US spying on Malaysia undermines sovereignty, Khairy says

Umno youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin has said that reports of US spying on Malaysia undermines the two nations' diplomatic relationship. - File photo
Umno youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin has said that reports of US spying on Malaysia undermines the two nations' diplomatic relationship. - File photo

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 1 — Reports that the United States is spying on Malaysia and using its KL embassy as one of its monitoring stations, undermines the diplomatic relationship between the two countries, Khairy Jamaluddin said today.

The newly re-elected Umno Youth Chief said the alleged intelligence gathering will threaten the sovereignty of the targeted countries.

“Reports on United States' intelligence gathering activities in a large number of countries including Malaysia raises questions about the sincerity of the country's diplomatic relations policy.

“The excuse given by the American ambassador to Malaysia, Joseph Y. Yun that the US electronic intelligence facility allegedly installed in these countries, including Malaysia, to monitor terrorism and weapons of mass destruction (WMD), is totally unacceptable,” he said in a statement.

The first-term Youth and Sports Minister also said that if the US is sincere with friendships forged over the years with Malaysia,” they just need to ask for help, work closely and share information about threats” to the Malaysian authorities such as the police and military action.

“This move seems to patronise the intelligence and national security capabilities and a signal that the US has turned its back on Malaysia's sovereignty and undermined the ability of Malaysian authorities.

“The Umno Youth wing views this issue seriously and urge the Foreign Ministry to take immediate action to ask the US Embassy to explain the legitimacy of intelligence reports on the Malaysian government,” the Rembau MP said.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman have yet to issue any statement regarding the allegations.

Home Minister Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi however has said that the government will investigate the claims but refused comment on calls for Putrajaya to censure Washington.

In the latest report on top-secret documents leaked by intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden, it was revealed that there are 90 electronic surveillance facilities worldwide, including in US embassies in Jakarta, Bangkok, Phnom Penh, and Yangon.

A map originally published by Germany magazine Der Spiegel on Tuesday, and sighted by Australian dailies Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) and its Fairfax Media sister publication The Age, dated August 13, 2010, did not show any such facilities in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Britain, and Japan, which are the US’ closest allies.

In August, Australian intelligence sources had confirmed that top-secret intelligence tool XKeyscore - which was revealed by on-the-run Snowden - has been used to spy on Malaysia among other Asia-Pacific countries.

Zahid’s Cabinet colleague Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yacob had criticised Washington and described US spying on the five countries as “immoral” and called on the government to lodge a protest to Washington.

His opposition counterpart Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim echoed the view, saying Putrajaya must censure the US if the claims were true.

The US embassy would not confirm nor deny the allegation when contacted by The Malay Mail Online.

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