Friday, September 21, 2012

CM slams ‘revenge’ probe on Suaram | Free Malaysia Today

CM slams ‘revenge’ probe on Suaram

Athi Shankar | September 21, 2012
Lim Guan Eng says the ulterior motive is apparent since the authorities chose to act on Suaram only now despite the organisation being in existence for 23 years.

GEORGE TOWN: DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has criticised the federal government’s investigation on human rights organisation Suaram, calling it a “clear act of political revenge.”

By picking on Suaram, the Penang chief minister said Putrajaya had again demonstrated double standard with its selective prosecution.

He was curious why Barisan Nasional did not give the same attention to many companies that had committed more serious financial irregularities.

He noted that Domestic Trade, Co-operative and Consumerism Minister Ismail Sabri had said that Suaram would soon face prosecution for its “confusing” and “misleading financial accounts”.

Lim said Sabri’s statement intensified the attack on Suaram while the BN government’s selective prosecution of Suaram had exposed its penchant for punishing whistle-blowers.

He was convinced that the selective prosecution of Suaram was a political revenge to distract attention from the Scorpene and National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandals.

He recalled that PKR election strategy director Rafizi Ramli was arrested for revealing bank account details that led to the charges against NFC chairman Mohamed Salleh Ismail.

“Suaram appears to have been victimised for its role in publicly highlighting and assisting in the Scorpene corruption trial in France,” he added.

According to press reports, the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) was supposed to have made a recommendation early this week to the Attorney-General’s Office to press charges against Suara Inisiatif Sdn Bhd, a company linked to Suaram, for unexplained financial irregularities.

Lim asked why a privately-funded human rights NGO was being electively victimised over supposed financial irregularities when there were a multitude of high-profile and scandalous cases of alleged corruption and mismanagement of public funds such as the RM500 million commission for the purchase of two Scorpene submarines and the RM250 million NFC scandal.

“No minister ever talked of investigating the accounts of the companies involved in the two alleged scandals,” he added.

He said Suaram’s accounts had been audited and submitted routinely every year and even the NGO leaders publicly declared they had nothing to hide.

“As Suaram was formed in 1989, why take action only now but not for the previous 23 years? Is it an act of vengeance?” he asked.

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