The Registrar of Societies (ROS) has issued notices ordering several senior members of the human rights NGO Suaram, including one who passed away two years ago, to have their statements recorded on Friday.
notices, dated yesterday, pursuant to Section 111 of the Criminal
Procedure Code (CPC), were sent to the office of Suara Inisiatif Sdn
Bhd's lawyer, and named Suaram founder, the late Fan Yew Teng, as well
as co-founder Dr Mohd Nasir Hashim and executive director Nalini
Fan passed away in 2010.
embarrassing to note that one of the named individuals, Fan Yew Teng,
had deceased in 2010 but ROS still issued the notice out of ignorance,”
Nalini said in a statement.
She said according to the notices,
the three of them are to present themselves before ROS investigating
officer Ab Rahim Mohammad on Oct 12, to record their statements under
Section 112 of the CPC.
Nalini added its lawyer had also been ordered to produce Suaram’s documents to the same investigating officer.
requesting privileged documents and information belonging to Suaram
from its lawyer, she stated the ROS has violated solicitors-client
privilege and confidentiality as bound under the Legal Profession Act
'Cease all forms of bad practices'
Stating that Suaram’s cooperation to the ROS was premised on protecting and upholding the rule of law despite the “ultra vires
acts of ROS”, Nalini also said Suaram is concerned that ROS may have
breached its professional duties “by acting on political instructions to
“On this note, Suaram strongly urge the ROS, as
law enforcers, to immediately cease all forms of bad practices and act
in accordance to the law”.
Suaram also feels the notices may be the result of the legal research task force set up by ROS last month.
sees a mind-blowing attempt by the task force to stretch the
jurisdiction of ROS beyond its legal scope to probe into a company
registered under the Companies Act 1965.
“On Oct 4, lawyers representing Suaram co-founder and Subang MP R Sivarasa (left)
and secretariat member Cynthia Gabriel at the ROS had respectfully
stated that Suaram’s cooperation to the ROS was in good faith and had
advised that the ROS has no jurisdiction to act against a registered
“It is clear that Suaram, as a registered company, owes
no duty and obligation to the ROS. Despite this, the ROS still saw it
fit to continuously harass Suaram as demonstrated in the latest
notices,” she said.
On Oct 3, both Sivarasa and Cynthia were quizzed
by the ROS over allegations Suaram was receiving foreign funds, with
Sivarasa being questioned for about 95 minutes while Cynthia for 140.
also underwent a three-hour interrogation by the Companies Commission
of Malaysia (CCM) last month, to which she said the probe was
politically-motivated, and that the commission was on a “fishing-expedition” to try and pin fault upon the NGO as well as to try to build a case against them.
the main Malaysian complainant in the Scorpene submarine scandal
currently being investigated by the French courts, has been the subject
of intense investigations by various government authorities after
allegations surfaced that the NGO has been receiving foreign funding.
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