Report: Bar Council probed under security law over Soros funding


Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 ― Police are investigating the Bar Council for allegedly attempting to undermine parliamentary democracy because it purportedly received a grant from George Soros’ Open Society Foundations (OSF) for a research study.

News portal Malaysiakini reported Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar as saying that the Bukit Aman five-member special team that is investigating polls reform group Bersih 2.0 and Malaysiakini under the same law ― Section 124C of the Penal Code ― is also responsible with probing the decision-making body of the Malaysian Bar.

“Once investigations are completed, we will submit our findings to the Attorney-General’s Chambers for further action,” Khalid was quoted saying.

Section 124C of the Penal Code criminalises the “attempt to commit an activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy,” punishable with maximum 15 years’ jail.

The police investigations come amid controversy surrounding funding from the OSF, which is chaired by American magnate Soros, to local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that has been portrayed in the mainstream media as attempts to intervene in Malaysian politics. OSF has denied attempting to overthrow the government.

National newswire Bernama reported Thursday Datuk Seri M. Ramachelvam, chair of the Bar Council migrants, refugees and immigration affairs committee, as saying that the Bar Council had received a US$15,000 (RM53,757) grant from OSF in January 2015 for a research study on migrant workers in Malaysia.