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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Suaram wants ROS confirm its off the hook

Suara Inisiatif Sdn Bhd (Suaram) wants the Registrar of Societies (ROS) to confirm in writing it has stopped all action against the human rights organisation.

This follows the case before Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Justice Zaleha Yusof today where the representative from the Attorney General Chambers (AGC) representing the ROS, told the judge and Suaram's lawyers that the ROS has stopped all investigations and do not intend to proceed further.

NONEIn a statement released today, Suaram added that the AGC also said there would be no further action taken by the AG in relation to the ROS investigations on it.

Following this, Suaram's lawyers led by Edmund Bon (left) and New Sin Yew, have asked for an adjournment until March 11.
This is to allow time the ROS to issue a letter that they will withdraw or cancel all orders or notices or summons that it issued to various individuals with or without links to the body.

Failing which, Suaram will proceed to get permission to initiate its judicial review.
Justice Zaleha then agreed to the postponement.
Privileged documents
Suaram filed its judicial review on Jan 4, requesting the ROS to withdraw the notice it issued against Suaram lawyer Roger Chan to produce documents under section 51(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code. 

Its application stated that by requesting privileged documents and information belonging to Suaram, the ROS had violated solicitors and client privilege and confidentiality under the Legal Profession Act.

Besides the notice issued to Chan, it was reported that similar notices were issued to seven politicians and activists by the ROS.

tian chua kampung railway residents protest 3These included PKR vice-president Tian Chua (right), Parti Socialist Malaysia secretary-general S Arutchelvam and Empower executive director Maria Chin Abdullah, along with Bar Council chairperson Lim Chee Wee, Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, Malaysian Bar constitutional committee member Syahredzan Johan, and Selangor exco member Elizabeth Wong.
 Suaram has been continuously stated that ROS has no jurisdiction over Suaram as it is a company that registered under Company Act 1965.
It added that Section 2 of the Society Act 1966 clearly defines a "society" to exclude "any company registered under the provisions of any written law relating to companies for the time being in force in Malaysia".
The human rights organisation also said that it has provided its full cooperation to the ROS despite its refusal to respond to Suaram's letters requesting them to state their jurisdiction and powers over it.

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