Agencies monitoring NGOs with foreign funding sources

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PUTRAJAYA: The Home Ministry is aware of non-governmental-organisations (NGOs) in the country that receive funding from foreign countries, and has been monitoring their activities.

Its minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the relevant departments and agencies have also monitored activities of the concerned NGOs' leaders.

"We will monitor anything that involves foreign funding to NGOs as it will have repercussions on the independence and safety of the country" he said after a meeting with the Public Institute of Higher Learning Police Volunteer Corp (Suksis) and Public Institute of Higher Learning Civil Defence Volunteer Corp (Sispa).

Hishammuddin said the monitoring is justified given the risk it posed to the Malaysia's sovereignity and security.

"Suffice to say relevant agencies under our ministry have always been monitoring any flow of foreign funds into Malaysia as well as tracking its movement in the country.

"The agencies also monitor the movement of several leaders of the NGOs that received the foreign funds," he added.

Hishammuddin said he was not surpised by the New Straits Times front page story on Friday which revealed that Suaram receiving foreign funding from the Washington-based National Endowment for Democracy (NED), an organisation that had been claimed to have “played a significant role in attempting to destabilise legitimate governments and replace them with client proxies”.

"We have been monitoring it, and I am surprised that only now the public are made aware of it," he said.

Hishammuddin added that it is best to leave the Suaram case to the Attorney-General's Chambers for further action.

The NST report, quoting sources, revealed that Suaram had four known foreign funders.

Aside from NED's estimated RM1.6 million already in its coffers, Suaram is also believed to have received RM774,000 (between 2008 and last year) from New York-based Open Society Institute, the administrator for programmes under the Open Society Institute. The German embassy, meanwhile in 2010, allegedly gave Suaram RM21,400. Another RM34,000 was also allegedly channelled to Suaram by Seacem.
 

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein. NSTP/Fariz Iswadi Ismail.


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