Anwar takes Putrajaya to task for “lembik” stand on spying allegations

November 27, 2013 10:32 AM

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Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said Putrajaya should have taken stern action as the nation's pride and sovereignty were at stake. - The Malaysian Insider pic, November 27, 2013. Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim flayed Putrajaya for its lack of action against alleged spying by several countries on Malaysia which affects national security and said the government was instead was more interested in condemning a human rights group.

He said the Barisan lawmakers seemed to be more concerned with the demands of Coalition of Malaysian NGOs, or Comango, than being worried over spying activities on Malaysia allegedly conducted by United States, Australia and Singapore.

"Spying activities are taking place but we just let it be, this affects national security," he charged at a press conference in Parliament lobby today.

In describing the current leadership as "very soft" (sangat lembik) in handling the issue, Anwar took Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman to task for their lacklustre action on the matter.

He said stern action is needed as it involved the nation's pride and sovereignty.

"We should have demanded that they stop all spying activities. We want an apology from them and also a guarantee that such rude work (kerja biadap) will not affect national security," he said.

Earlier this morning, Parliament threw out a motion to condemn Comango, saying Putrajaya had already stated its stand on the issue.

Deputy Speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee had rejected the motion by Datuk Seri Noh Omar (BN-Tanjong Karang) targeting Comango, saying both the Foreign Ministry and the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department had already addressed the matter on November 11.

Anwar had previously accused Najib of "not being brave" enough to reprimand the United States after whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed a global espionage network by the US and Australia that affected Malaysia as well.

He said unlike other countries which had taken drastic action to protest against the alleged spying, Malaysia has been slow to react, sending only a protest note from the Foreign Ministry.

"To date, there is no statement from the prime minister. He is not brave to reprimand the rudeness and unacceptable conduct of the United States," he had said when debating the Budget 2014 last week.

Snowden had revealed that a global espionage network by the US and Australia had affected Malaysia as well.

Snowden alleged that the US was running a monitoring station in its Kuala Lumpur embassy to tap telephones and monitor communication networks.

Last month, Australian intelligence sources confirmed that XKeyscore, a top-secret intelligence tool revealed by Snowden, had been used to spy on Malaysia and other Asia-Pacific countries.

Following the revelations, Anifah told his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop that spying should not take place among "close friends as it could severely damage existing relations".

Two days ago, Snowden also revealed that Singapore aided an intelligence group behind alleged spying activities in Malaysia. - November 27, 2013.


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