Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah today cried harassment after being summoned to have her statement taken over allegations that her group was funded by American billionaire George Soros.
Speaking to reporters outside the Federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman today, Maria said the questioning was “pure harassment” and a ploy to stop the Bersih 5 rally on Nov 19 from taking place.
“We have never been secretive about our funding and our accounts, everything has always been transparent.
“What is wrong with Bersih calling for free and fair elections and good governance? It is unacceptable that they (the police) cannot even understand that we need reforms,” said Maria.
She was earlier called in to have her statement recorded as police investigate her for committing an activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy.
Several police reports have been lodged against Bersih, as well as news portal Malaysiakini and independent pollster Merdeka Centre, following revelations that they received funding from Soros’s Open Society Foundations (OSF).
Critics have claimed that the funding was Soros’ attempt to interfere in the country’s affairs.
Maria has since clarified that Bersih had only received a one-time funding of RM70,000 from OSF, back in 2011, and the electoral watchdog had been relying on public donations ever since.