By Lu Wei Hoong | Malaysiakini
Suaram’s lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad has blasted Wangsa Maju MP Wee Choo Keong’s allegation that he had furnished false information on the human rights NGO as “false and baseless”.
Amer, at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today, took issues with Wee who was reported in the mainstream media claiming that a letter by the former had deceived Suaram’s French attorneys that the NGO was a registered body.
According to the reports, Wee had maintained in Parliament that Suaram was not a registered body.
He reminded the MP that Suaram had already made various public statements to explain that it was registered as a company named Suara Initiatif Sdn Bhd and that ‘Suaram’ was the acronym.
“I am shocked that Wee Choo Keong, the newspapers and the broadcast media (TV3 and NTV7 in particular) that reported Wee Choo Keong’s statements have ignored Suaram’s position on the matter,” he said.
Amer also ridiculed the former PKR and currently Independent MP’s claim of a conspiracy to destabilise the government.
“The allegation of a ‘grand design or a collusion or a conspiracy’ is a figment of Wee Choo Keong’s ‘grand imagination’,” he said.
‘Abuse of immunity’
He said he had explained Suaram’s status clearly in the letter that Wee had cited in Parliament.
“For the record, Suaram is a company duly registered and incorporated under the Malaysian Companies Act 1965 under the name Suara Inisiatif Sdn Bhd.
“It has been carrying out (human rights activities)… under the acronym ‘Suaram’ or ‘Suara Rakyat Malaysia’,” he said.
“I stand by the contents of the said letter,” Amer added.
Umno-owned daily Utusan Malaysia quotes Wee as accusing Amer, without naming him or his firm, of conspiring with Suaram to overthrow the government by certifying the latter as a registered body for the benefit of the French parties.
“This is a grand plan to overthrow the current government. After obtaining several millions in foreign fund, Suaram ‘collaborated’ with a well-known law firm to make the mission a success to the point of writing a letter to confirm that Suaram is a registered organisation,” Utusan quoted Wee saying.
‘Wee’s allegation is character assassination’
Amer said he viewed Wee’s allegation as defamatory and tantamount to assassination of his personal character and reputation.
“I reiterate my challenge to Wee Choo Keong to repeat his slanderous and defamatory accusations outside Parliament and for the newspapers to report it,” he said.
Amer added that Wee should not abuse his parliamentary immunity by making wild allegations.
According to the Hansard, Wee had erroneously attributed Amer as still a member of the prominent law firm Zain & Co, which Amer said he left last year.
Wee, the Hansard says, said it was unacceptable for Amer to use his position as a partner in the famous law firm, as well as his involvement in the Bar Council, to write the letter that “is like a grand design to cover up the matter (the fact Suaram has allegedly received millions in foreign funds) in order to smear our country’s name”.