Police question Ambiga for one hour over links to Soros-funded organisation

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan has been questioned by police for about one hour here Thursday over links to the Open Society Institute (OSI), which is part of the Open Society Foundations (OSF) founded by hedge fund billionaire George Soros.  

"I only know that I was called in as the former Bersih chairman for matters relating to funding and OSI," she said.  

Ambiga, who was Bersih 2.0 chairman from 2010 until 2013, said she was being investigated under section 124C of the Penal Code for activities detrimental to Parliamentary democracy.

"They keep alleging that we want to topple the Government. Just to be clear, our main demand is fair and free elections. We would be mad to do something like that," she said when met outside the Bukit Aman police headquarters.  

She said the funding for Bersih 2.0 was the focus of the investigation and the issue was not new and had been raised before in 2012.  

She said they had taken an English-language newspaper to court over the allegations then, and the publication had apologised for it.  

She added that Bersih had always been transparent about its funding.  

"We have always made it clear that Bersih 2.0 received US$25,000 (RM110,675) in funds from OSI in 2011 and US$9,690 (RM42,897) from the National Democracy Institute (NDI).  

"Both sums were used in election-related projects and neither OSI nor NDI are banned by the Government," she said.

Ambiga Sreenevasan , OSI , OSF , George Soros