Saturday 22 September 2012

Help end Suaram's persecution, Suhakam urged

Human rights group Suaram has lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) on what it describes as persecution by government agencies with their launching of investigations against the NGO.

In a 14-point memorandum delivered to the Suhakam headquarters yesterday, Suaram called on the commission to make clear its stance on the harassment of Suaram which it says violates human rights and civil liberties.

It also urged Suhakam to advise the government to stop these "violations" and to condemn the "perversion" of the civil service in a bid to get at Suaram.

"Suaram is gravely concerned about the overreaching powers displayed by Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob in interfering and influencing the on-going Companies Commission Malaysia (CCM) investigation of Suaram.

NONE"Suaram questions the integrity and overreaching powers displayed by the minister's constant hovering above the registrar of companies and the attorney-general prior and throughout the investigations," said Suaram executive director E Nalini (right).

Nalini noted that Ismail Sabri had placed himself in an "embarrassing situation" after he announced that Suaram was expected to be charged in two days only to have the CCM's investigation papers returned by the Attorney-General Chamber's.

Suaram had insisted that its vehicle Suara Inisiatif Sdn Bhd's accounts are above board, claiming that the government was targeting it for initiating legal proceedings in France on alleged kickbacks from Malaysia's purchase of two Scorpene submarines.

ROS' turn to fish in Suaram pond'

In a separate statement, Nalini also condemned the Registrar of Societies' (ROS) attempt to initiate a new probe against Suaram.

She claimed that the ROS' visit to its office on Sept 19 was another attempt at fishing for offenses against Suaram once the AG chambers had kicked back CCM's probe.

NONE"Suaram views this entire orchestra kicked off by the government since July 3, 2012 as a concerted move to kill freedom of association and all other related freedoms once and for all.

"As leading human rights defenders in Malaysia, we strongly call upon the government to end all harassment and immediately cease its unbecoming perversion of its civil servants," she said.

The NGO had stressed that the name "Suaram" and its legal entity Suara Inisiatif Sdn Bhd were the same and attempts to portray them as being separate was a "dirty trick" to build a case against them.

"A 'society' as defined in Section 2 of the Societies Act 1966 expressly excludes a company registered under any written law relating to companies (the Companies Act 1965) for the time being in force in Malaysia.

"It is by this reason that the Registrar of Societies has no jurisdiction to perform an inspection of Suaram, unlike the CCM whereby Suaram has provided full cooperation since early July 2012," said Nalini.

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