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Thursday September 20, 2012

ROS probing Suaram over illegal raising of funds

KUALA LUMPUR: The Registrar of Societies is investigating Suaram for raising funds while operating as an unregistered society.

ROS director Datuk Abdul Rahman Othman said the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM), however, was investigating Suara Inisiatif Sdn Bhd the company linked to Suaram.

“The group has held events like forums and fund raisers under the banner of ‘Suaram’ rather than Suara Inisiatif,” explained Abdul Rahman.

He explained that if the Suaram, helmed by Dr Kua Kia Soong, had carried out their events under the banner of Suara Inisiatif, the Societies Act would not have been breached.

Meanwhile, the Attorney-General Chambers has ordered CCM to further investigate the accounts and other related offences allegedly committed by Suaram and Suara Initiatif Sdn Bhd under the Companies Act 1965.

Deputy Solicitor-General II Datuk Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah confirmed that the investigation papers submitted by CCM was incomplete for the AGC to draft any charge.

“Investigation is incomplete and the papers have been returned to CCM,” Tun Majid commented on a media report that charges against Suaram and the company were expected to be brought to court, either today or tomorrow.

Meanwhile, a Bank Negara official confirmed that its probe on the accounts and “money trail” of Suaram and the company was still ongoing.

The official said they were still looking “for (the) source of the fund and its money trail and other suspected transactions”, adding that Bank Negara was also working with other agencies to avoid possible overlapping of investigations before forwarding their own investigation papers to the Attorney-General Chambers.

Recently, Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob disclosed that CCM’s thorough investigation had allegedly detected serious violations of at least five sections of the Companies Act by Suaram and the company.

The minister called for another investigation into whether a US NGO’s alleged funding of Suaram was linked to maverick currency speculator George Soros.

Ismail Sabri asked Bank Negara to investigate the matter under the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001. He also asked the Home Ministry and Registrar of Societies to determine Suaram’s status.

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