No need to spy, Malaysia ready to share relevant intelligence, minister tells Singapore, US

Malaysia Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (right).

SERDANG, Malaysia - Malaysian is ready to share any relevant intelligence with Singapore and there is no need for the island state to spy on the country, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Tuesday.

"In principle, no other country should be trying to obtains the secrets of another nation," he said.

Dr Ahmad Zahid was responding to foreign news reports that Singapore was helping the United States in its global spying activities.

He said Malaysia had already sent a protest note earlier to the US.

"But we are ready to share the information if the intelligence concerns these countries, so they should respect us as neighbouring country," he said at the Home Ministry's Innovation Day at Universiti Putra Malaysia here Tuesday.

Malaysia had summoned Singapore's High Commissioner for talks on Tuesday, saying it was "extremely concerned" by media reports that the city-state helps US spy on its Southeast Asian neighbour, according to a Reuters report.

Media reports citing documents leaked by former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden put Singapore, a key US ally, at the center of a spy network that reportedly taps undersea cables in the region.

"If those allegations are eventually proven, it is certainly a serious matter that the Government strongly rejects and abhors," Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said in a statement late Monday.

"It cannot be over-emphasised that spying against a good friend and neighbour is unacceptable and goes against the true spirit of, and commitment to, good neighbourly relations."

Citing documents leaked by Snowden, Australia's Sydney Morning Herald said Singapore military intelligence helped US, British and Australian spy agencies harvest data passing through a major undersea cable partly owned by Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel).

SingTel declined to comment, while Singapore's defense ministry did not respond to queries, and its foreign affairs ministry did not immediately provide a comment.