Hishammuddin: Spying on Malaysia can affect relations with countries involved

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said that spying by other countries could affect diplomatic relations. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said that spying by other countries could affect diplomatic relations. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

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KLUANG, Nov 3 — Spying activities on Malaysia by its allies is a serious matter, says Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

This is because it can cause relations between Malaysia and these countries, long established based on trust and sincerity, to be tense.

“I believe if this (spying) is not fully explained, our long-established good relations can be adversely affected. Therefore, we need a full explanation on the extent of the spying activities and for what purpose.

“Tension can be avoided if the allies involved uphold the trust and sincerity in their relations with Malaysia.”

Hishammuddin said this to reporters after attending a Deepavali open house hosted by state Unity and Human Resources Committee chairman R.Vidyanathan, who is also Kahang assemblyman, in Taman Sri Lambak, here, today.

Also present was Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.

The spying issue arose following media reports on the claim made by

intelligence informant Edward Joseph Snowden that the United States had 90 electronic surveillence facilities throughout the world, incluing at its embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

In light of this, Hishammuddin wanted a detailed explanation on the matter as such activities could threaten Malaysia’s security and its other interests.

The US ambassador to Malaysia, Joseph Y. Yun was reported to have explained on the spying claim to Wisma Putra.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said Yun had stated that all surveillance activities by the US throughout the world was specifically for security purpose, to detect treats of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

On his trip to China last month, Hishammuddin said it was aimed at enhancing cooperation in the area of defence, especially through joint exercises, exchange programmes involving navy and other military officers, establishing cooperation between the defence industries of both countries, and efforts to combat terrorism and transnational crime. — Bernama