KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysia's opposition calledfor an independent investigation Sunday into claims that Israeli spieshad infiltrated the national police headquarters.
Government andpolice authorities have denied the allegation, which was made byopposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in Parliament last week in an attemptto cast doubt on the credibility of the ruling party in thisMuslim-majority country.
Malaysia is a staunch supporter of the Palestinians and has no diplomatic ties with Israel.
Anwarclaimed he had obtained police documents indicating that two formerIsraeli military intelligence officers entered the federal policeheadquarters in 2008 and had access to the police communications systemwhile working secretly for a technology company. He did not say whattheir intentions might have been.
Home Minister HishammuddinHussein on Friday dismissed Anwar's claim of a security breach as"baseless," and ordered police and government investigators to compileevidence to disprove it.
Lim Kit Siang, a top leader in theopposition Democratic Action Party, on Sunday urged the government toinstead set up a high-level independent panel to look into theaccusation.
"It is not something which could be dismissedsummarily as baseless rumors from thin air," Lim said in a statement,adding that he will request a debate in Parliament next week on whetherto set up such a panel.
In recent weeks, Anwar has repeatedlytried 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.
Governmentleaders have rejected Anwar's statements as an effort to erode publicsupport for Prime Minister Najib Razak's coalition, especially amongthe ethnic Malay Muslim majority ahead of a closely watched specialelection later this month for a state legislative seat.