MEIO should have been used for the interests of national security, and not to try to keep BN in power.
V Anbalagan -February 26, 2020 1:11 PM
PUTRAJAYA: In an unexpected turn of events, former intelligence head Hasanah Ab Hamid today withdrew her appeal whether arrested persons could consult lawyers during investigations.
Appearing before a three-member Court of Appeal bench, chaired by Hamid Sultan Abu Backer, she said lawyer Shahrudin Ali no longer represented her.
“I have discharged the counsel and I am also withdrawing the appeal,” said the ex-chief of the Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation.
Hamid, who sat with Kamaludin Md Said and Hadhariah Syed Ismail, then struck out the appeal.
However, she was spared from paying any costs to the government.
Deputy public prosecutor Wong Poi Yoke did not object to Hasanah’s applications.
Wong later told reporters that the prosecution had submitted its written submission as instructed by the bench whether the appeal was academic.
She, however, said Hasanah’s lawyer did not file any submission.
On Oct 26, 2018, Hasanah failed in her bid to challenge the authorities on her right to legal representation while in the custody of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over the alleged misuse of government funds.
High Court judge Nordin Hassan ruled that the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) provisions which Hasanah claimed had denied her constitutional rights, did not discriminate against any person who had been arrested.
“Sections 28 (8) and 28 (9) of the CPC do not remove any detainee’s right to legal representation. They merely suspend it temporarily,” he had said.
Hasanah was remanded for five days in August 2018 as part of MACC’s investigation into the alleged misappropriation of RM50 million (US12.1 million) in government funds.
She filed the lawsuit, claiming the provisions in the CPC were against Articles 5 (3) and 8 of the Federal Constitution on the right to legal representation and equality.
Currently on RM500,000 bail, she is facing a criminal breach of trust charge amounting to RM50 million at the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur.
Hasanah came under the spotlight after the May 9 general election when a letter written to Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director Gina Haspel, asking for Washington’s support for Barisan Nasional, was leaked to the public.
The letter was investigated by the police, but the then top cop Mohamad Fuzi Harun did not reveal details of the probe.
9 January 2019
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 — The case involving former Research Division director-general in the Prime Minister’s Department (JPM), Datuk Hasanah Abdul Hamid, who is charged with criminal breach of trust (CBT) involving US$12.1 million belonging to the Malaysian government will be heard at the Sessions Court.
This came after deputy public prosecutor Muhamad Iskandar Ahmad, who prosecuted, informed High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali that the prosecution was withdrawing its application to transfer the case to the High Court following instruction from the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
Following which, Mohd Nazlan dismissed the prosecution’s application.
Earlier, Muhamad Iskandar informed the court that last January 4, he received a voice message sent through WhatsApp from Hasanah’s lawyer, Datuk Shaharudin Ali, requesting the prosecution to withdraw the application to transfer the case to the High Court.
He also said that on November 29 last year, the defence informed the court that they would file a notice of motion to transfer the case to the High Court.
“On last January 2, the prosecution filed the application and the following day (Jan 3), before Sessions Court judge Rozina Ayob, the defence said they had no objection, but yesterday, I received a message saying that they (defence ) objected to it.
“Suddenly the (defence) made a U-turn and said their client’s case only involved CBT. What would be Sessions Court judge perception of the action by the defence when the case goes back to the (Sessions) court. We (prosecution) are not happy with this,” said Muhamad Iskandar.
Meanwhile, Shaharudin admitted making the U-turn.
“It is not a problem if my client changed her mind after discussing the matter with her lawyer. The case involving my client is only for CBT and does not involve the country’s security, such as sabotage or espionage,” he added.
The Sessions Court had set February 21 to mention the case.
25 October 2018
KUALA LUMPUR: Former intelligence head Hasanah Ab Hamid today claimed trial to a charge of criminal breach of trust (CBT) for allegedly misappropriating RM50 million in government funds.
She was accused of misappropriating the funds with which she was entrusted at the Prime Minister’s Department between April 30 and May 9.
If found guilty, she faces a fine and a jail sentence of between two and 20 years.
The former Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation was arrested in August, reportedly in connection with the alleged misappropriation of government funds for the election.
Seven other individuals were also detained for investigation, while the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) seized cash worth over US$6.3 million from a condominium unit in Cyberjaya.
Fiat prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram asked for RM1 billion bail and requested that Hasanah surrender her diplomatic passport to the court.
However, Hasanah’s lawyer Shaharudin Ali asked for a reduced amount of RM300,000, arguing that his client’s case had no connection with 1MDB or the earlier cases of Najib Razak and Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah.
He also said Hasanah was a retired civil servant.
“She used to receive RM10,000 a month as pension, but the money has been frozen along with her other bank accounts.”
He added that Hasanah did not pose a flight risk and would defend her CBT charge.
After hearing arguments from both sides, judge Azman Ahmad set bail at RM500,000 with two sureties.
He also ordered Hasanah to surrender her passport to the court pending her trial.
Next case mention is on Nov 29.
30 August 2018
KUALA LUMPUR – INVESTIGATORS are hot on the trail of the US$12 million (RM49 million) said to belong to the government, but allegedly found its way surreptitiously to the office of the Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO).
The New Straits Times has learnt that the money was brought into the country sometime in mid-April, just one week before the 14th General Election, allegedly to fund the polls.
This developing case has since led the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to arrest Datuk Hasanah Abdul Hamid, who is former chief of MEIO, her deputy, who is also a Datuk, and six other officers at their office. Sources told the NST that the money was brought into the country all at once through Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
For the record, the biggest denomination of the United States currency is the US$100 bill.
It is also learnt that authorities have strong grounds to believe that the money was linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd.
“Investigators are still following the trail to establish where the huge sum of money is,” the NST was told.
Authorities are looking into how the stacks of cash could have been transported out of the source country and into Malaysia undetected. Also in the scope of their probe are those who handled the money from start to end.
Hasanah, 61, was remanded yesterday and will remain in MACC custody for five days.
She was picked up on Tuesday, a day after her deputy and the other six were remanded, to help shed light on the missing millions.
MACC also remanded her deputy, as well as the other six, who are Administrative and Diplomatic Services (PTD) officers between Grades 44 and 48, for five days.
It is understood that it was during these initial investigations that more details came up on the missing US$12million.
28 August 2018
It is understood that Hasanah, who headed a unit called the Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO), an intelligence unit under the Prime Minister’s Department during the previous administration, will be brought before the Magistrate’s Court in Putrajaya tomorrow.
7 August 2018
2 August 2018
Former Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO) director-general Hasanah Abdul Hamid may have committed treason in admitting that the leaked letter to the US Central Intelligence Agency is genuine, says a lawyer.
Mohd Haniff Khatri Abdulla believes that Hasanah can be investigated under Section 124C of the Penal Code for attempting to disrupt parliamentary democracy or Section 121 for treason with her admission.
Hasanah should not have revealed that the letter has nothing to do with former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak as the matter is still subject to investigation, the lawyer told Malaysiakini.
“In fact, it is the police who should be making that statement after an investigation – whether Najib is involved or not – as the matter has already been subject to several police reports lodged against the contents of the letter.
“By Hasanah admitting the contents of the letter, she can be investigated under Section 124C or worse still, treason.
“She should be remanded by the authorities and investigated upon as to who is directly behind in giving instructions to writing the contents of the letter. If there is enough evidence, charge her or those behind her in writing the letter,” he said.
Section 124C of the Penal Code is punishable by up to 15 years’ imprisonment, and Section 121 by life imprisonment or death.
31 July 2018
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO), the local spy agency, employs over 1,000 personnel worldwide.
“I am not authorised to say how many agents, officers and operatives are maintained by the agency, but I can tell you it’s well over 1,000 all over the world, and its important that such a leak should not have happened,” said Datuk Shaharudin Ali, the lawyer for former MEIO chief Datuk Hasanah Abdul Hamid (pic).
He said Hasanah was concerned that the trust and credibility of the MEIO would be affected by the leak of a letter issued to the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Shaharudin added that Hasanah was also worried about the safety and morale of MEIO officers.
In a written statement, Hasanah said the MEIO uses the formal name of the Research Division, Prime Minister’s Department.
The division is one part of the country’s national security covert intelligence agency and was set up in the 1960s.
Former Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO) director-general Hasanah Abdul Hamid has filed a police report regarding a letter penned to the CIA ahead of the May 9 general election.
Accompanied by her lawyers Shaharudin Ali and Khairul Azam, she spent about an hour lodging the report with the Travers police station in Kuala Lumpur this afternoon.
Met later, Hasanah refused to comment beyond saying “the letter has got nothing to do with (former prime minister) Najib (Abdul Razak).”
Her lawyers, who requested that their client’s photograph be pixelated, are expected to hold a media conference at their firm’s Sentul office in Kuala Lumpur later this afternoon, but Hasanah won’t be present.
This is the first time that Hasanah made an appearance and initiated action in response to news reports that she had penned the letter seeking US’ support should BN win with a narrow margin in GE14.
28 July 2018
27 July 2018
24 July 2018
Patriot lodges police report against CIA letter author
Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan (Patriot) has demanded that Hasanah Ab Hamid, the former head of Research Division in the Prime Minister’s Department, to explain her letter to the CIA.
Patriot president Mohamed Arshad Raji said Hasanah has committed a serious offence by inviting the outside party to delve into the country’s internal matter.
“Her action could affect the sovereignty of the country. What kind of help would the CIA offer if it was willing to help? If the help materialised, eventually we would have to bow to them,” Arshad said at a press conference in the Patriot office in Subang Jaya today.
Earlier, Patriot lodged a police report against Hasanah at Subang Jaya District police headquarters.
Patriot also questioned Hasanah’s loyalty to the country by writing such letter and asked whether she was under the instruction of a certain party.
“Did she receive instruction from a certain party? Did she get an incentive for writing the letter? Or was she threatened to write the letter?
“And what did she mean when she mentioned that Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is anti-West and anti-Semitic? Why was it necessary that she tarnishes Mahathir’s image in such way?
“She has to answer all of these,” Arshad said, adding that the accusations could affect the international business community.
23 July 2018
22 July 2018
21 July 2018
PETALING JAYA: A former ambassador today claimed a letter purportedly written by the top intelligence officer under the previous Najib Razak administration to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) hints at plans for an “extra judicial power grab” in the aftermath of the 14th general election (GE14).
“I find it very strange, even bizarre, that our intelligence agency, a government department, would send such a letter to their US counterpart,” Dennis Ignatius told FMT.
“My sense is that there is perhaps more than meets the eye here.”
The former high commissioner to Canada noted that the letter didn’t ask for US support to win the election.
Rather, it appeared to seek their understanding and support in the period immediately following the election, he said.
Dennis claimed this suggested that in the final days of campaigning, Najib was anticipating losing the election and might have had to use the National Security Council Act to stay in power.
“Under such circumstances, MEIO was attempting to persuade the CIA and the US government to endorse an extra-judicial power grab by BN in the interests of national and regional stability.”
He said the letter attempted to convince the US that such a move would serve Washington’s interests well, given Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s previous anti-Western bias, and that Najib might be more mindful of the US’ interests in relation to China, if it endorsed whatever actions Najib might take.
“It represents, in my view, nothing less than a shocking and shameful appeal to the US to side with Najib against Mahathir in the event of an electoral impasse or a close call.
“It follows a pattern set by other regimes on the verge of losing power.
“Though Najib himself may or may not have known about the letter, it is an indication of the extent his administration was willing to go to hold on to power.”
Najib has distanced himself from the alleged letter, saying he was not aware of it.
20 July 2018
- New conversation
“Najib has distanced himself from the alleged letter to CIA to saying he was not aware of it.” It’s insane how NAJIB RAZAK ruled the nation. Always oblivious and denial to everything that’s around him. He was clearly UNFIT AND INCOMPETENT. God saved Malaysia from Najib/Umno.
He was clearly a puppet whose puppet master’s intention was ultimately to destroy & usurp Malaysia imo.
We need to investigate this! Hasanah Abdul Hamid, the director-general of the research division of the Prime Minister’s Department, had written a letter dated May 4 to then CIA director-designate Gina Haspel, appealing for US support…
19 July 2018
Najib denies instructing division to pen letter to CIA
Najib Abdul Razak said he did not instruct the Research Division in the Prime Minister’s Department to pen a letter to the CIA seeking US support ahead of the May 9 general election.
The former prime minister also claimed he had no knowledge about the letter and what was reported in the correspondence that suggested it was about securing US’ support after, and not before the election.
“I am surprised,” Najib told Malaysiakini this afternoon. “I did not even know of its existence. Not all letters have to go through me.”
Najib pointed out that agencies, especially those related to intelligence matters, have the autonomy to perform their duties for reasons they think would benefit them.
“While I have not had a chance to see the letter, what was reported by the media suggested that this letter was to seek that the US continues its support for the Malaysia government should BN win the election for reasons of the country’s stability, post-election.
“What was reported about the letter does not seem to seek US backing to help win the elections – but after the election,” he added.
Najib said the letter could have been sent with the intention to preserve the stability of the government after the election in the event of a narrow win.
“Perhaps the media can reveal the whole letter so everyone, including me, can have a better understanding?” he added.
PM Dept’s letter to CIA sought US backing in event of narrow GE14 win
EXCLUSIVE | Five days before the May 9 general election, the Research Division in the Prime Minister’s Department, which is touted to be an intelligence unit, had penned a letter to then-CIA director designate Gina Haspel.
Acknowledging that the 14th general election could be the most tightly contested ever in Malaysian history, the three-page letter sighted by Malaysiakini, however, said former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak was expected to “win the election adequately to form the next government”.
Despite the confidence, the letter appealed for US support for Najib’s administration “even if we win the election by a simple majority or just one seat.”
The letter states: “I hope Your Excellency’s esteemed service would be able to report to the secretary of state on the complexity of managing this election by Prime Minister Najib and the need to have US support for the present government even if we are to win the election by a simple majority or just one seat.
“Any indication that the US government would continue to support Prime Minister Najib and his government would definitely strengthen our stability and enhance the existing cordial relationship driven by the strong rapport between our two leaders.”
A spokesperson for Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s administration confirmed the authenticity of the letter but declined to comment.
The letter to the CIA director, who was appointed in late May under the Donald Trump administration, also touched on Mahathir working with the opposition.
“Your Excellency must be well informed that Mahathir, essentially, is not a reformer that could enhance Malaysia’s national interest as he joined the opposition for his own self-interest.
“Meanwhile, the opposition hopes to use his (Mahathir) prowess in politics to defeat Prime Minister Najib’s party,” read the letter by the division’s director general Hasanah Ab Hamid.
‘Anti-west Mahathir, pro-US Najib’
Pointing out that Pakatan Harapan had picked the 93-year-old former prime minister to lead it in the GE14, the letter added: “Mahathir in the past has been anti-West, anti-Semite, autocratic, silenced dissent through force, totally disregarded human rights and the rule of law.
“It was during his tenure that the Internal Security Act was heavily abused for his own political agenda and allowed him to rule Malaysia for more than two decades.”
On the other hand, the letter heaped laurels on Najib’s nine-year tenure, stating that he had a proven track record of not only practising sound and progressive foreign policies but also contributing to regional security through active involvement in promoting peace and stability in the region.
The letter also mentioned Malaysiakini and Sarawak Report, claiming that the opposition was spreading negative narratives on the political and socio-economic policies through these portals.
“Earlier, they (the opposition) had established NGOs such as Bersih Global to advocate an Arab Spring-like uprising in Malaysia.
“In 2016, the opposition’s hope to wrest control of the government seemed a bit promising as Mahathir joined them.
“Ironically, the entire 20 years of the opposition’s ‘reformasi’ movement by Anwar Ibrahim was about opposing and challenging Mahathir’s tyranny,” it added.