Media Statement: Accusations of Foreign Intervention Unfounded

Media Statement: Accusations of Foreign Intervention Unfounded
21 December 2016

We, a group of concerned civil society organisations, condemn the attempts by the Malaysian government to discredit human rights work through the vilification of international funding for civil society. We are committed in our pursuit towards creating an enabling environment for democratic participation and good governance.

We are gravely concerned by recent statements made by Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, and the Malaysian police that about 15 to 20 organisations are being investigated for receiving overseas funding. The funds we receive, whether from local or international funders, are legal under Malaysian laws. There is clear documentation of the funds and multiple levels of oversight to ensure transparency and accountability, including laws in the funders’ countries of origin, scrutiny by Bank Negara, and the mandated audits of our organisational accounts. Read more

Media Statement: Accusations of Foreign Intervention Unfounded

Media Statement: Accusations of Foreign Intervention Unfounded
21 December 2016pdf

We, a group of concerned civil society organisations, condemn the attempts by the Malaysian government to discredit human rights work through the vilification of international funding for civil society. We are committed in our pursuit towards creating an enabling environment for democratic participation and good governance.

We are gravely concerned by recent statements made by Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, and the Malaysian police that about 15 to 20 organisations are being investigated for receiving overseas funding. The funds we receive, whether from local or international funders, are legal under Malaysian laws. There is clear documentation of the funds and multiple levels of oversight to ensure transparency and accountability, including laws in the funders’ countries of origin, scrutiny by Bank Negara, and the mandated audits of our organisational accounts. Read more

Suhakam gesa perlindungan hak asasi manusia lebih baik

Sumber: FMT News

Suhakam menegur penyalahgunaan Sosma dan penderitaan dihadapi Orang Asli di Gua Musang sebagai contoh pelanggaran hak asasi manusia.

Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia (Suhakam) Tan Sri Razali Ismail -- gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia (Suhakam) Tan Sri Razali Ismail — gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Hak asasi manusia perlu menjadi teras pembangunan negara Malaysia jika kerajaan menyasarkan untuk mencapai status negara maju menjelang 2020, kata Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia (Suhakam).

Pengerusinya Tan Sri Razali Ismail berkata, walaupun 2016 menyaksikan beberapa kemajuan dalam aspek perlindungan hak asasi manusia di negara ini, masih terdapat pelanggaran yang perlu diakui dan ditangani.

Ini termasuk salah guna undang-undang keselamatan, khususnya Akta Kesalahan Keselamatan (Langkah-Langkah Khas) 2012 (Sosma) yang digunakan untuk menyekat kebebasan bersuara dan perbezaan pendapat politik.

“Individu tidak boleh ditangkap dan ditahan kerana melaksanakan hak mereka terhadap kebebasan bersuara,” kata Razali dalam satu kenyataan hari ini. Read more

Suhakam says security laws being used to suppress political dissent

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Suhakam chief Tan Sri Razali Ismail — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

Suhakam chief Tan Sri Razali Ismail — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 10 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) said today it is concerned that security laws such as the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) is being used for non-terrorism purposes and to suppress political dissent.

In a statement in conjunction with World Human Rights Day, Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail stressed that Malaysians should not arrested and detained for exercising their right to freedom of expression.

“In its short lifespan, security laws, in particular the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) has been applied for non-terrorism purposes. For this reason, Suhakam is concerned that preventive detention, terrorism and security laws are being used to suppress freedom of expression and political dissent,” he said.

“Suhakam is particularly concerned that although preventive detention is a rare exception, in practice it may become a rule, and used for purposes other than what it was enacted for,” Razali added.

The government has said that Sosma does not apply to acts of terrorism alone and has a wide definition, and that it may be applicable to anything which disturbs national security and sovereignty. Read more

UN rights experts press for visit to M’sia following Bersih crackdown

Source: Malaysiakini

Four UN special rapporteurs for human rights have asked Malaysia when it intends to accept their long-standing request for a visit to ensure compliance with international standards.

In a statement today condemning the crackdown on local human rights activists and dissenters, particularly Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah, the human rights experts reminded the government they had made these requests since 2011.

“Special rapporteurs Maina Kiai and David Kaye recalled their pending requests to visit Malaysia, sent in 2011 and 2013, and 2014 respectively.

“We hope the government will respond positively to these long-standing requests, with a view to ensuring that the state’s legislation and practices comply with international human rights norms and standards”, said the rapporteurs.

They expressed concern particularly over the use of the Security Offences Special Measures Act 2012 (Sosma) as setting a “troubling precedent”.

“Although (Maria) has now been released, the detention of a prominent woman human rights defender under Sosma sets a troubling precedent, by suggesting that democratic participation can be a threat to national security,” they said. Read more

Bersih foreign funding probe selective and baseless — Ambiga Sreenevasan

Source: Malaysiakini

BY AMBIGA SREENEVASAN

Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan is the latest activist to be questioned by cops over foreign funding from US billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundation. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan is the latest activist to be questioned by cops over foreign funding to Bersih 2.0 from US billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundation. — Picture by Choo Choy May

The ongoing investigations into foreign funding of Bersih and other NGOs under Section 124C of the Penal Code is selective and baseless.

Bersih has at all times been transparent about its funding and its accounts. We have always made it clear that Bersih received funds from Open Society Institute (OSI) in 2011 in the sum of US$25,000 and from the National Democracy Institute (NDI) in the sum of US$9,690. Both sums were used in election-related projects.

These allegations are not new. As a result of a suit filed by Bersih and other NGOs in 2012, the New Straits Times issued an apology to Bersih and other NGOs in November 2013 for their baseless allegations of a plot to destabilise the government by using funds allegedly received in the amount of RM20 million.

All the documents relating to the funds received by Bersih were filed in court in that suit.

The repeated accusation that there is a conspiracy of sorts to topple the government makes no sense when Bersih’s primary demand since its inception, has been for free and fair elections and for strong institutions.

Every activity of Bersih is geared towards these demands. Workshops and training are organised. Voters’ rights are promoted. Representations are made to the EC. Election observers are trained. Peaceful assemblies are organised. Sometimes Bersih has had to go to court.

These are all legitimate activities permissible under the law carried out by Bersih and supported by the endorsing NGOs. Read more

Why RM2.6b not probed under Section 124C, asks Ambiga

Source: Malaysiakini

Ambiga Sreenevasan - MMO file pic.

Ambiga Sreenevasan – MMO file pic.

With the spotlight now on foreign funding, former Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan has demanded Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed to provide an explanation on the RM2.6 billion donation issue.

Speaking to Malaysiakini, Ambiga said it was outrageous that NGOs are being hounded over their funding when there is an admission that the RM2.6 billion in Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s accounts was used for the last general election.

“If anything, this is the direct interference in our parliamentary democracy, not the work of NGOs fighting for our democratic institutions.

“The deputy minister owes the public an explanation as to why this RM2.6 billion is not being investigated as an activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy under Section 124C of the Penal Code since, there is a spotlight on foreign funding,” Ambiga added. Read more