Hot Topics: Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Suaram 'must practise what it preaches'


BE TRANSPARENT: If it has nothing to hide, it should allow the authorities to investigate it, says minister

RAUB: Pro-opposition non-governmental organisation Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) should practise what it preaches by being transparent in its operations and agendas and reveal the foreign funds it receives.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said it was important for Suaram to do so as it had tarnished the government's image when it claimed there was corruption involved in Malaysia's multi-billion ringgit purchase of two Scorpene submarines.

He said Suaram should emulate his ministry's transparent handling of the issue to prove the purchase was done according to proper procedures.

"If Suaram is transparent and has nothing to hide, it should allow the authorities to investigate it."

Zahid, who is also an Umno vice-president, said this after opening the Raub Umno division's delegates' meeting here yesterday.

He said if Suaram failed to be transparent, it would prove its main agenda was to attack Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the government, apart from belittling the Royal Malaysian Navy.

"Although we have given the explanation and showed the documents (on the Scorpene issue) numerous times, including in Parliament, it continues to accuse us of wrongdoing.

"Since it received foreign funds, it shows that its agendas were also set by foreigners."

Zahid added there was proof of Suaram's connections with foreigners.

Zahid said he was also baffled by Pas' silence on the issue which could be interpreted that the party also supported Suaram and the foreign funds it received.

Suaram directors and finance manager are being probed over a foreign funding scandal involving the Open Society Foundation, chaired by George Soros, an internationally acclaimed currency speculator.

On the ongoing Umno grassroots meetings, Zahid said all divisions and branches had been asked to focus on the Gen X and Y generations, who are aged between 21 and 40, as they made up 42 per cent of the total voters in the country.

He said Umno branches should open their doors to the young people as many of them had joined the opposition due to "the cold shoulder treatment" they received from Umno.

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