Wong Choon Mei
KUALA LUMPUR, March 31: PAS leaders have called on Prime Minister Najib Razak and his Umno party to cease all dealings with international communications firm APCO as it will tarnish Malaysia’s image as a Muslim nation and disappoint other member of the Organization of Islamic Conference.
“This is against our foreign policy, which bans trade and diplomatic ties with Israel. Not only has Najib’s decision to appoint APCO confused and angered the Muslims in Malaysia but it will also worry the other member states in the OIC. The Muslim world has the right to know why Umno defends APCO, rather than the Palestinians in Gaza.”
APCO director admits Israel link
The PAS leader was referring to a Singapore Straits Times report that revealed filings with the U.S. Justice Department showed APCO had “entered into an agreement in 1992 to provide services for the Jewish state".
“In written queries about the State Department filing, APCO said it worked with another associate company on a project for the Israel government at the time,” the ST news report said.
According to APCO’s deputy managing director B Jay Cooper, his firm “was then owned by Grey Global Group.”
“In 2004, APCO did a management buy-out and cut all ownership ties with the Grey Global Group. APCO Worldwide, with new ownership, is today’s company,” Cooper told the Singapore newspaper.
Risk of espionage and national security
However, PAS leaders said the change in ownership did not equate to changes in staff nor did it mean that the new shareholders did not have links to Israel.
Anwar, who raised the matter in a parliamentary speech last week, had been accused of lying to the House and ordered to explain, or face suspension from Parliament.
In defending himself on Tuesday, Anwar exposed several prominent Zionist leaders with sinister links to the Israeli secret service who currently sat on APCO's top advisory council.
These include Doron Bergerbest-Eilon, who used to head the Israeli Security Agency; Itamar Rabinovichk, who was formerly with Israeli's internal intelligence organ Shin Bet; and Shimon Stein, a former Israeli ambassador to Germany.
“We must ask Najib why APCO in Malaysia has issued two denials of having ever worked with Israel and yet this latest admission by Mr Cooper in Singapore which confirms there was a link with the Zionist state,” PAS vice president and Pokok Sena MP Mahfuz Omar told Harakahdaily.
“Did Najib and his administration pressure APCO into making false denials? Until now, why hasn’t Najib given any clarification to the nation and to the Muslim world? Because of his failure to come clean on these issues, PAS urges the Council of Rulers to form a Royal Commission of Inquiry.
"The Rulers here have a very big role to play in national security. If Najib refuses to act, they must order him to do so because our national security and secrets are stake and of all parties – to someone who can easily turn out to be a Zionist enemy!"