KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 — After electoral reform group Bersih 2.0 and the Bar Council, the police are now investigating Lawyers For Liberty (LFL) to ascertain if it also received funds from US billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundations (OSF).
Eric Paulsen of LFL and three others from Bersih 2.0 were summoned to the Bukit Aman to give their statements over the matter today.
According to lawyer R. Sivarasa, the police did not specify the purpose of questioning LFL.
“The police just said it was in relation with the recent raid at the Bersih’s office and maybe they are trying to connect the dots to see if LFL is trying to overthrow the government in undemocratic ways,” he told reporters outside the police headquarters.
Sivarasa said the four were investigated under Section 124C of the Penal Code, which covers the “attempt to commit an activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy,” which is punishable by a maximum 15 years’ jail.
The three others who were summoned today were Bersih’s Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, Farhana Abdul Halim, and Mandeep Singh.
Sivarasa said more activists and representatives of non-governmental organisations will be called up to be questioned on the same matter in the coming days.
“Tomorrow, Suaram and Empower will be hauled up while more Bersih people are asked to come in on Thursday,” he said.
Last month, it was reported that the police were investigating the Bar Council for allegedly attempting to undermine parliamentary democracy because it purportedly received a grant from OSF for a research study.
Prior to that, Bersih 2.0 and the Malaysiakini news portal were also reported to be under investigation over the same matter.
The police investigations come amid controversy surrounding funding from the OSF, which is chaired by Soros, to local non-governmental organisations for an alleged plot to remove the current government.
The OSF has denied the allegation.