Cynthia maintains Suaram is free from any political influence, especially from Pakatan Rakyat.
KUALA LUMPUR: Suaram director Cynthia Gabriel has denied allegations that the human rights group is closely linked to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).
Cynthia told The Mole PKR leaders such as Tian Chua and Elizabeth Wong had left the group after they were elected as law makers and that they were no longer involved in Suaram.
“I have always maintained that Suaram is not a political party. There were no politicians on Suaram’s board of directors and we don’t have any ties with PKR, DAP or any other political parties", she claimed.
Cynthia admitted that she was appointed as a councillor of the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) by PKR-led Selangor government but insisted the position was given due to the council’s allocation to non-governmental organisation.
“It is a practise by Selangor government to encourage representation of civil society group in the council. It’s nothing political,” she explained.
Cynthia was asked to comment on a post at The Choice which exposed Suaram's links with PKR and other Opposition leaders.
The article also raised several questions pertaining Suaram's relationship with Opposition-linked news portal, Malaysiakini.
It also questioned whether Suaram’s involvement in the Scorpene’s case was to pursue the Opposition's agenda.
Pointed to the series of questions in The Choice, Cynthia said: “Scorpene issue naturally becomes political as it implicates and insinuates the involvement of a high-level politician.”
“Nobody has asked us to pursue this issue but we do it on our own accord. It has nothing to do with any influence from political parties.
“The allegation is quite absurd. People should focus more on the issue rather than making political claims," she claimed.
Cynthia also denied giving detailed updates to PKR on their activities.
“The party and its representative only follow our progress from the press conferences we gave. There were no special briefing to any parties whatsoever.”
Asked why to date Suaram has only been making allegations after allegations but are yet to release any form of evidence Cynthia said they (Suaram) faced "several constraints" from the French law which disallowed them to do so.
“Our lawyers become the custodian of our documents. We do understand people want to see it (the evidence) and we will work around within the constraint to release it,” she assured.
Cynthia also claimed that Suaram keeps calling for press conferences although the Scorpene submarine purchase case was still in court because 'we want Malaysians to be updated on the progress of the case".
Denying ties with Malaysiakini as alleged by bloggers, Cynthia said: “I am not defending Malaysiakini but it picked up the issue when the mainstream media fail to do so despite attending our conferences and talks.”
She added it is baffling why government institutions such as MACC is also silent about it, despite the push from the group to investigate the matter.
“I am telling you things as it is. There is no propaganda on my part. We are just focused on human rights issue and good governance including curbing corruption," the Pakatan Rakyat appointed Petaling Jaya City Council member added.