PETALING JAYA: Several organisations under the Coalition of Malaysian NGOs (Comango) refuted claims that they have not registered with the Registrar of Societies (ROS).
Association of Women Lawyers president Meera Samanther (pic) said: “We are registered as Persatuan Peguam-Peguam Wanita (Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan 1984).
“We have a registration number and we have been in constant contact with ROS.”
“We have been registered since 1984, we are disturbed by this public statement that we are not a registered organisation,” she said.
Executive Director of Protect and Save The Children, Malathy Nagasayee said her organisation is also registered with the ROS despite the Home Ministry’s claims that they too are unregistered.
Malathy said her organisation was registered under the ROS in January 2002 under the name Pertubuhan Pelindung Dan Penyelamat Kanak-Kanak Selangor Dan Kuala Lumpur (Protect and Save The Children Association of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur) – (P.S. The Children).
“We are definitely registered. I am shocked that they (the Home Ministry) said we are not registered,” said Malathy.
Executive Director of Women’s Centre For Change Penang (WCC) Loh Cheng Kooi assured that her organisation is registered despite contrary claims.
“We are registered under the ROS. We have been since 1985, ” said Loh.
“However, we were previously called Women’s Crisis Centre. But we changed the name to Women’s Centre For Change and got it approved by ROS,” she added.
Other organisations on the list of unregistered organisations are Amnesty International Malaysia, Centre for Independent Journalism, Childline Malaysia, Christian Federation Malaysia and Tenaganita.
Bar Council Human Rights Committee chairperson Andrew Khoo said that the statement by the Home Ministry gave a false impression that many of the organisations in Comango were somehow not registered.
“Many of these NGOs are registered under the Societies Act or as companies under the Companies Act,” said Khoo.
“Further, there is no requirement in law that a society has to be registered under the Societies Act. They can choose to be registered under the Societies Act or Companies Act,” he said, adding that a coalition of societies does not need to be registered.
Comango was one of the coalitions involved during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Malaysia, a United Nations human rights peer review held every four and a half years.
Comango produced a report to the United Nations Human Rights Council which touched on issues such as the administration of justice, freedom of religion, and discrimination involving sexual orientation and race.