In response to Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan’s comments on investigations against NGOs
8 December 2016
I refer to Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan’s comments that were published in Malaysiakini report “Why fear if nothing to hide, Nur Jazlan asks NGOs” on 7 December 2016.
I am surprised that his initial response to our claim that the police’s investigations against Bersih 2.0, LFL, Suaram and other NGOs were a “post-Umno annual general meeting witch-hunt” is by being pedantic as obviously we are well aware that the allegations against the NGOs have gone on for some months now and not literally only started after the Umno AGM.
The simple answer to the Deputy Home Minister’s question “why fear if nothing to hide” is that the investigations on receiving foreign funds, purportedly for unlawful purposes, are preposterous and tainted with bad faith.
The work of Bersih 2.0, LFL, Suaram and other NGOs speak for themselves, and there is certainly nothing that warrants any criminal investigations, much less an accusation as serious as section 124C of the Penal Code under the chapter of Offences Against the State that is usually reserved for the most serious offences like the Al-Ma’unah arms heist and insurrection.
The detention of Khairuddin Abu Hassan, Matthias Chang and Maria Chin Abdullah under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) serve as a grim reminder on how far the authorities would go in order to crackdown on the government’s most vocal critics.
The NGOs are therefore well within their rights not to trust the investigating authorities as clearly they are out on a fishing expedition, to look for improbable evidence to support their reckless claims of “foreign funded agenda to topple the government” or “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy.”
Let us be clear, there is no such provision under our law which criminalises receiving foreign funds per se, whether from governments, intergovernmental bodies, businesses, NGOs or funding agencies. To portray otherwise is of course ludicrous as the government has been receiving foreign funds or aid for decades from multiple international sources.
Of more serious concern which the Deputy Home Minister should explain if he would like to claim the moral high ground, is to account properly and transparently the RM2.6 billion that were forwarded into the personal bank accounts of the Prime Minister. He should not take the easy way out by claiming the authorities have investigated the matter or the AG has cleared the PM as such explanation lacks credibility.
Further, in the interest of “why fear if nothing to hide”, the Deputy Home Minister should also explain what Malaysia is giving China in return for its help to make repayment of the billions in 1MDB debt as reported in the Financial Times on 7 December 2016.
Lawyers for Liberty