Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) refers to the recent comments made on the funding sources of Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), the Malaysian Human Rights Non Government Organisation (NGO). It was reported that concerns were raised by the authorities particularly with regards to Suaram’s foreign funding.
As a registered Malaysian NGO, TI-M is aware of the difficulty and challenges faced by civil society in raising funds for our various projects and activities. In fact many of our fellow civil society partners receive foreign funding in some form or other.
TI-M’s principle has always been to accept funding from legitimate sources that do not influence the objectiveness and outcome of the project, create any conflict of interest and risk our independence. Following these principles, we have received foreign funding from various sources over the years. A list of our funding sources is available on our website.
Foreign funding has been a cornerstone of civil society, especially in developing countries as many issues such as corruption, climate change and human rights are global and cut across jurisdictions. In fact universities, think tanks and even the Malaysian government continue to receive funding from various foreign institutions.
NGO’s have contributed significantly for the betterment of Malaysian society through their work in various areas such as human rights, environment and gender equality. So long as the principles of accountability and transparency are followed, NGO’s should not be victimised on the sources of their funding.
Transparency International Malaysia
Datuk Paul Low, President