Online news portal Malaysiakini is reporting that it has sighted an official three-page letter written — five days before the May 9 general election — by the Research Division in the Prime Minister's Department to the United States' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
The said letter, Malaysiakini reports, is addressed to CIA director Gina Haspel, in which the Research Division in the Prime Minister's Department, which is an intelligence unit, appeals for the United States to support the BN government led by Najib Abdul Razak "even if we win the election by a simple majority or just one seat."
The letter asked for the CIA director to report to the Secretary of State on "the complexity of managing" GE14 by Najib and "the need to have US support" for BN.
"Any indication that the US government would continue to support Prime Minister Najib and his government would definitely strengthen our stability and enhance the existing cordial relationship driven by the strong rapport between our two leaders," the letter, signed by the Research Division's Director-General Hasanah Ab Hamid.
Malaysiakini said that the letter's authenticity has been confirmed by Pakatan Harapan government, saying it carried the official letterhead of the Research Division.
The letter by the Prime Minister's Department, which was under Najib at the time, reportedly called Tun Dr Mahathir "not a reformer" as he joined the opposition and praised Najib's nine-year tenure
"Your Excellency must be well informed that Mahathir, essentially, is not a reformer that could enhance Malaysia's national interest as he joined the opposition for his own self-interest. Meanwhile, the opposition hopes to use his (Mahathir) prowess in politics to defeat Prime Minister Najib's party.
"Mahathir in the past has been anti-West, anti-Semite, autocratic, silenced dissent through force, totally disregarded human rights and the rule of law.
"It was during his tenure that the Internal Security Act was heavily abused for his own political agenda and allowed him to rule Malaysia for more than two decades," the three-page letter by the Research Division stated, according to Malaysiakini.
In praising Najib, the letter said that he comes with a proven "track record of not only practising sound and progressive foreign policies but also contributing to regional security" through involvement in promoting peace and stability in the region.
"Without Najib in charge of the country, the US stands to lose a reliable partner in Southeast Asia, given that the Philippines have broken away from Washington, Singapore and Brunei being too small to make an impact and Thailand as well as Indonesia immersed in their own domestic problems. Meanwhile, the Indo-China countries, except for Vietnam, are too inclined towards China," the letter said.
Najib, however, has completely denied having any knowledge, claiming he did not instruct the Research Division under his own department to pen such a letter to the CIA seeking US support
According to Najib, agencies related to intelligence matters have the autonomy to perform their duties for reasons they think would benefit them.
When Malaysiakini asked Najib about the letter, he said he was "surprised", saying he "did not even know of its existence" as "not all letters have to go through me."
On the other hand, someone who is close to Najib is not happy that he is being accused of treason over the letter, reported Malaysiakini
According to this person, the letter was sent "with the best of intention that the country does not fall into civil strife or mass demonstrations post-GE14" if BN wins it narrowly.
"Doesn't the current government have more important things to do other than to leak sensitive military intelligence letters between countries to the media in order to continue slandering Najib? For example, more important things like running our country now that you are in power?" the source close to Najib told Malaysiakini.
Meanwhile, Lim Kit Siang has called Najib the "worst prime minister in Malaysian history" for claiming that he did not know that a department under him had sought foreign intervention prior to GE14
In asking for Najib to explain the shocking letter sent by a division under his department, the DAP veteran said that it is just "not good enough for Najib to now claim that he, as the Prime Minister at the time did not instruct the Research Division in the Prime Minister’s Department to write the letter to the CIA seeking US support for the Barisan Nasional against Pakatan Harapan five days before the May 9 general election."
While rubbishing Najib's denial, LKS asked if the BN government under Najib was "so shambolic and anarchic that the right hand did not know what the left hand was doing."
In a press statement, Lim Kit Siang added that if indeed Najib was unaware of the letter, then he is "clearly the worst prime minister in Malaysian history."
Earlier this month, PM Tun Dr Mahathir spoke about the politics of money and favour practised by Barisan Nasional and how it has had a hugely negative impact on the productivity of Malaysia: