Friday, 20 July 2018

Malaysia’s Najib sought CIA support before election defeat

Exposed secret letter sent by then premier's office to US spy agency painted soon-to-be election winner Mahathir Mohamad as a threat to US interests

Malaysia’s previous Najib Razak-led government appealed to the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) seeking American support to form his country’s next government ahead of a closely fought election on May 9, according to a recent expose published by local news portal Malaysiakini.

Five days before the historic general election, an intelligence unit in the Malaysian Prime Minister’s Department penned an official letter to then-CIA director-designate Gina Haspel acknowledging the competitiveness of the contest, while noting that Najib was expected to “win the election adequately to form the next government.”

The letter, signed by the division’s director general Hasanah Ab Hamid, underscored “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,” and requested that the CIA relay “the complexity of managing this election” to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Najib’s long-ruling Barisan Nasional coalition was roundly defeated at the May 9 polls after garnering just over one-third of the national vote. Pakatan Harapan, Malaysia’s former opposition coalition, now leads the federal government under the premiership of Mahathir Mohamad, who was previously prime minister from 1981 to 2003.

Read the full story at Asia Times.

Nile Bowie is a writer and journalist with the Asia Times covering current affairs in Singapore and Malaysia. He can be reached at