Letter from Najib’s office sent to CIA belittling S’pore as too small to make an impact in Southeast Asia

A letter purportedly written by the top intelligence officer in former Najib’s administration to the Director of Central Intelligence Agency of United States, seeking CIA’s backing for Najib has surfaced.

The request made 5 days before the May 9 general election in Malaysia, was said to be Najib’s attempt to obtain the assistance of a foreign intelligence agency and government to interfere in Malaysia’s democratic election process.

The letter was signed by Datuk Hasanah Ab Hamid, head of the Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO), a powerful intelligence unit under the Prime Minister’s Office in Malaysia.

Hasanah, whose present whereabouts are unknown, is said to have penned the three-page letter to CIA director Gina Haspel, stating that Najib was a US ally with whom Washington could work, compared to Dr Mahathir who was seen as “anti-West (and) anti-Semite”.

Najib had not denied the existence of the letter but merely stated that he was not aware of it.

Yahoo News reported that MP Lim Kit Siang has demanded Najib to explain to Parliament over the letter allegedly sent to CIA. Lim also wanted Najib to explain to Parliament the details about the budget and operations of the secret intelligence unit MEIO under him.

Lim added that the letter should never have been sent by any self-respecting government or official. He called Najib as the “worst prime minister in Malaysian history.”

Singapore too small to make an impact in Southeast Asia

The content of the letter was published by Free Malaysia Today (20 Jul).

In the letter, it pitched Najib as a US ally with whom Washington could work with and denigrated Dr Mahathir. It also promoted Najib’s “progressive foreign policies”, saying Malaysia was a crucial ally and the only viable one in the Southeast Asian region as the others like Singapore and Brunei were either too small, too pro-China or “too immersed in their own domestic political problems”.

5. On the other hand, the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, under the leadership of Prime Minister Najib, which had administered Malaysia over the last 9 years, has a proven track record of not only practicing sound and progressive foreign policies, but also greatly contributing to enhancing regional security through a very active involvement in promoting peace and stability in the region.

Unlike Mahathir, Prime Minister Najib is known to be a strong US ally and would continue to support US presence in the region. Without Prime Minister Najib in charge of the country, the US stands to lose a reliable partner in Southeast Asia given that the Philippines has broken away from Washington, Singapore and Brunei being too small to make an impact and Thailand as well as Indonesia too immersed in their own domestic political problems. Meanwhile the Indo-China countries except for Vietnam are too inclined towards China.

Assuming the letter is written and sent to the CIA under the instruction from Najib, PM Lee must then be very disappointed with him given that PM Lee has treated him like a brother and has appeared in painting together.

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