PETALING JAYA: A spy was discovered among Najib Razak’s household staff just weeks before the 2018 general election, a former adviser to the then prime minister has revealed.
Romen Bose, who served as Najib’s political communications consultant, said he found out about the situation when security was suddenly tightened at the Prime Minister’s Office and residence.
Initially thinking it was a terrorism or security scare, he asked some of Najib’s other staffers about the situation until one of his closest aides confided in him.
“(One of Najib’s butlers) had been scheduled to go home and as usual, Najib’s security officials carried out a routine check of his bags. What they discovered was several tape recorders hidden among the butler’s clothes,” Bose wrote in a forthcoming book.
“When the recorder was played back, the recording indicated that the device had been placed at several of Najib’s most sensitive meetings, held in different locations in his home.
“The discussions had involved not only GE14 campaign planning and strategy but also national security issues and highly confidential governmental planning policies on a variety of matters.”
Other staff members were searched and questioned, but all claimed to know nothing of their colleague’s actions.
After thorough questioning, the butler disclosed that a businessman had “paid him a lot of money” to record Najib’s meetings and would collect the tapes on a regular basis. He was later sacked.
Bose said that with the election so close to being held, it was decided that the revelation would not be made public so the police Special Branch could keep tabs on the businessman to figure out his motives and glean whether they were working with the opposition or foreign agents.
“It is interesting to note that following GE14 and the collapse of the government, it appears that the matter, which was being investigated by the Special Branch (whose top leadership was changed following GE14) has been brushed under the carpet and the businessman does not appear to have been prosecuted.”
Bose’s book “Final Reckoning: An Insider’s View of the Fall of Malaysia’s Barisan Nasional Government” goes on sale Dec 14. Pre-orders can be made through these bookshops:
Extracts published with permission from Penguin Random House SEA.