Suaram - a foreign-funded player
KUALA LUMPUR: More questions have been raised about Suaram (Suara Rakyat Malaysia) and its role as an independent non-governmental organisations following expose of it being a recipient of funds from the US-based National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
Questios are being posed as to its claims of being a non-profit organisation with genuine concerns for human rights and yet it has been receiving annual allocations consistently from NED since 2006.
According to the portal AIDC, as stated in NED's annual report, Suaram had received a total amount of US$385,000 (RM1,218,328.65) for the year 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Besides Suaram, other Malaysia-based NGOs being funded as listed by the NED included the International Republican Institute, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, Southeast Asian Press Alliance, Centre for Independent Journalism, Open Dialogue Centre, Mkini Dot Com and several others.
Previously, it was widely reported that Suaram is not even registered as an NGO with Registrar of Society, instead it was registered as a company namely Suara Inisiatif Sdn Bhd with a RM2 as a paid-up capital.
Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM)'s president Azwanddin Hamzah, as quoted in Bernama, had urged Suaram to clarify its doubtful status as a non-governmental organisation (NGO) as a check with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) revealed that it is a private company earning nearly RM500,000 in 2009 and over RM400,000 in 2010.
"We want to know whether the profit was derived from local or overseas sources, the identities of their contributors, and their motive," he told a press conference.
The Mole before this had highlighted few blogs that were questioning Suaram's transparency on managing fund raised through Scorpene 2.0 dinner occasion.
Most of the blogs criticised Suaram for its lack of transparency in managing the fund, when the group has been consistent in highlighting and questioning Barisan Nasional government’s transparency and integrity.
Suaram, an NGO which was formed by a group of people is perceived to have issues with the government had of late been in the limelight for persistently making allegations against the Government relating to the Scorpene issue.
However, blogger A Voice had raised curiosity over Suaram's allegation, as the blogger said, the NGO had failed to prove whether the scandal has enough evidence.