Bersih asset freeze will scare investors, says DAP

By Boo Su-Lyn
July 16, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 — The government’s threat to freeze the assets of those involved with Bersih 2.0 will destroy Malaysia’s financial reputation as bad press abounds on the Najib administration’s handling of last weekend’s rally, the DAP said today.

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Awang Adek Hussin said yesterday that Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) can freeze the assets of those believed to be participating in activities deemed risky to the nation’s security.

“Such actions are detrimental to Malaysia’s efforts to establish itself as a safe haven for capital and investments,” DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said in his keynote speech at the party’s national leadership retreat in Seremban today.

“If assets can be frozen just for participating in a peaceful assembly or for receiving funds from non-profit foreign NGOs, then many innocent Malaysians and organisations will be unfairly victimised,” added the Penang chief minister.

The Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia reported on July 3 that Bersih 2.0 chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan received funds from foreign non-profit organisations through a local bank, saying the bank was chosen to help the former Bar Council president in her plan to “cause chaos in Malaysia”.

It also claimed that an opposition leader owns shares in the bank.

Bersih was also hit by allegations of having received funding from, among others, foreign Christian organisations to finance its July 9 rally for electoral reforms.

But the movement countered the accusations by saying the donations for the rally came from Malaysian citizens here and abroad. It also clarified that money the group received from two US organisations — the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and Open Society Institute (OSI) — were for other projects unrelated to the July 9 march.

Lim said freezing Bersih’s assets would be a “gross abuse” of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act, which allows the central bank to not only bar access to such funds but also trace both deposits and withdrawals of the offending accounts.

“Would others involved in ‘illegal assemblies’ like Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin have their assets frozen?” he asked.

The Bagan MP also pointed out that no action was taken against those suspected of illegally siphoning RM888 billion out of Malaysia from 2000 to 2008.

He stressed that the Najib administration only had itself to blame for the international media’s attack on its “harsh” crackdown on the Bersih demonstration last week.

“So ridiculous was the crackdown that wearing yellow was sufficient cause for arrest.

“The documented beatings and recorded brutal treatment on video tape was completely unprovoked and put Malaysia on the same international platform as the repressive Arab regimes in the Middle East,” said Lim.

  1. #1 by yhsiew on Saturday, 16 July 2011 - 3:05 pm

    Investors will shy away from Malaysia because the authorities muddle things up – they do not freeze assets of corrupt political parties but that of innocent NGOs/organizations.

  2. #2 by monsterball on Saturday, 16 July 2011 - 4:42 pm

    This is another clear double standards ..using power to create fears amongst Malaysians supporting changes to bow down and be good loyal slaves to the government.
    Have no fear….talk is cheap.
    Their threats are cheap and useless.
    Lim Kit Siang loves to protect Malaysian with his life too.
    There is a clear contrast between Najib and Lim Kit Siang.
    Karpal Singh and dozen of lawyers will not stay silent…if the government apply such idiotic rules to silence Malaysians.
    Stay firm and cool.
    They talk alot…and can do nothing.
    Just look at the 1600 arrested…all released.
    It’s a bully show that will not work.
    If they do not release all fast enough…they will see a bigger walk by protestors…braver and fearless.

  3. #3 by dagen on Saturday, 16 July 2011 - 5:17 pm

    Do it umno. Do it.
    Dont issue meaningless threats.
    Dont let this be another one of those “communist” scare.
    Another of the 50,000 silat fighters threat.
    Another 1,000,000 counter protesters warning.

    Just go ahead to seize bersih’s assets.

  4. #4 by k1980 on Saturday, 16 July 2011 - 6:05 pm

    Jibbi Boy’s attempt to freeze Bersih’s assets come from watching too much TV, where the Americans recently froze Gaddafi’s worldwide assets. Jibbi has the stupid idea that after Bersih’s assets are frozen, NATO is going to send its airforce to bomb the offices of Ambiga, Anwar, Hadi and LKS, just like it did in Libya. Wake up, little jibby, your uncle Moo is positioning himself to grab your precious job while you continue to daydream with your thumb stuck in your mouth.

  5. #5 by bruno on Saturday, 16 July 2011 - 9:56 pm

    Our Umno GOM is filled with people who study the nature and habits of animals.Of course students will graduate with animal science doctorate honors.That is why our Umno GOM is filled with people of animal instints.

    We can see by the actions of these people.Whatever comes to their minds they acted in a second’s notice.That is animal instint.They never sit down to discuss,thlnk and planned.In other words they didn’t know how to use the brain that God gave to them.

    That is the reason that a small protest rally by Bersih,a little known NGO outside Malaysia made international headlines and became an instant household name internationally overnight.

    At the rate these guys kept shooting themselves in the foot,it will be no surprise that many of their candidates will lose their deposits in this coming GE.

  6. #6 by monsterball on Saturday, 16 July 2011 - 10:31 pm

    hhhhhhmmmm… England and Italy…two nice countries for exiles.
    Use your imaginations.
    No titles or any decorations for Najib in England.
    Usually the Queen will be smiling pinning a medal at a great foreign leader..especially from a Commonwealth country.
    Here she was smiling wearing yellow.
    She wore same dress for her grand son wedding too.
    Two great events…one colour ..yellow.
    No co-incident at all.
    It is her love for Malaysians just as she love her grand son.
    Take note…no photos in Star paper.. showing Najib and Rosmah talking to the Queen.
    Why not?
    Treated like VIP tourists..that’s all.
    Now wait for Rome and Pope.

  7. #7 by Cinapek on Sunday, 17 July 2011 - 8:59 am

    “… The government’s threat to freeze the assets of those involved with Bersih 2.0 will destroy Malaysia’s financial reputation…”

    Absolutely!! If these idiots cannot see it, let me remind them that such stupid and infantile acts goes beyond just hoping to punish Bersih financially. The whole world will see that the BN Govt is petty, will not hesitate to stoop to and abuse any law and norms of fair behavior (as if their ISA and other abuses are not evidence enough) and manipulate any incidence if their hold on power is threatened, even by legal means.

    Investors look beyond the legal framework to protect their investment interest. They put equal, if not more emphasis on the spirit and genuine sincerity of the country they plan to invest in to protect their investments. If they perceive that country as corrupt, abusing their power, no respect for human rights and with a tainted judiciary, you can rest assure they will look elsewhere.

  8. #8 by tak tahan on Sunday, 17 July 2011 - 11:22 am

    Good observant,monsterball.Thanks for the insightful view of yours.I wonder najis will cancel his audience with Pope or not?Lets see tomorrow.

    P/S Pope,are you following the current news here?Please teach Najis a memorable lesson as he can’t be bothered and never learn his mistakes.

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