Malaysia has no ties with Israel, says Anwar

NILAI: PKR president-elect Anwar Ibrahim has said Malaysia does not have any relationship with Israel.

“So far as I know, our policy has been firm (on ties with Israel),” he said after giving a keynote address at the Islamic Youth Movement (Abim) titled “Visions of Islam in New Malaysia” here today.

Anwar, who was a former deputy prime minister, was asked by reporters on a report in an Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, that Malaysia was allegedly among customers of Israeli cyber-spy companies, purchasing systems that allow the authorities to collate information from social networks and spy on civilians.

According to Haaretz, these systems that Malaysia purchased were non-invasive and focused on open-source information which analysed it in a way that “enables conclusions to be drawn from big data” and to assist the authorities.

“Our investigation found that Israeli firms sold systems of this kind to Angola and Malaysia,” the daily reported.

In 2012, former deputy international trade and industry minister Mukhriz Mahathir, who is now PPBM deputy president, had confirmed that despite Malaysia not having diplomatic relations with Israel, there were trades going on between companies in both countries.

“Much of Israel-Malaysia trade is electronic components or parts incorporated into machinery or equipment by large foreign companies operating here.

“Upon request from large foreign investors here, in 1996, the Cabinet instructed Miti to approve imports from and exports to Israel,” Mukhriz had said.