Research Division of the Prime Minister's Department

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The Research Division of the Prime Minister's Department (Malay: Bahagian Penyelidikan Jabatan Perdana Menteri) is an agency within the Malaysian Prime Minister's Department.[1] According to a United States embassy cable dating back to 2006 that was leaked by WikiLeaks, the Research Division is actually the public name for the Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO), the country's main foreign intelligence agency. A news report stated that the MEIO may be abolished under the new Mahathir government.[2]

History

Muhammad Hatta, the Secretary of the Malaysian National Security Council was known to have served as MEIO's Director General from 2002 to 2005.[3] It was also known to have helped the Malaysian Special Branch in combating the Malayan Communist Party.[4] According to WikiLeaks, the Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation also covertly supported the secessionist groups in Mindanao. In 2006, it also facilitated peace talks between the Philippines government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.[5]

According to reports by several Malaysian news media including The Star, The Sun, and the news blog Malaysia Today in May 2018, the Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation had 300 personnel, operated as a spy agency, and reported directly to former Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. The organization was allegedly used to monitor government critics at home and abroad. Following the 2018 Malaysian general election, members of the Royal Malaysia Police's Commercial Crime Division searched the home of a female individual, who was reported to be the head of the Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation, for documents that Najib had given her two days before the 2018 election. The Police also searched two buildings belonging to the agency.[6][7][8]

Further reading

  • Malaysia's National Security Council described by new NSC Secretary (Report). WikiLeaks. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  • Michael Vatikiotis (5 March 2013). "Malaysia the Moderate Peacemaker". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 17 August 2013. 

Notes and references

  1. ^ "Prime Minister's Department - Government Directory". Prime Minister's Department. Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
  2. ^ "New Malaysian Cabinet to slash costs". Straits Times. 24 May 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2018. 
  3. ^ Malaysia's National Security Council described by new NSC Secretary (Report). WikiLeaks. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  4. ^ Michael Vatikiotis (5 March 2013). "Malaysia the Moderate Peacemaker". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 17 August 2013. 
  5. ^ Scenesetter for Under Secretary of the Air Force Dr. Ronald Sega (Report). WikiLeaks. Retrieved 19 August 2013. 
  6. ^ "Covert agency linked to former PM raided". The Star. 22 May 2018. Retrieved 22 May 2018. 
  7. ^ "Top officer's house raided for Najib documents: Report". The Sun. 22 May 2018. Retrieved 22 May 2018. 
  8. ^ "Top Officer's House Raided For Najib Documents: Report". Malaysia Today. 21 May 2018. Retrieved 22 May 2018. 
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