Malaysia

Stop selective harassment of Suaram, Pua tells CCM

By Clara Chooi
September 06, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 6 — DAP MP Tony Pua today demanded the government stop its “selective persecution” of Suaram, the human rights group that has been exposing wrongdoings in the controversial multi-billion Scorpene submarine deal allegedly linked to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

The Petaling Jaya Utara MP said in a statement that yesterday’s raid by the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) on the offices of Suara Inisiatif Sdn Bhd, the operating entity of Suaram, indicated that the commission was merely acting on the politically-motivated demands of the government.

Pua (picture) said that several past exposes on how companies linked to Umno leaders have flouted provisions in the Companies Act 1965 had not resulted in similar raids by the CCM.

“The actions by government agencies, under pressure from Umno and right-wing racist organisations such as Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) and Perkasa, particularly by CCM, are of extreme prejudice in nature,” he said.

“It is clear as day that the current persecution is mediated the exposes on Najib and the multibillion ringgit Scorpene submarine scandal,” he added.

In early July, JMM president Azwanddin Hamzah had claimed that Suaram was not registered as a non-governmental organisation with the Registrar of Societies but as a company, Suara Inisiatif. 

Azwanddin, who had also checked with the CCM, claimed that the company’s income stood at RM497,137 in 2009 and RM411,226 in 2010.

Yesterday, CCM officers went to Suara Inisiatif’s company secretary and auditor’s office and conducted a search and seized documents related to the company.

The notices to search and seize were issued under sections 7C and 7D(1) of the Companies Act 1965. 

According to Pua, the provisions accord CCM powers to conduct searches and seizures or “fishing expeditions”, without indicating any particular offence committed by Suaram.

He said the raid was conducted although Suaram had already written to the CCM on July 20 saying that it was willing to provide full co-operation and documents for the probe, if necessary.

Pua recalled that Suaram had also complied with a request from Perkeso to produce a list of documents to the former’s office on August 30.

The DAP publicity secretary said that over the past year he had led exposes on Umno-linked firms breaching the Companies Act, including companies owned by former minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s family members in the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) scandal.

“For example, NFC has granted personal loans to the directors of the company that breached sections 133 and 133A of the Companies’ Act where such loans are clearly prohibited. 

“The family’s other companies, National Meat & Livestock Company Sdn Bhd, Real Food Company Sdn Bhd and Meatworks Sdn Bhd, have failed to hold annual general meetings, file annual returns to the Registrar of Companies together with their audited financial report,” he explained.

These offences, he said, were in clear breach of section 169A of the Companies Act, which carries a penalty of five years’ jail and/or RM30,000 fine.

Similarly, Pua said, Yayasan Gerakbakti Kebangsaan (YGK), which is owned by Umno Youth with Khairy Jamaluddin and Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan as directors, has not filed its accounts since 2009.

“Why is it that up to today, despite the above exposes being made at least six months ago, the CCM has failed to act against the above companies despite the proven breaches?

“On the other hand, why is it that despite having done no wrong, the CCM and the other government agencies have been relentless in their pursuit to charge Suaram,” he asked.

Pua demanded that CCM stay away from all “politically-motivated” actions, saying it would only damage its image as an impartial entity.

“If it has to act against Suaram, then surely action must be taken against the many companies of Umno leaders, family members and cronies which have clearly breached many aspects of the law,” he said.