One hundred and thirty six NGOs had issued a joint press statement, calling on the authorities to stop the attacks against human rights defender, SUARAM.
They expressed their concern on the comments made by Minister of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism, Ismail Sabri Yaakob, that the financial accounts of Suara Inisiatif Sdn. Bhd, which is linked to SUARAM and currently undergoing investigation, are “highly suspicious”.
They acknowledge the fact that allegations of irregularities of any organisation’s financial accounts can be investigated, but they call on the authorities to be impartial in carrying out the investigation.
Suaram, in its recent press statement, had already expressed their cooperation to the various authorities involved in the investigation.
However, according to the NGOs, it is the authorities themselves such as Perkeso who do not seem to be on top of the investigation process, thus raising further suspicions of political motivation.
They also question why the Companies Commission Malaysia (CCM) only started their investigation on Suaram, after the president of Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) questioned Suaram’s legitimacy as an NGO.
The NGOs felt that Suaram’s on-going Scorpene submarine investigations have something to do with the sudden investigation on Suaram.
They voiced their strong support for Suaram to challenge the government and its agencies to investigate Perimekar Sdn Bhd and Terasasi Sdn Bhd, both GLC companies involved in the Scorpene submarine deal.
‘”We demand an immediate end to the harassment against human rights defender, SUARAM. We also strongly support Suaram’s challenge to the government and its agencies to speedily inspect and investigate Perimekar Sdn. Bhd. and Terasasi Sdn. Bhd. and reveal its findings to the public in the same manner which they have handled the investigations against Suaram.” they said.
The 136 NGOs firmly stated that they will continue to stand in support of all those who work in defense of human rights and democracy in Malaysia.