Zahid would have failed his comprehension test in school if he really believed what he said about his infamous letter to FBI
The Home Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi would have failed his comprehension test in school if he really believed what he said about his infamous letter to the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
As reported by the New Straits Times (Jan 7, 2015), Zahid had clarified that his letter to the FBI was to confirm that the “14K triad” did not exist in the country.
Zahid said the letter was requested by the legal firm Chesnoff & Schonfeld, which is representing Paul Phua Wei Seng, a Malaysian, who, together with his son, are facing charges of illegal bookmaking in Las Vegas.
The two were arrested in July at the Caesars Palace during the Fifa World Cup, with US authorities alleging that Phua was part of the Hong Kong-based triad.
Zahid said: “It was a request to the minister in charge of the Home Ministry to confirm that there is no ‘14K triad’ in Malaysia.”
Last Saturday, lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, speaking on behalf of Phua’s legal team, said Zahid’s letter was to correct a mistake in a report, submitted by the FBI as an internal document to the court, stating they were informed by the Malaysian police that Phua was a member of the “14 triad”.
In the first place, Zahid’s letter was not just to “confirm” that the 14K Triad did not exist in the country, as he clearly vouched for the character of Phua and as good as declared Phua as a “national asset” when he pleaded for Phua’s release when he wrote that Phua had helped the Malaysian government on “projects affecting our national security” and that “we continue to call upon him to assist us from time to time and as such, we are eager for him to return to Malaysia”.
Zahid had mortgaged the reputation of Malaysia and undermined our national sovereignty in writing such a plea to the FBI, for any such letter should have been written by the Police and not by the Home Minister – assuming that the facts Zahid referred to were true – via the Foreign Ministry.
Compounding his infraction, Zahid even tried to strengthen his plea by upping the national ante for an individual, hinting about its impact on furthering “good international relations between our two countries especially in the exchange of information”.
Clearly the Police did not appreciate Zahid’s correction, for the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, while steering clear from commenting on Zahid’s letter, made the cryptic remark that while Malaysians abroad are known to be members of that triad, the transnational crime organization does not have roots here.
Since then Zahid has stayed mum to questions as to what were the “national security projects” Phua had helped the Malaysian government in the past, and furthermore, what are the new “national security projects” Zahid had in mind which made him pen the words “we continue to call upon him to assist us from time to time and as such, we are eager for him to return to Malaysia”.
Can the IGP confirm that the Police are “eager” for Phua’s return so as to call upon him to assist on “national security projects” – in fact, whether the police are aware of any “national security project” which Phua has rendered assistance, or whether such projects were only known to Zahid himself.
It is no more a viable option for Zahid to keep mum or to minimize the fall-out of his infamous letter by claiming that it was only to confirm that the “14K triad” did not exist in the country as it more very much than that.
Why did Zahid sent the letter unilaterally and undiplomatically, keeping both the Police and the Foreign Ministry outside the loop?
Or is Zahid pleading that he did not really understand the import of his infamous letter to the FBI, and if so, who was the real author of his letter?
All eyes are not only on Zahid, but also on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, as to how he is going to handle the first new scandal of his administration in the new year or will he just do what he is now very good at, just bury his head in the sand?