The recent revelation by Snowden that US embassies in various locations are spy agents has irked opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim into asking Najib to make a stand on the issue.
KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s silence over allegations that the United States is spying on Malaysians is “appalling” given the gravity of the accusation, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said today.
“No country, not even the US itself, would condone or tolerate a spying agency within its shores,” the PKR de facto leader told reporters when met at the Parliament lobby today.
“Spain, two days back, called the US ambassador to lodge a strong protest. The Brazilian president cancelled his trip to the US and his appointment with Barack Obama because of this exposure.”
In contrast, he pointed out, both Najib and the minister of foreign affairs, Anifah Aman, had said and done nothing to convey their condemnation over US’ covert surveillance on Malaysia.
“I am appalled by the meekness of the BN leadership. The prime minister and foreign minister have been unable to respond to a major spying operation by a foreign country.”
He said Malaysia should demand full explanation from the US, or lodge a very strong protest otherwise.
Two days ago, documents leaked by intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the US was tapping into telephones and monitoring communication networks in Malaysia through its Kuala Lumpur embassy.
A map dated Aug 13, 2010, and published by German magazine Der Spiegel showed that the US ran 90 such facilities worldwide, including China, Jakarta, Bangkok, Phnom Peng and Yangon.
But surveillance facilities are located in the US embassies of the country’s closest allies – Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Japan and Singapore.
Home Affairs Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told reporters yesterday that the government will study whether the US was truly spying on Malaysians here.
“We are aware this is a sensitive issue and [the home ministry] will work together with Wisma Putra to determine if the spying is taking place,” he said when met at the Parliament lobby.
“If there are such activities, we shall leave it to Wisma Putra to take action.”