‘No law against receiving foreign funds’
KUALA LUMPUR: Receiving foreign funds for activities is not a crime under the law unless it is from prohibited organisations.
In slamming the use of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) on civil society, Bar Council president Steven Thiru said: “The rationale behind the recent use of Sosma for allegedly receiving foreign funding is difficult to fathom. There is no legal impediment on receiving foreign funding and there is nothing to indicate that the alleged funding that is being investigated, emanated from a prohibited organisation under our law.”
“The approach of the authorities appear to be that these funding are being used for activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy, such as toppling a democratically-elected government,” he said.
Steven stressed that the activities of civil societies under investigation are clearly for enhancing democracy in the country, specifically in human rights advocacy and awareness.
“Much of the activities are for the marginalised and vulnerable people in our society, such as foreign workers.
“It is perplexing the authorities have chosen to use Sosma, particularly against organisations which have purportedly received funding from OSF (Open Society Foundation),” he said.
Meanwhile in PETALING JAYA, Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower) president Janarthani Arumugam said during a recent raid at its office, police had threatened the staff with detention without access to lawyers.
Janarthani said Empower condemns the raid and the interrogation of its staff without allowing for legal representation. She said the raid on it may not be the last time Sosma would be used against them.