PETALING JAYA: Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah has denied receiving any form of monetary aid from foreign groups such as the National Democratic Institute (NDI), or the Open Society Institute (OSI) established by hedge fund billionaire George Soros.
Speaking to FMT, Maria explained that the electoral watchdog had not received any form of funding since 2011, and that they had been relying on public donations ever since.
“We have even published our accounts which state the source of our funds.”
However, Maria said that Bersih 2.0 had only received a one-time funding amounting to about RM70,000 from OSI between 2010 and 2011.
“And, that amount only made up 11 per cent of our income at the time.”
On Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that the information implicating Soros in funding Bersih 2.0, Merdeka Centre and Malaysiakini, must be investigated by the authorities.
Zahid’s remarks came in the wake of a report this morning that a foreign group chaired by Soros had been funding several local organisations in its programmes to influence the outcome of the next general election.
Maria said Bersih 2.0 had previously taken New Straits Times to court over publishing an article that implied they conspired with foreign elements to destabilise the government.
“We took NST to court for such wild allegations and NST even published a public apology.
Maria said the authorities were free to investigate Bersih 2.0 regarding such claims but added that these were efforts to intimidate their struggle for a clean and fair election.
“If they want to investigate Bersih, they can go ahead,” she said.
She also slammed Youth and Sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin, for demanding the closure of Dataran Merdeka in a bid to prevent the Bersih 5 rally from taking place.
“Khairy is a minister. How can he make such statements?” she said in retaliation.
Maria also questioned the agenda of the government as well as that of the Red Shirts group for constantly attacking the Bersih 2.0 movement.
“Our agenda is clear. We are talking about clean governance and reform. Instead, I want to know what these people are talking about.
“I want to know what their agenda is.”