Oh yeah. If you're got funds from foreign bodies, nothing to be guilty about. In fact no reason for you to hide that fact.
If you're getting the monies to do some job for your financiers, that's ok too.
You want to bring down the government? Hey that's okay too. But say so.
This is a democracy. You have the right to bring down a government you do not like. But as an NGO, don't pretend you're not doing it when you are really doing it.
(source: The NST)
BETTER UNDERSTANDING: A new perspective on anti-government rhetoric following revelations of foreign funding
by Asmi Anshar
A HANDFUL of non-government organisations and a pro-opposition news
website were reported to have accepted financial grants from foreign
benefactors, and that the funding was the impetus for a slew of
outrageous accusations and skewed reports against government leaders,
the prime minister in particular, in recent years.
Upfront, it's quite all right to suck in this kind of money, especially
in this era of global economic uncertainty and squeezed funds, for
altruistic goals. Some look to government aid, others depend on private
local sponsors, such as banks and wealthy corporations, while a selected
number are chosen by foreign bodies to carry out benevolent programmes.
Every outfit, whether left or right, charitable or activist-minded,
needs patrons with a liberal chequebook. But in doing so, some fail to
live up to the simple rule of accepting money from foreign donors: be
up-front about the money and be straightforward in rationalising the
For example, if you get money from a certain foreign government or
billionaire, then say so from the beginning instead of shrouding the
real intent with surreptitious red herrings like "pro-freedom" and
If your aim is to flummox the already toxic political atmosphere with
your pro-opposition news reports and commentaries, say so, too, instead
of pretending to be the mother of all free press, particularly when your
editors once blatantly told voters to choose the opposition instead of
voting with their inner conscience, as all independent press would do.
The outcome of these pretensions is clear: the reenactment of an
age-old deception, the wolf in sheep's clothing, coming to mind as these
NGOs' equivocal funding is exposed for the absurd but not laughable
attempt at re-colonisation, the kinds infamously chronicled by ex-covert
operatives of foreign spook agencies.
Instead of standing up by whatever political convictions they profess,
the NGOs blame the messenger, the national newspapers, which exposed
their duplicity. These NGOs tag team with their political mentors,
supporters and apologists, vilifying the messenger's so-called "bad
faith" reporting and hopping around the fact that they were caught
wearing the "foreign agent" mask.
If a reporter asks the straight-to-the-gut question like: "Are you
aware that by taking money from foreign donors, you are becoming their
agents?", the NGOs' instinct would be not to explain rationally, but to
scream bloody murder, legal action or something obfuscating like the
"money is not related to our street demonstrations".
Ah... the language of the hypocrite.
The national newspapers are used to these hysterics: they've been so
banned, blacklisted and sued by deluded opposition leaders and their ilk
who can't see beyond their "undemocratic noses".
But the highfalutin high moral ground perched by many government
critics won't see this as an affront to press freedom because it is free
speech only if their own kind highlighted the corruption, but bad faith
if the likes of the New Straits Times or Utusan Malaysia reported their
Ironically, these critics were unwittingly misreported by a certain
website sympathetic to them, but highly critical of the prime minister.
In rapid succession, a Singapore-based foreign scholar was miffed that
her remarks at a forum were misreported as, heaven forbid, endorsing
Malaysian government initiatives, while the daughter of a certain
ex-prime minister was equally miffed that a NGO she once led was said to
have received the same foreign funds, but in her operative words "never
during her time", a benefit of doubt she will be given. It's nice to
know that these critics can remonstrate against a news website
sympathetic to their rants for misreporting.
It's also good to know that their beef with the media is not confined
to just the national newspapers. So, perhaps the scholar and the
ex-prime minister's daughter could also put in a good word to certain
opposition leaders to mitigate their anti-national press demagoguery and
just be even-handed regarding all forms of reporting, good or bad.