Saturday, 20 October 2012

Malaysia: Escalating harassment of several members of SUARAM

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Malaysia.

New information:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources of the ongoing and escalating harassment of several members of Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM). 

According to the information received, between September 19 and October 4, 2012, several leaders and staff of SUARAM, including Dr. Kua Kia Soong, Director, Dr. Yeoh Seng Guan, Director, Ms. Nalini Elumalai, Executive Director, Ms. Danapakiam Savari, Finance Manager, Ms. Cynthia Gabriel, secretariat and former FIDH Vice President, Mr. Arumugam Kalimuthu, Chairman, Mr. Sivarasa Rasiah, Dr. Mohd Nasir bin Hashim, co-founders, deceased Fan Yew Teng and Charles Hector, and Ms. Sarah Devaraj, Refugee Coordinator, were served multiple notices from either or both the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) and the Registrar of Society (ROS)[1] regarding inspection and investigation conducted by the two administrative bodies on SUARAM’s registration, accounts and activities. A total of 16 notices were served by CCM and eight notices were served by ROS since July 2012. 

In many instances, the CCM did not allow SUARAM sufficient time to respond to their requests. For instance, on October 2, 2012, the CCM requested SUARAM to produce within less than 24 hours an extensive list of documents related to all grant agreements and offer letters concluded with the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the Open Society Institute (OSI) and all payment vouchers and receipts related to campaign expenses between 2006 and 2011. SUARAM’s lawyers subsequently sent a letter to the CCM to condemn this new request as being both unreasonable and unrealistic, and constituting a clear act of harassment. Despite such short delays, SUARAM nevertheless did produce the documents requested. More generally, SUARAM complied with all orders served by CCM and ROS. 

Since July 2012, SUARAM has been the target of ongoing harassment by the Malaysian authorities through investigations, public vilification and threats to charge SUARAM for alleged financial irregularities, receipt of foreign funds and non-registration as a society (see background information). 

Moreover, acts of harassment have also been perpetrated by other pro-government entities. On September 28, 2012, a coalition of 30 pro-government Malaysian NGOs calling themselves Gerakan NGO Bertindak 1Malaysia reportedly requested that SUARAM be declared illegal and treated the same as other illegal entities such as Al-Arqam, the Malayan Communist Party and the human rights NGO Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf). In addition, in a Joint Memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office on September 27, 2012, the same coalition of NGOs also called for legal actions to be taken by the Home Ministry, the Attorney General’s Chambers, the Central Bank (Bank Negara), the CCM and the Inland Revenue Board against SUARAM members under their respective mandates. The coalition in particular accused SUARAM of having committed “offences against the State" and “offences against the person of the King”. 

On October 4, 2012, right-wing group Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) also declared during a press conference that SUARAM had bribed Government officials to cover up information on its foreign funding. 

The Observatory strongly denounces the escalating harassment of SUARAM, as well as the Malaysian Government’s attempts to discredit those who receive foreign funds for their human rights work. Indeed, as recalled by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in her Commentary to the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders “Governments [should] allow human rights defenders, in particular NGOs, access to foreign funding as a part of international cooperation, to which civil society is entitled to the same extent as Governments. The only legitimate requirements imposed on defenders should be those in the interest of transparency”. 

Such acts of harassment seem to merely aim at sanctioning and hindering SUARAM human rights activities. The Observatory therefore reiterates its call on the Malaysian authorities to put an end immediately to the continuing harassment against SUARAM and, more generally, against all human rights defenders and organisations operating in the country. 

Background information[2]: 

On July 3, 2012, a team of officers from the CCM attempted to serve a notice of inspection to SUARAM, but the organisation pointed out that said notice was defective and hence, invalid. An officer from the CCM subsequently informed SUARAM that the CCM team would come back at 10:30 am on the following day to serve a proper notice. On July 4, 2012, the Directors, Chairman, secretariat members and staff of SUARAM together with lawyers arrived at the SUARAM’s office around 10:00 am in anticipation of the CCM’s scheduled visit. However, the team of officers arrived at 5:53 pm, a long time after the persons authorised to receive the notice had left the office. 

Between July 6, 2012 and September 17, the CCM served notices of inspection to different SUARAM leaders and staff on at least five occasions, requesting them to produce information and documents related to the organisation’s activities and/or summoning them to the CCM offices for interrogation. 

On August 3, 2012, SUARAM received a letter from the Social Security Organisation (PERKESO), an agency under the Ministry of Human Resources, ordering them to bring a list of documents to its office on August 30. It is to be noted that the said letter stipulated a fine up to RM10,000 (approximately 2,500 Euros) or two-year imprisonment or both in case of non-compliance 

In addition, on August 3, 2012, Mr. Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister, stated in a press conference that SUARAM’s accounts were highly suspicious and maintained that CCM’s investigation on the human rights organisation was not politically motivated. A lawyer from the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the largest political party headed by the current Prime Minister Najib Razak, also suggested that SUARAM would act as a money laundering terrorist organisation and called upon Bank Negara (Central Bank) to take immediate actions against it. 

On September 7, 2012, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Wisma Putra) expressed its intention to summon the German Embassy in Kuala Lumpur to explain the alleged channelling of funds to SUARAM for activities which purportedly show its “partiality to certain issues that have implications on Malaysia’s domestic situation”. 

On September 8, 2012, Mr. Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that the CCM had identified five charges under the Companies Act 1965 that could be made against SUARAM. In addition, the Malaysian Government also announced that investigations would be undertaken by several other government agencies, including the ROS that has publicly alleged that SUARAM is not legally registered as a society. 

On September 11, 2012, a meeting was held between the CCM, the ROS, the police, Bank Negara, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, and the Home Ministry, reportedly to determine the jurisdiction and actions to be taken by the respective government agencies against SUARAM. 

On September 13, 2012, former SUARAM staff’s family home was visited by officers believed to be from CCM, had enquired about matters pertaining to registration of businesses. The alleged officers obtained the staff’s mobile number from the family members upon learning that the staff was not at home. 

Action requested:

Please write to the authorities in Malaysia, urging them to: 

i. Put an end to any kind of harassment against all SUARAM staff and leaders mentioned above and more generally against all human rights defenders in Malaysia; 

ii. Ensure in all circumstances that SUARAM and its members are able to carry out their legitimate activities without any hindrance and fear of reprisals; 

iii. Conform with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, especially its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, as well as its Article 12.2, which provides that the State shall “take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of his or her rights”; 

iv. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Malaysia. 


· Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister, Prime Minister’s Office Malaysia, Main Block, Perdana Putra Building, Federal Government Administrative Centre, 62502 Putrajaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Tel: + 60 3 8888 8000, Fax: + 60 3 8888 3444, Email:
· Dato Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Minister of Home Affairs – Security Collective responsibility, Blok D1 & D2, Kompleks D, Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan, 62546 Putrajaya, Malaysia.;Fax: 03-88891613/03-88891610, Email :
· Tan Sri Hasmy Agam, Chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM),Tingkat 11, Menara TH Perdana, Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Fax: + 603-26125620; Email:
· H.E. Mr. Mazlan Muhammad, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Malaysia to the United Nations in Geneva, International Centre Cointrin (ICC), Bloc H (1st floor), Route de PrĂ©-Bois 20, 1215 Geneva 15, Switzerland. Fax: +41 22 710 75 01. Email:
· Embassy of Malaysia in Brussels, 414 A avenue de Tervueren, 1150 Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 762 50 49. Email: 

Please also write to the diplomatic missions or embassies of Malaysia in your respective country as well as to the EU diplomatic missions or embassies in Malaysia. 


Paris-Geneva, October 19, 2012 

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply. 

The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need. 

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
· E-mail: 
· Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
· Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

[1] Owing to restrictive provisions and wide powers of the Minister and Registrar to suspend, ban and cancel any societies deemed to be a threat to national security under the Societies Act 1966, SUARAM has, like a number of other Malaysian human rights NGOs, registered under the Registrar of Companies (ROC) since 2002. 

[2] See Joint Press Statement, Asian and International Human Rights Groups Urge Government to End Harassment against SUARAM, September 17, 2012

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Bertindak segera ke atas Cynthia

KUALA LUMPUR 16 Okt. - Enam pertubuhan bukan kerajaan (NGO) hari ini membuat laporan polis bagi mendesak pihak berkuasa mengambil tindakan segera terhadap Pengarah Eksekutif Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), Cynthia Gabriel yang ingin membawa masuk dua peguam asing bagi memberi taklimat kepada ahli Parlimen mengenai isu pembelian kapal selam Scorpene.

Enam NGO terbabit ialah Kelab Wartawan Muda Malaysia (KWMM), Jaringan Melayu Muda Malaysia (JMM), Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa), Persatuan Pengguna Islam Malaysia, Lembaga Kesedaran Pencegah Jenayah serta Lembaga Perlindungan dan Kebajikan Pengguna.

Presiden KWMM, Dzulkarnain Taib berkata, perbuatan membawa orang asing mencampuri urusan dalaman negara bakal mengancam keselamatan negara.

“Suaram menunjukkan sikap angkuh kerana terus berusaha membawa dua peguam Perancis, William Bourdon dan Joseph Breham mencampuri urusan dalaman negara walaupun laporan polis sudah dibuat terhadap tiga pemimpin pembangkang berhubung perkara yang sama pada 5 Oktober lalu.

“Rakyat tidak harus membiarkan pihak luar mencampuri urusan negara kerana ia akan mengancam keselamatan," katanya selepas membuat laporan di Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah Dang Wangi di sini hari ini.

Menurut Dzulkarnain, Cynthia menyatakan hasratnya itu melalui satu kenyataan yang disiarkan di Harakah Online yang menyebut bahawa Suaram tetap akan membawa masuk dua peguam berkenaan ke Malaysia dalam masa terdekat.

Sementara itu, Presiden JMM, Azwanddin Hamzah berkata, pihaknya akan berusaha menghalang tindakan Suaram tersebut dan pendedahan mengenai penglibatan pegawai kerajaan menjual maklumat dalam kes itu akan dilakukan dalam waktu terdekat.

“Saya mempunyai bukti terdapat pegawai kerajaan menerima sogokan Suaram untuk dedah rahsia kerajaan. JMM akan dedahkan dalam tempoh terdekat," ujarnya

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Saifuddin gagal bezakan isu

KUALA LUMPUR 13 Okt. - Timbalan Menteri Pengajian Tinggi, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah digesa meletakkan jawatan kerana gagal membezakan antara isu keselamatan negara dengan isu politik. 

Ahli Parlimen Kulim-Bandar Baharu, Datuk Zulkifli Noordin menegaskan, sebagai seorang pemimpin yang memegang jawatan dalam Kabinet, Saifuddin sepatutnya boleh membezakan isu pertubuhan haram menerima dana asing untuk menjatuhkan kerajaan dengan isu politik.

Katanya, isu Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) bukan soal politik tetapi perkara itu menyentuh tentang keselamatan serta kedaulatan negara.

"Suaram merupakan pertubuhan haram yang mengutip dana secara haram dan terbukti menerima dana daripada penyangak mata wang, George Soros.

"Saya terkejut kenyataan seperti itu dikeluarkan oleh anggota Kabinet yang jelas menunjukkan beliau tidak lagi layak menjadi timbalan menteri dan patut meletakkan jawatan," katanya ketika dihubungi Mingguan Malaysia di sini hari ini.

Beliau mengulas pandangan Saifuddin dalam portal berita Malaysiakini baru-baru ini yang mendakwa serangan BN ke atas Soros, berpotensi 'memakan diri sendiri'.

Zulkifli menambah, dana yang diberikan kuasa asing kepada pertubuhan haram sudah pasti bukan bertujuan untuk memajukan negara tetapi bagi menghancurkan demokrasi sedia ada.

"Sekarang kita bercakap mengenai Suaram yang terbukti menerima dana asing untuk menjatuhkan kerajaan sedia ada yang dipilih oleh rakyat," katanya. 

Presiden Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM), Azwanddin Hamzah juga senada dengan Zulkifli dan kesal dengan Saifuddin yang cuba mempertahankan sebuah pertubuhan yang terbukti menerima dana dan menjadi tali barut kuasa asing. 

"Kami (pertubuhan bukan kerajaan) bersungguh-sungguh menentang kemasukan dana asing yang bertujuan untuk menjatuhkan kerajaan, malangnya Saifuddin pula mempertahankan Suaram," katanya.

Presiden Persatuan Alumni Pemimpin Mahasiswa Aspirasi Malaysia (Aspirasi), Mohd. Shahar Abdullah pula menganggap Saifuddin seperti 'gunting dalam lipatan' apabila bertindak seolah-olah menyokong Suaram yang terbukti membuat pelbagai fitnah terhadap kerajaan.

"Jika perjuangan politik sudah tidak lagi selari dengan aspirasi kerajaan, adalah lebih baik letak jawatan," jelasnya.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Lum Yong, JMM lapor polis gambar palsu PM

KUALA LUMPUR 11 Okt. - Bekas pengasas bersama PKR, Ng Lum Yong dan Pertubuhan Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) membuat laporan polis bagi menggesa siasatan berhubung penyebaran sekeping gambar yang disifatkan cuba mengaibkan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Gambar yang dipercayai menggunakan teknik pertindihan gambar atau super impose itu didedahkan oleh sebuah blog prokerajaan sejak Jun lalu, yang mendakwa gambar berkenaan disebarkan menerusi sebuah lagi blog milik pemimpin pembangkang.

Menurut Lum Yong, beliau mengetahui tentang gambar yang memaparkan gambar palus Najib, model Mongolia, Altantuya Shaariibuu dan penganalisis politik, Abdul Razak Baginda itu setelah ditunjukkan oleh seorang rakan di sebuah restoran di Ampang.

"Saya curiga dengan penyebaran gambar itu oleh seorang pemimpin pembangkang. Adakah perbuatannya sengaja untuk memburuk-burukkan imej pemimpin nombor satu negara atau konspirasi untuk menjatuhkan kerajaan.

"Oleh itu, saya bersama JMM mendesak agar polis membuat siasatan lanjut dalam hal ini supaya perbuatan tersebut tidak disalah tafsir oleh orang ramai," katanya ketika ditemui di Ibu Pejabat Polis Ampang Jaya, di sini hari ini.

Mengulas lanjut, beliau memberitahu, pihaknya juga sangsi dengan tindakan penyebaran gambar itu yang berkemungkinan mempunyai kaitan dengan Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) bagi memburuk imej Perdana Menteri.

"Laporan hari ini juga mendesak siasatan berhubung kenyataan Pengarah Suaram Dr. Kua Kia Siong di sebuah akhbar, beberapa bulan lalu yang mengatakan pertubuhan itu menerima dana asing bagi membiayai kempen memfitnah Perdana Menteri.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Elak campur tangan kuasa asing


KUALA LUMPUR 8 Okt. - Akta Patriotik dan Kesejahteraan Kaum perlu digubal segera sebelum Pilihan Raya Umum Ke-13 supaya segala bentuk campur tangan kuasa asing ke atas negara ini dapat dielakkan.

Ahli Dewan Negara, Senator Mohamad Ezam Mohd. Noor menegaskan, amat penting bagi Parlimen menggubal akta tersebut segera kerana jika tidak dilaksanakan, kedaulatan politik negara akan digadai oleh tali barut penyangak mata wang asing, George Soros seperti mana berlaku di Georgia.

Jelasnya, menurut penulis Forbes, Richard Miniter, Soros telah membiayai kegiatan politik dan media melalui Open Society Institute di Georgia dengan alasan hak asasi manusia dan kebebasan suara. 

''Akhirnya Soros yang menentukan siapa Presiden dan menteri-menteri di negara yang dibiayainya itu. 

''Mereka yang dilantik memegang jawatan tersebut sudah tentu dalam kalangan tali barut Soros. Inilah demokrasi, hak asasi manusia dan kebebasan suara ala Soros,"katanya kepada Utusan Malaysia di sini hari ini.

Beliau mengulas kenyataan Presiden Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM), Azwanddin Hamzah sebelum ini supaya Akta Patriotik dan Kesejahteraan Kaum digubal segera bagi menyekat sebarang anasir negatif menyusup masuk ke negara ini dan meracuni pemikiran rakyat.

Jelas Azwanddin, akta itu perlu bagi menyekat campur tangan asing yang menggunakan medium media massa termasuk portal berita bagi merealisasikan tujuan tersebut.

Sebelum ini beberapa pihak di negara ini mengaku menerima dana daripada Soros termasuk portal berita propembangkang Malaysiakini dan Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram).

Justeru, tegas Mohamad Ezam, satu akta baru perlu digubal segera bagi melindungi rakyat biasa daripada kerakusan tali barut pihak asing. 

''Akta ini penting demi memelihara demokrasi di negara ini dan supaya tindakan boleh diambil terhadap tali barut yang mendapat habuan lumayan daripada pihak asing seperti Soros,"ujarnya.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Suaram terima RM100 juta dana asing?

KUALA LUMPUR 4 Okt. - Presiden Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM), Azwanddin Hamzah hari ini mendakwa, sejumlah RM100 juta dana asing dipercayai telah dibawa masuk sepanjang operasi Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) di negara ini.

Dakwanya, transaksi dana asing termasuk dalam bentuk tunai itu dikatakan dibawa secara berperingkat daripada berjumlah AS$1,000 (RM3,056.19) sehingga AS$5,000 (RM15,280.94) sejak 1998.

Beliau mendakwa, berdasarkan maklumat bekas anggota pertubuhan tidak berdaftar itu, dana tersebut dipercayai digunakan bagi membiayai kegiatan ceramah politik dan menggerakkan demonstrasi jalanan dengan motif memfitnah kerajaan serta beberapa pemimpin negara ini.

Dakwanya, wang berkenaan juga dipercayai digunakan sebagai habuan rasuah kepada pegawai dalam agensi kerajaan bagi kepentingan sekutu Suaram.

“Kita dapat maklumat ini daripada bekas anggota Suaram.

“Wang tersebut dipercayai dibawa masuk oleh pemimpin-pemimpin Suaram melalui negara jiran. Mereka tidak mahu wang berkenaan dimasukkan melalui transaksi bank.

“Lebih merisaukan adalah wang ini dipercayai digunakan untuk merasuah beberapa kakitangan kerajaan bagi membuat keputusan yang memihak kepada kepentingan sekutu Suaram serta mendapatkan maklumat dan rahsia kerajaan dalam negara," dakwanya.

Beliau berkata demikian pada sidang akhbar mengenai pendedahan terbaru tindak tanduk Suaram di Ibu Pejabat JMM, Kota Damansara dekat sini.

Azwanddin berkata, nama kakitangan yang terlibat akan didedahkan oleh pihaknya dalam masa terdekat. 

Dalam pada itu, Azwanddin turut mendakwa, Suara Inisiatif Sdn. Bhd. (Suara Inisiatif) bukan satu-satunya syarikat yang dikaitkan Suaram yang menerima dana daripada luar negara.

Dakwanya, selain Suara Inisiatif, terdapat sebuah lagi syarikat yang diguna pakai oleh Suaram iaitu difahamkan sebuah syarikat pemilik tunggal, Suaram Komunikasi.

“Kami mendapat maklumat ini daripada bekas anggota Suaram bahawa Suaram Komunikasi adalah syarikat pemilik tunggal yang menerima dana asing. Malah kami juga mendapati National Endownment For Democracy (NED) yang menyalurkan dana kepada Suaram Komunikasi," katanya.

JMM Allegation Baseless, Preposterous: SUARAM Demands Immediate Apology

Press Statement: 4th October 2012

JMM Allegation Baseless, Preposterous: SUARAM Demands Immediate Apology

SUARAM categorically refutes the preposterous and baseless allegations made by Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (“JMM”) that SUARAM had bribed government officials to cover up information on its foreign funding and to gather information related to national security and government secrets from the Prime Minister’s Department, the Finance Ministry and the Company Commission of Malaysia (“CCM”).

SUARAM challenges JMM to substantiate their allegations and demands an immediate apology and retraction of the allegations should JMM fails to do so.

It is evident from the nonsensical allegations that JMM lacks credibility and pays no respect to the laws of the country. Up to this point, SUARAM is still being investigated by the CCM and other agencies and had all along provided full cooperation to CCM and other agencies. The reason being is that SUARAM respects the rule of law and acts in accordance to the requirements of the laws.

We also would like to suggest to all officials alleged to have been bribed by SUARAM to come forth and respond to JMM’s nonsensical allegations.

SUARAM pledges to fight those who attempt to undermine our dignity and credibility as the leading human rights defenders in Malaysia. For as long as violations still exist, SUARAM will be there with the people, loud and clear. On this note, we call upon all Malaysians to stand up for SUARAM and fight to the end against all harassment by the government.

CUEPACS minta siasat dakwaan penjawat awam disogok Suaram

KUALA LUMPUR 5 Okt. Kongres Kesatuan Pekerja Dalam Perkhidmatan Awam (Cuepacs) meminta pihak berkuasa menyiasat dakwaan penjawat awam disogok Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) bagi menyalur maklumat dan rahsia kerajaan.

Presidennya, Datuk Omar Osman berkata jika benar wujud, mereka mestidikenakan hukuman setimpal kerana kesalahan yang dilakukan adalah berat.

``Kalau betul (laporan) akhbar itu, terserah pada pihak berkuasa (ambil tindakan), sebagai penjawat awam jangan mudah terima duit, kita ada etika yang perlu dipatuhi," katanya kepada Bernama, di sini hari ini.

Beliau diminta mengulas kenyataan Presiden Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) Azwanddin Hamzah semalam, yang mendakwa Suaram menerima lebih daripada US$100 juta (RM305.35 juta) bagi menganjurkan protes jalanan dan merasuah pegawai kerajaan.

Suaram bagaimanapun menafikan semua tuduhan itu dan menuntut JMM menyertakan bukti terhadap semua tuduhan terbabit selain mendesak JMM supaya memohon maaf dan menarik balik semua dakwaan berkenaan. - BERNAMA