PETALING JAYA: The Coalition of Malaysian NGOs (Comango) have said they will file a judicial review in the High Court to quash the decision made by the Home Ministry declaring the organisation illegal.
In a joint statement, Empower Malaysia and Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) said the declaration was a political ploy to distract the people from existing problems such as national disunity, endemic corruption, rising cost of living and others.
"Under S5 of the Societies Act 1966, only the Home Minister may by order declare a society to be unlawful if a society is being used for purposes prejudicial to or incompatible with the interest of the security of Malaysia, public order or morality.
"Among the reasons given by the Chief Secretary to declare Comango unlawful is that we are championing rights that deviate from Islam. This is untrue," said the statement.
They said the organisation is appalled that the Government is using Islam as a political tool to silence criticism of human rights violations and to demonise human rights defenders.
"We are concerned that the Government has not only adopted the language and positions of extremist groups," they said.
They said that none of Comango's work has been contrary to the Federal Constitution, human rights principles or Malaysia's own human rights commitment as a member state of the United Nations.
"Malaysia is actively vying to be part of the UN Security Council. Hence, the Government cannot be part of some UN processes and disavow others," they added.