KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 ― Former Bersih 2.0 chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan is the latest activist to be quizzed by police in relation to funds received from US billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundation (OSF).
Ambiga, who was accompanied by lawyer N. Surendran was investigated under the Section 124C of the Penal Code, which covers the “attempt to commit an activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy.”
She was called in her capacity as the former Bersih 2.0 chairman. She held the post from November 2010 until November 2013.
“Many NGOs have been dragged in. It’s really an all-out attack on the NGOs,” she told reporters at the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman after being questioned by the police for more than one hour.
Ambiga also said the foreign funding issue was not new, and added that she was unclear if she was called in as a suspect or witness.
“I think the problem is they get scared when they know the people support what the NGOs are doing, in my view that’s what this investigation is all about,” she said.
She added that the repeated accusation to topple the government made no sense as Bersih’s primary demand since its inception had been for free and fair elections and for strong institutions.
“If we wanted to do anything else, we would be mad to have our first demand as free and fair elections.
“That means we only want to bring change through the ballot box in a legitimate way. That has always been our demand,” she said.
Besides Bersih 2.0, the police are also investigating Lawyers For Liberty (LFL) and the Bar Council for funds they received from OSF.
On Tuesday, Eric Paulsen of LFL and three others from the Bersih 2.0 steering committee were summoned to the Bukit Aman to give their statements over the matter.