Government claims NGOs foreign funding questionable to quash opposition in coming election, after Suaram publishes expose on scorpene scandal
Picture: Officials from the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) conducting
an inspection of the Suaram office. Source: Aliran.com.
FOREIGN funding as the focus of government claims of illegality against non-governmental organisations has been regarded as a political move, to gain greater control over civil society and discredit known critics of the system.
The government fear “that foreign elements are trying to make use of such NGOs as Suaram to weaken the Malaysian government,” said Mustafa Anuar, Secretary of Aliran.
Mustafa said criticisms of the NGOs are “meant to divert attention from the very issue raised by Suaram,” adding that the general election is close and it could be “costly for BN at the polls”.
Political scientist and activist, Wong Chin Huat said they don’t have a strong legal ground, “what they want to do is a political smearing campaign”.
Asked of foreign and opposition parties’ funds to media organisations, he said the problem is “restriction on media freedom, not about… media ownership”.