Malaysia: Investigate spy charges

Local opposition claims cop headquarters infiltrated by Israeli spies.

April 11, 2010 09:23
1 minute read.
Malaysia's King Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, center

malaysian king queen 311. (photo credit: AP)


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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysia's opposition called for an independent investigation Sunday into claims that Israeli spies had infiltrated the national police headquarters.

Government and police authorities have denied the allegation, which was made by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in Parliament last week in an attempt to cast doubt on the credibility of the ruling party in this Muslim-majority country.

Malaysia is a staunch supporter of the Palestinians and has no diplomatic ties with Israel.

Anwar claimed he had obtained police documents indicating that two former Israeli military intelligence officers entered the federal police headquarters in 2008 and had access to the police communications system while working secretly for a technology company. He did not say what their intentions might have been.

Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein on Friday dismissed Anwar's claim of a security breach as "baseless," and ordered police and government investigators to compile evidence to disprove it.

Lim Kit Siang, a top leader in the opposition Democratic Action Party, on Sunday urged the government to instead set up a high-level independent panel to look into the accusation.

"It is not something which could be dismissed summarily as baseless rumors from thin air," Lim said in a statement, adding that he will request a debate in Parliament next week on whether to set up such a panel.

In recent weeks, Anwar has repeatedly tried to link the ruling National Front coalition to Israeli interests. He has also alleged that the government's widely publicized "1Malaysia" racial unity slogan was modeled on the "One Israel" political alliance set up by former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 1999.

Anwar claimed there were indications that Israelis were trying to get involved in the country's administration.

Government leaders have rejected Anwar's statements as an effort to erode public support for Prime Minister Najib Razak's coalition, especially among the ethnic Malay Muslim majority ahead of a closely watched special election later this month for a state legislative seat.

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