By Nomy Nozwir and Mohd Farhan Darwis
PETALING JAYA, Sept 19 ― Registrar of Societies (ROS) officers and police personnel attempting to raid the office of Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) were denied entry after failing to present a warrant to enter the premises.
According to lawyer Fadiah Nadwa Fikir who was on the scene, the police and ROS officers arrived at Suaram’s head office around 11.50 this morning.
“They tried to enter and search the office, but we wouldn’t allow it because they did not have a search warrant,” Fadiah told The Malaysian Insider when contacted today.
After being denied entry, the team of six officers and two police personnel issued Suaram with a company registration form, which was also rejected by the organisation’s executive director Nalini Elumalai.
“This organisation belongs to a private company, that is Suara Inisiatif Sdn Bhd, with a registration number (562530-P),” she told reporters today here.
“(Furthermore) we have been investigated by the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) as of July 3 as a company entity,” she added.
Nalini explained that Suaram had not registered as a company as it was only an entity and not an organisation.
“The police presence is harassment of Suaram although we are fully co-operating with CCM,” she said.
Yesterday, Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the CCM will bring charges against the operating entity of Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) for its “misleading accounts”.
He declined to reveal the specific clause in the Companies Act 1965 that will be used to bring charges against Suara Inisiatif within the next two days, saying that the Attorney-General will decide on the charge.
Ismail said the CCM was not bringing charges against Suara Inisiatif for receiving foreign funds.
He also stressed that the CCM only has powers to take action against Suara Inisiatif, and not the human rights watchdog Suaram.
A total of 138 local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and 56 regional NGOs have pledged their support for Suaram, calling for a stop to the “harassment”.
Earlier yesterday, Suaram had launched a “Stand Up for Suaram” campaign to garner public support at the CCM building.
Nurul Izzah Anwar, an MP from opposition party PKR, had shown up in her personal capacity at the launch today.
Suaram is currently in the limelight due to its part in an ongoing French inquiry probing possible corruption in Malaysia’s multibillion ringgit purchase of two Scorpene submarines, which has been linked to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the murder of Mongolian model Altantuyaa Shaariibuu.