Saifuddin: MACC audio recordings unlikely to affect diplomatic ties

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 09 Jan 2020

PUTRAJAYA: The recent release of wire-tapped recordings by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) that allegedly incriminates several high-level foreign dignitaries is unlikely to affect Malaysia’s diplomatic relations, says Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah (pic).

The Foreign Minister said Wisma Putra, on its part, had taken proactive measures by contacting their counterparts in the implicated country to explain the issue.

“I don't think so (that diplomatic relations would be affected). The ministry has taken the necessary steps. Whenever such issues crop up, we have our way to contact the relevant people to explain the situation.

"I don't think there will be any problem.

“In these kind of cases, we usually take proactive steps by contacting the other side first. Our ambassador in that country has been asked to reach out to his counterpart, ” said Saifuddin at a press conference at Wisma Putra here on Thursday (Jan 9).

Among the nine phone call recordings revealed to the press by the MACC were several calls said to have been made by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to two dignitaries from a country in the Middle East.

In the conversation, the voice believed to be Najib's is heard pleading for help to cover up the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal, after it became the subject of a United States Department of Justice probe.

When asked if Najib’s phone call was an official diplomatic call, Saifuddin declined to comment.

“I would refrain from adding comments on this issue as it may infer our position, as this involves another country, ” he said.

The recordings are also said to include conversations between Najib and former MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad, as well as a phone call between Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya said the agency decided to reveal the audio recordings as they were matters of public interest and raised issues of “abuse of power, criminal conspiracy, obstruction of justice, compromising national security, fabrication of false evidence through foreign aides and connivance”.

Earlier, Saifuddin witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Foreign Ministry and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM).

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