Najib rebuts allegations BN govt purchased Israeli software to spy on Opposition in GE14

Datuk Seri Najib Razak said that he did not know how news portals Malaysiakini and Malaysia Dateline came up with such allegations. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Datuk Seri Najib Razak said that he did not know how news portals Malaysiakini and Malaysia Dateline came up with such allegations. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, May 29 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak today rebutted allegations that his government purchased information gathering and data analysing software from an Israeli company via a Cypriot country to spy on the Opposition a month before the 2018 general election (GE14).

Najib, via a Facebook posting, said that he did not know how news portals Malaysiakini and Malaysia Dateline, which he described as an Amanah mouthpiece, came up with such allegations.

“The article said that phase 1 of the purchasing agreement worth US$1.5 million was with the police’s Special Branch and not with the Prime Minister’s Office.

“I was not the home minister at that time, and I have never ordered or chosen what the Special Branch purchases. They decide for themselves. Is it my job to value and find which software to purchase?” he wrote.

He also pointed out that the article stated that phase 1 of the purchasing agreement was signed in April 2018, which was a month before GE14.

“This means the government had already been dissolved by that time and it is impossible to use the software for the GE.

“If the purchase really did take place, it did not involve the Prime Minister’s Office. Government had been dissolved and we were all busy with our election campaigns,” he added.

Najib also questioned why Malaysiakini and Malaysia Dateline did not ask Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his “gang” why phase 2 of the deal, which started a year after GE14, was three times the value that of phase 1.

“The article stated the purchase involved Special Branch (US$400,000), the Prime Minister’s Office (US$2.5 million) and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) (US$2.2 million).

“Why did the news portals not write about or accuse Dr Mahathir and his gang of purchasing the software to spy on Barisan Nasional (BN) and PAS?

“Instead of questioning the seventh prime minister and also the MACC chief appointed after the election, they quote my name in the article’s headline,” he said.

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