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Media statement by Tony Pua Kiam Wee in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, 3nd January 2012:

Dato' Seri Zahid Hamidi must stop the scurrilous allegations that I am a "tool" for a foreign country

Yesterday's Chinese newspapers carried the story that Dato' Seri Zahid Hamidi has accused me of being a "tool to a former professor who has become a professor in a foreign country". He has added that "the foreign country is the puppet-master of a particular party in Malaysia". He has even claimed that he has documentary proof to validate what he has said.

I have obtained the full transcript of the comments made by the Defence Minister on 1st January, and the relevant accusation is as follows:

"Saya fikir Tony Pua ni adalah seorang yang menjadi alat saja seorang bekas professor yang telah menjadi professor di university di luar negara, dan negara itu memang menjadi dalang kepada sebuah parti di negara ini. Saya fikir asal politik di Malaysia biar dibentuk oleh ahli-ahli politik Malaysia. Jangan pernah menjadi dalang daripada mana-mana negara. Saya tidak menuduh tapi saya ada dokumen-dokumen dan bukti-bukti untuk mengesahkan apa yang saya katakana ini."

The is the second time the Defence Minister had implied that I am a foreign agent. In March 2011, Dato' Seri Zahid Hamidi was reported in Utusan Malaysia to have said:

"Dia [Tony Pua] dulu ditangkap di Singapura, dibawa ke mahkamah, tetapi sebab hubungan dia mungkin baik dengan pejabat tertentu di sana, beliau dilepaskan (dan) tidak dapat jadi ahli Parlimen (di sana)"

As I've responded last year, I've never even been fined for jay-walking in Singapore, what more being arrested and charged in the court of law in the island city.

All these scurrilous accusations arose as a result of the continued pressure placed on the Defence Ministry to be transparent with its military equipment purchases, especially in the light of a poor assessment by Transparency International (TI). The TI scored Malaysia at only 4.5 points out of a maximum of 12, or only 37.5%, well below the failure mark. This was the score given in the inaugural "Transparency of Defence Budgets Report" launched on 19 November 2011.

Director of the International Defence and Security Program for TI in United Kingdom, Mark Pyman, who launched the report in Subang Jaya said "Malaysia ranked far below other countries (for this), where the budget lacked details and no audits were undertaken of the secret programmes."

Malaysia is ranked alongside Afghanistan, Rwanda, Georgia and Azerbaijan in the report, well below other countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. The results of the research indicate that approximately 14 per cent of the countries under review in this study scored high and these are primarily developed countries with strong democratic systems in place.

Treason as accused by the Defence Minister is a crime of the highest order in Malaysia and is punishable by death. The accusation by Dato' Seri Zahid Hamidi is as serious as it is outrageous, and such contemptuous behaviour is completely unbecoming of a Minister.

Given the severity of the allegations that I am compromising the nation's security, I challenge Dato' Seri Zahid Hamidi to come up with the so-called "documentary proof" that I am a "tool" of a professor in a foreign university and charge me accordingly. However, if the Minister fails to furnish the proof, then he should immediately withdraw the remarks and make a public apology for making such unfounded statements.

It appears that Dato' Seri Zahid Hamidi does not realise that he is being fed with fictitious stories from his chief intelligence officer, Papagomo - who had recently enjoyed the unrivalled privilege of sailing in the country's first submarine. Papagomo is also the source of the scurrilous allegations against Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng's son recently who was wrong victimised as having sexually assaulted a female student in his school.

It is extremely worrying that the country's Defence Minister is relying the country's intelligence from a blogger who is an obsessive liar without any morals and ethics. In fact all Malaysians should be terribly concerned that our Defence Minister who wields great powers, can be so gullibly compromised by a writer of unbelievable and outlandish fiction.

* Tony Pua Kiam Wee, DAP National Publicity Secretary & MP for Petaling Jaya Utara



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