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Suara Inisiatif 'to face legal action over accounts'

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BOOKS IN A MESS: Probe by Companies Commission reveals confusing accounts, says minister

KUALA LUMPUR: FINANCIAL accounts of Suara Inisiatif Sdn Bhd have been found to be misleading and confusing, according to investigations by the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM).

Based on this, legal action would be taken against the company, said Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob yesterday.

"SSM has completed investigations into the company's financial accounts.

"As a registered company, Suara Inisiatif should provide a clear report on its financial standing, but it was not clear," he said, adding that Bank Negara Malaysia and the Registrar of Societies had also completed their respective investigations.

"We are now waiting for advice from the Attorney-General before we go ahead with the legal action."

Ismail said the source of funding was not a problem, but tallying the accounts with proper documentation and reports was a must for every registered company, and Suara Inisiatif had failed to do this.

On the recent demonstration by several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) at SSM headquarters yesterday, protesting the investigations against Suara Inisiatif, Ismail said SSM had every right to investigate any dubious or suspicious activities within a company.

Suara Inisiatif, a company linked to human rights NGO Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), has been making headlines lately after it was alleged to have received foreign funding from the Open Society Foundation, chaired by George Soros, an internationally acclaimed currency speculator.

Meanwhile, SSM presented their investigations on Suara Inisiatif to the Attorney-General's Chambers yesterday.

Its chief executive officer Mohd Naim Daruwish said they had conveyed their results to deputy public prosecutor Datuk Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah.

"We have given them the facts of our investigations and now we will wait for the Attorney-General to make his decision."

The Commission had come under fire for not taking swift action against the group after it was revealed that they had received questionable funds from a foreign party.

The SSM's scope of investigation was based on five sections in the Companies Act 1956.

Naim said they had based their investigations on one clause in the Companies Act, but declined to reveal which specific one.

He said they would continue to investigate the matter and would not rule out taking action under a different charge if necessary.

In a related development, 25 representatives from 138 NGOs gathered at the SSM headquarters here to oppose the Suaram investigation yesterday,

Suaram directors Yeoh Seng Guan and Kua Kia Soong, executive director Nalini Elumalai and finance manager Danapakiam Savari are being investigated over a foreign funding scandal.

Suaram chairman Arumugam Kalimuthu said to show their support for Suaram they had launched a "Stand up for Suaram" campaign and urged the government to stop the harassment.

Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob giving details of Companies Commission of Malaysia’s investigation into Suara Inisiatif’s accounts at a press conference at the ministry’s office in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Pic by Nurul Syazana Rose Razman


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