KL 'closes case' on reports of spying by S'pore

KL 'closes case' on reports of spying by S'pore
Malaysian Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (left) presenting a copy of the Quran to Senior Minister of State Masagos Zulkifli when they met and exchanged gifts in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia considers the issue of whether it was spied on by Singapore as closed, and bilateral relations remain intact, Malaysian Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has said.

"As far as I am concerned, the issue is closed," he was quoted as saying by The Star newspaper on Wednesday.

Datuk Seri Zahid's comments came after a meeting on Tuesday with visiting Singapore Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs Masagos Zulkifli. The Malaysian Home Minister said: "I believe in the sharing of information and intelligence with Singapore for our mutual benefit."

The spying issue was not raised during their meeting, he was quoted as saying.

The spying allegations came on the heels of Australian media reports that Canberra tried to tap the phones of Indonesian leaders, including President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife and his inner circle in 2009.

This sparked a furious diplomatic row between the two neighbouring countries.

In Sydney on Wednesday, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop's office said she will hold talks with Indonesian officials today to repair relations strained by the allegations.

"The minister will lead a high-level delegation to Jakarta for broad-ranging discussions about the bilateral relationship, following President Yudhoyono's recent statement," a statement from her office said, according to Agence France-Presse.

Dr Yudhoyono had said in a televised address on Nov 20: "I view this issue as a serious one... I don't think that Indonesian law, Australian law or international law allows the tapping of officials of other countries."

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