazri said that there is no need for such a requirement as there are enough laws on financial disclosure governing local firms and NGOs.

Existing legislation, he argued, also exists to combat the spread of subversive foreign influence, such as the newly enacted Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012.

BN and pro-BN MPs had asked about action to be taken against organisations recently accused of having received foreign funds.

Human rights NGO Suaram came under the microscope of both the CCM and ROS recently after reports were lodged about alleged offences.

Pro-BN groups have accused the NGO of being a foreign agent using foreign funds in an attempt to topple the government.

However, Suaram and the opposition have pointed to the NGO’s role in bringing up the case of alleged corruption in the sale of two Scorpene submarine by French shipbuilder DCNS to a judicial inquiry in France as why it is being persecuted.