Human rights group Suaram is preparing for the “worst case scenario” in the government's investigation against it, including the possibility of being declared an illegal organisation.

NONE"We are in discussion (as to) the worst case scenario ... (Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism) Minister (Ismail Sabri Yaakob) has already said there are several charges that could be (brought) against us,” said secretariat member Cynthia Gabriel (left).
"He has also hinted that Suaram is an illegal movement, (so) we are ready for anything."

However, the NGO will only reveal its plans when the time comes.

Cynthia said the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) has deliberately attempted to  portray Suaram as a separate entity from its registered vehicle, Suara Inisiatif Sdn Bhd, in a bid to have it declared an illegal organisation.

"We believe the authorities are actually playing dirty because they are trying to differentiate Suaram and Suara Inisiatif, when (these are the) one (and) the same,” she said today.

NONE"The CCM is trying to build a case against us by trying to separate the legal entity from the actual organisation, which is really uncalled for.”

She said that, when Suaram was formed in 1989, the government had disallowed the name. As such, the NGO settled on the name ‘Suara Inisiatif’ for its vehicle.

‘We've done nothing wrong’

The vehicle, she said, has allowed Suaram to function legally in terms of hiring staff and paying bills, among other administrative matters.

"We need to do many things legally. This is of utmost importance. As a human rights organisation, we believe in transparency and accountability,” she added.

NONE“That's why our accounts are completely up to mark. There is no fault that (CCM) can find (as the accounts are) externally audited every year. In our minds and hearts, (we have done) absolutely nothing wrong.”

Kua Kia Soong and Yeoh Seng Guan, who are on Suaram’s board of directors, have been summoned along with management and finance coordinator Diane Savari to the CCM today, to assist in investigations.