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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Claims we're funding to overthrow M'sian government 'false', says OSF

The Open Society Foundations (OSF) dismissed claims that it funded attempts to overthrow the Malaysian government, stressing that its focus was on supporting civil society.
"Claims that the Open Society Foundations funded attempts to overthrow the government in Malaysia are entirely false.
"The Open Society Foundations support justice, accountability and democratic practice around the world and in Malaysia our grant-making to civil society includes efforts to promote public health, foster fair migration policies and encourage the civic and political participation of all Malaysian citizens," it said in a statement today.
OSF said its total funding in Malaysia averaged around US$700,000 annually and stressed that all of its activities are non-partisan.

"The Open Society Foundations’ work focuses on empowering communities whose crucial voices have been largely left out from debates around democracy and social justice in Malaysia, such as young people, indigenous people and women.
"For example, the Open Society Foundations are proud that through our support, civil society groups have conducted voter education, polls monitoring and public surveys to provide greater information, participation and oversight for free and fair elections, in addition to cultural activities such as support for an annual film festival.

"The Open Society Foundations also support indigenous communities threatened by dam development in the Sarawak region and efforts to increase protection and access to justice for Malaysian migrant workers and their communities through education and legal aid," it said.

OSF said in its 10 years in Malaysia, it had also supported several organisations in the over 80-strong Bersih coalition.
It said Bersih, which advocates for fair elections and anti-corruption, received small grants from OSF in 2011/2012 but is no longer receiving help.
"The Open Society Foundations do not currently support Bersih," it said.
Government leaders had accused organisations that received funds from OSF of trying to overthrow the BN-led government.

Read more: https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/361457#ixzz4OtNOsvRR

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