Tuesday September 11, 2012
Bank Negara urged to check on allegations Suaram received funding from US foundation
PETALING JAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry has asked Bank Negara to investigate allegations that Suaram has been receiving funds from an American organisation linked to currency speculator George Soros.
Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that while his ministry was also probing the matter, the onus was on the central bank to take further action against the human rights group should the allegations prove true.
“This is because the issue involves the transfer of money from the United States. I hope Bank Negara will do something,” he told reporters after handing out the 1Malaysia Students Discount Cards (KADS1M) at Universiti Malaya here today.
Ismail Sabri said investigations by his ministry found three letters addressed to Suaram dated Oct 17, 2007, Dec 18, 2008 and Feb 12, 2010 stating the awarding of grants amounting to about RM585,770 (US$188,775.65) from an organisation called the Open Society Foundation chaired by Soros.
The letters, he said, indicated that Suaram, and not Suara Inisiatif Sdn Bhd, had received the grant amounts.
“Suaram by itself is not registered as a society under the Registrar of Societies (RoS). As an unregistered entity, it is illegal for them to receive such funding,” he said.
Ismail Sabri said a meeting would be held soon involving Bank Negara, the Companies Commission of Malaysia and the RoS to look into the matter.
Bank Negara said in a statement that it had extended its cooperation to the relevant authorities in the matter.
The others are activists linked to the party like lawyer Charles Hector, Cynthia Gabriel, Irene Fernandez, Irene Xavier and Malaysiakini CEO Premesh Chandran.