Will PM suspend Zahid after FBI letter gaffe? Kit Siang asks


(Malay Mail Online) – DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang questioned today if the Cabinet will propose suspending Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi from the government following revelations the home minister had acted autonomously in his letter to the security agency of a foreign nation.

Alluding to Ahmad Zahid’s controversial letter to the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) — believed to be the first from a sitting home minister—in support of Malaysian booker Paul Phua who is facing illegal betting charges in the US, the federal opposition lawmaker questioned if the Cabinet would take stringent action against one of their one who had placed national interests on the line.

“Zahid had been his own worst enemy.

“He did even more damage to his political and Ministerial credibility by taking the entire Cabinet and the literate Malaysian population as fools when he brazenly insisted that his unilateral, unauthorised, infamous letter to the FBI did not vouch for the character and integrity of an alleged gambling kingpin,” Lim said in a statement.

The Gelang Patah MP also urged three past home ministers to clarify if they have ever, like Ahmad Zahid, written to the FBI, after Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein both denied doing so during their stints.

“The trio should speak up as elder statesmen to clear the air and not behave like fugitives from justice seeking refuge from the truth as if they had done a great disservice to the nation,” Lim said, naming Datuk Seri Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad, Datuk Azmi Khalid and Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as the home ministers who had served from 1999 to 2008.

Ahmad Zahid’s letter to the FBI dated December 18, 2014, was reportedly withdrawn as evidence in Phua’s illegal gambling trial in Las Vegas after Putrajaya objected to it being made public.

In the letter signed by the current home minister, it clearly states that based on the ministry’s information, Phua is neither a member nor associated with the 14K Triad.

The letter also stated that according to its records, Phua has on numerous occasions assisted the Malaysian government on projects affecting the country’s national security.

US authorities have alleged that Phua is part of the 14K triad, which has been described as a fearsome Hong Kong-based triad with international reach.

Both Phua and his son Darren were charged in a Las Vegas court on August 5 last year but both are currently free on bail totalling US$2.5 million (RM7.97 million).