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Total of 20 NGOs under scrutiny for foreign funding

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JOHOR BAHRU — December 16, 2016: About 20 of 50,000 non-governmental organisations (NGO) registered with the Registrar of Societies (ROS) have been investigated since last month for allegedly receiving funds from foreign individuals and organisations.

More are expected to come under the microscope since the authorities have no plans to stop investigations.

“The probe needs to be done to ensure that NGOs do not become a front for certain parties who plan to undermine democracy because many countries in the West and Asia may also have been toppled by outsiders using NGOs,”    Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said after he had launched the search for Ikon Muslimah Johor 2016 here today.

The NGOs being probed include Bersih, the chairman of which Maria Chin Abdullah is believed to have used funds from the Open Society Foundation (OSF) to undermine parliamentary democracy in Malaysia.

News reports said OSF, chaired by George Soros, not only channelled funds to Bersih but also to other local organisations with the aim of influencing election results.

Nur Jazlan said that although the inflow of foreign funds is the responsibility of the central bank, the police must ensure that the money is not used to undermine democracy.

Yesterday, Nur Jazlan attended a forum with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Paul Low, in Kuala Lumpur to discuss how best to regulate money received from local and international parties.

On the allegation that some NGOs had been victimised by the police during the probe, Nur Jazlan said this issue did not arise at all.

“If there is victimisation, we will probe. We only investigate NGOs that receive the funds and use them for activities other than what is stated in their constitutions,” he said. — Bernama

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