Maria Chin Abdullah says her detention was part of the authorities attempt to create a conspiracy theory revolving around Bersih 2.0 accepting money from George Soros.
9 December 2016
Ambiga quizzed over funding
KUALA LUMPUR: Police have recorded the statement of Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan (pic) over links to the Open Society Institute (OSI), which is part of the Open Society Foundations (OSF) founded by American hedge fund billionaire George Soros.
The former Bersih chairman was questioned for about an hour yesterday after she arrived at about 11am at Bukit Aman accompanied by lawyer N. Surendran.
“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 told reporters outside the police headquarters.
Ambiga 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.
Ambiga added that Bersih had always been transparent about its funding.
“We have always made it clear that Bersih 2.0 received US$25,000 in funds from OSI in 2011 and US$9,690 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 also claimed that the authorities were afraid of NGOs.
“I think they got scared when they know that people support what we are doing. In my view, this is what the investigations are all about,” she said.
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