Saturday 22 September 2012

Suaram seeks Suhakam intervention in continued government harassment

UALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 — Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) said the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) should intervene in the government’s continued harassment of the non-government organisation’s (NGO) parent company, Suara Inisiatif Sdn Bhd.

In their statement forwarded to the media, Suaram said that they had been continually persecuted by the government and its agencies since July 2012.

“The government has to realise that criticisms from critical organisations, like SUARAM and other organisations, are important and shall be welcomed and viewed as an added advantage for the government to understand the needs of the people.

“Undue harassment to silent these voices must be avoided at all costs,” it said.

Suaram asked, among other things, that the commission take a stand on the Minister of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism, Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s (picture) overreaching powers in interrupting and influencing investigations by the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) and to acknowledge the normalcy of foreign funding to organisations in Malaysia.

“Suaram is gravely concerned on the overreaching powers displayed the Minister of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism, Ismail Sabri Yaakob in interfering and influencing the on-going CCM investigation on Suaram,” it said.

Suaram added that it was looking for a “favourable response” from Suhakam.

Earlier this week, the minister said during a press conference that the CCM would only charge Suaram’s holding company, Suara Inisiatif, while further action against the NGO will be the responsibility of other agencies which have their own jurisdictions.

“CCM is only planning to charge Suara Inisiatif and not Suaram.

“Other agencies, such as Bank Negara, the Registrar of Societies, the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission and others, will take further action against Suaram because that is in their jurisdiction,” Ismail Sabri said.

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