September 23, 2012
Prof Khoo on Foreign Funding for NGOs
By V. Shankar Ganesh and Nabila Sabri| firstname.lastname@example.org
PROF Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim said foreign funding for non-governmental organisations makes the public very uncomfortable and suspicious of the recipients. “It also makes one to question whether the NGOs are in it for the money or for a cause.”
“They claim to fight for justice and human rights, but foreign funding raises so many questions. It’s not morally right to receive such funding, but if you have to get it, please declare it publicly,” said the nation’s well-known historian, who also sits on the board of Integrity Institute of Malaysia.
Khoo said laws should be formulated to make it compulsory for NGOs to declare their sources of foreign funding. He added that this would remove ambiguities on the source of funding and the public would then have no qualms over their agendas.
He said these in response to the New Straits Times front-page report yesterday on several NGOs having received foreign funding amounting to some RM20 million between 2005 and last year.
“We, too, get foreign funding and have no problem about it as our objective is to provide welfare and carry out social activities. But if activities take a political slant, then foreign funding is an issue.
“Based on what I have read, it looks like a pre-planned attempt to jeopardise the nation’s stability.”
He said NGOs needed to make their objectives clear.Halim said if NGOs with political inclinations received foreign funding, they may be inadvertently used for ulterior motives as the funder may have some other interest in the nation.
“To avoid all these issues, avoid such funds, but if still needed, declare them openly. It’s just better if NGOs declared their foreign funders, be they political or otherwise.”
It was reported that investigations into the financial background of several NGOs had uncovered attempts by foreign hands to destabilise the government.
Sources revealed that from 2005 to last year, almost RM20 million, courtesy of the Washington-based National Endowment for Democracy had allegedly been channelled to Suaram (RM1.6 million); National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (RM4.6 million); Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd (RM298,000); and others (RM13.3 million).