Prove others wrote to FBI too, DAP MP tells Zahid


(Malay Mail Online) – Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi must provide evidence that his colleagues have in the past written letters to the US, much like the one he penned to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on gambling kingpin Paul Phua, DAP MP Gobind Singh Deo said today.

The Puchong lawmaker said as a minister, Zahid is duty-bound to set the record straight on the matter and on a personal level, it would only be right for the Umno man to speak up to clear his name.

“That to my mind, would be the right thing to do,” Gobind said in a statement here.

“As (a) Member of Parliament, I therefore challenge Zahid to produce letters written by his predecessors which are similar to that of which he wrote to the FBI about Paul Phua be it publicly or in Parliament,” he added.

If these letters exist, Gobind said the minister or ministers who wrote them should explain their reasons for doing so.

If they do not exist, however, the DAP lawmaker said Zahid should be prepared to relinquish his post as home minister.

“He (Zahid) must however realise there is a world of difference between ordinary letters written to foreign countries as opposed to that which have similar contents and circumstances surrounding that of the Paul Phua letter which he signed,” Gobind added.

The Phua letter, he said, is significant as it purportedly contained information concerning an individual that was at the time involved in ongoing criminal investigations.

The letter also spoke about matters of national security and from available information, it appears as though Zahid had not consulted with any Malaysian authority before signing off on the correspondence with the FBI, Gobind pointed out.

“There have also been concerns raised over the possible revelation of matters likely protected under the Official Secrets Act without first being declassified, in the said letter,” the DAP leader said.

Earlier this week, Putrajaya said it will not disclose Phua’s alleged involvement in matters of national security as stated in Zahid’s letter, claiming it is highly confidential.

“The government does not plan to disclose any information related to Phua Wei Seng in matters of national security because it is Top Secret and classified under the Official Secrets Act 1972,” Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim told DAP MP Lim Lip Eng in a Parliamentary reply on Tuesday.

Yesterday, Zahid claimed his predecessors had written similar letters in the past but did not divulge further details on the matter, claiming he was willing to “suffer the embarrassment” on his own without implicating his colleagues.

“If I reveal the stack of letters and agreements they had signed with that country (US), they would suffer great shame. But these ministers have denied, nevermind.

“Let me suffer the embarrassment, but I don’t want to implicate others,” he was quoted saying in Malaysiakini in Penang.

The minister also denied allegations that he was in cahoots with the “world’s biggest gambling kingpin”, claiming he has not received a single sen from any gambling kingpin or any illegal gambling groups.

“I have no links whatsoever with any illegal football gambling boss and all these allegations are aimed at me simply because of a letter,” he said.

Zahid has been in the limelight in January when a letter vouching for Phua surfaced during Phua’s trial in the United States.

Phua was facing illegal gambling charges in the US for taking bets during the football World Cup last summer.

Previously, Zahid had reportedly denied vouching for Phua and defended his letter by stating that it was done within his power as the home minister.