Spying claim case is closed, says Malaysian Home Minister

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia considers the case of the spying allegations by Singapore as closed, says Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He added that the long-standing relations between the two countries remained intact.

"I believe in the sharing of information and intelligence with Singapore for our mutual benefit," he told reporters after receiving the republic's senior minister of state for Ministries of Home and Foreign Affairs Masagos Zulkifli Masagos Mohamad here yesterday.

Dr Ahmad Zahid said he had pointed out the strong relationship between both countries during his meeting with Masagos Zulkifli, but added that the spying issue was not raised during their meeting.

"As far as I am concerned, the issue is closed," he said.

It has been reported that Singapore was a key partner of the 5-Eyes intelligence group, which had allegedly tapped telephone lines and monitored communication networks in Kuala Lumpur.

On another matter, Dr Ahmad Zahid said the two countries have agreed to strengthen co-operation on action against drug trafficking and rehabilitation and also smuggling activities.

Singapore is using the National Anti-Drugs Agency as a model to fight the drug menace, rehabilitate addicts and prevent relapses, he said, adding that policing, immigration and prisons were other areas of co-operation that would be explored.

Masagos Zulkifli said it was important for both countries to work alongside each other on this issue, noting that past co-operation had proven to be fruitful.

"Thanks to close co-operation and shared information, we have managed to cripple international drug syndicates and saved many lives from the dangers of drugs," he added.

Masagos Zulkifli said the good relations between Malaysia and Singapore were not only at the leaders' level, but also at the people-to-people level.

He said that annually, 140 million crossings are registered between Malaysia and Singapore. "This is higher than the number of registered crossings along the Mexico-United States borders," he added.