Liew: Govt should come clean on TMJ ‘spying’ claim

TMJKUALA LUMPUR: The Inspector-General of Police and home minister must provide a satisfactory answer to the allegation that Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, the Tunku Mahkota of Johor, was being spied on by the Special Branch, said Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong in a statement.

“Tunku Ismail should not be spied on just because he occasionally expresses some views not shared by the Federal Government.

“We call on the government to come clean on this.”

Indeed, added Liew, the government should not spy on citizens because of their political activities or views. “I believe there are no legal provisions for the Special Branch to tap the communications of Tunku Ismail and/or politicians.”

The MP noted that according to de facto Law Minister Nancy Shukri, “since 2009, no communication interception was done involving politicians”.

Liew was expressing Johor DAP’s deep concern following a claim that the Tunku Mahkota was under surveillance by the Special Branch. Tunku Ismail claimed on Wednesday that his phone was being tapped and his movements were monitored by the police.

In 2012 and 2014, recalled the MP, he asked parliamentary questions about the laws that provided the government powers to spy on telecommunications.

“In her reply to me in 2014, Nancy Shukri said that the police are able to intercept communication on the approval of the Public Prosecutor if there’s any information related to an offence.”

He noted that several sections provided powers to the Public Prosecutor to empower the police to intercept communication.

These include, he said, Section 116C of the Criminal Procedure Code, Section 27A of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, Section 11 of the Kidnapping Act 1961, Section 43 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, and Section 6 of the Security Offences (Special Measures) 2012.

In 2012, said Liew, when answering a similar question, the then Minister of Information, Communications and Culture, Rais Yatim, said that Section 252 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 gives power to a public prosecutor to allow law enforcement and investigative agents to perform a lawful interception.

“It’s on condition that these communications might contain relevant information for the purpose of an investigation or offence under the Act.”