Foreign spies in Malaysia?


Apparently there have been people in the country gathering information for foreign security or surveillance agencies. Nine peoople are being detained under the ISA for “mengumpul maklumat untuk agensi perisikan/keselamatan asing“.

That’s a major news story, don’t you think? So why are most people unaware of these “spies”? Were these arrests reported in any of our mainstream media?

According to the “Menteri Dalam Negeri”, the nine are part of 68 ISA detainees at the end of April 2008. These people have been detained without trial. The Minister was responding to a question in Parliament from Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli, the MP for Kuala Krai.

The Minister provided the following breakdown of the detainees:

  • Alleged militant violence (JI, etc) – 46
  • Alleged falsification of Malaysian documents – 5
  • Alleged smuggling of undocumented immigrants – 2
  • Alleged “percambahan nuklear” – 1
  • Alleged gathering of info for foreign intelligence/security agencies – 9
  • Hindraf – 5

Total: 68

By the end of June, another six detainees had been released, leaving 62 in detention.

Check out ISA Watch, maintained by Aliran, to see the trend in the number of detainees over the years.

  • 2000 – 40
  • 2001 – 69
  • 2001 – 78
  • 2002 – 113
  • 2003 – 99
  • 2003 – 91
  • 2005 – 102
  • 2005 – 115
  • 2006 – 97
  • 2008 – 62

This is the lowest number of detainees since Sept 11. Anyway, I hope this declining trend will continue. Release all ISA detainees, abolish the ISA and close down the Kamunting Detention Centre!

Please help to support this blog if you can.

Read the commenting guidlelines for this blog.
Notify of

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Those talking about Geneva Convention, the spies we are talking about are foreigners. The folks we hold here are Malaysians. So that’s why there is no conflict with the GC. Normally in such cases the foreign country will ask for an exchange of sorts but I don’t think this will happen as the country unlikely to own up. The reasons for these people not given a trial is due to national security as not to allow the foreign powers to learn on how these spies were caught. This is a usual practice. In some countries they have special tribunal /… Read more »


dear anil, I want to say that repressive measures such as the ISA will not disappear overnight, even with the victory of the Opposition. The only way for repressive measures like the ISA to go away is for the political, social, and cultural attitudes of the people in this country to change. In other words, Malaysia needs an overhaul in its social and political system. Even the NEP will stay on under a different guise–Anwar wants to call it MEA, right? After how a policy is being implemented depends largely on how it is interpreted. Call it whatever you want,… Read more »


Malaysia had ratified the. Geneva Conventions of August 1949 in 1962. Being a party to the Conventions {although Malaysia has not ratified the Additional Protocols), Malaysia has an obligation to follow the principles laid down in the Conventions.

One of the principles, SPIES are suppose to have a fair trial..

As a member of the security forces, I agree to these spies being detain under ISA but they too deserve to have a fair trial.

Samuel Goh Kim Eng

There are practically no countries truly free from spies
It’s only a question of whether friendly or hostile spies
Don’t expect too many pies to drop from the heavenly skies
Whether or not they are heavily sprinkled with five spices

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng – 130708
Sun. 13th July 2008.


Those … responsible for the ISA detainees are all heartless beings. Remember a couple of days ago when one detainee could not even be at his daughter’s bedsite before she drew her last breath? He had been detained for the last seven years without trial! What wrong did he do to deserve such? Please enlighten the RAKYAT on his case. Anyway, to those who put him in such a situation, do remember that God/Allah is great. Till your dying breath you’ll never forget or will be forgiven for what you have put all the ISA detainees thru’. How would your… Read more »


It makes me think about tha piece of news I read that the death threat (so called) towards Anwar was uncovered by foreign spy agency from a “neighbouring country”? No idea which country. But we certanily have to be wary of such things. This is our counry’s peace and stability at stake!


its not funny about foreign spies..its about our security tanahairku…regardless of political party or races this out beloved
tanahair…those who are thinkin this issue a stupid junk actually the traitor……are u one o them twat???????????


That said, investigations and trials should be carried out. Detention without trial is not the way to go.


Thanks for the update. According to the table on Aliran, the 9 people detained for “collecting information” were caught last year. NINE is a big number, if it concerns the leaking of national secrets and information. We as the rakyat should be more informed. The govt has to realise that we need to be in the know if the country is vulnerable.

new future

The DG of immigration should be ISA-ed as letting in foreigners w/out scrutiny undermines the security of this country.


Perhaps it will be a good thing that Parliament passes an amendment to the ISA (if the government still insists on not repealing the ISA) that the Home Minister be required, on appointment to that post, to spend a short spell – say a week or at least 2 days – as a “guest” of Kamunting. The minister must personally experience the same conditions he signs detainees off to “enjoy”. No doubt, the present make-up of Parliament may make such an amendment difficult to pass, but it is at least proposed or the motion filed, then at least it is… Read more »


And the most popular public listed ‘Foreign Spy” is none other than Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim allegedly for being :

1] American Spy
2] Yahudi [Jewish] spy
3] Hindraf and Hindian Spy
4] Chinese Spy
5] Malay Spy
6] Dayak Bidayuh, Dusun, Kadazan Spy
7] Low Petrol Spy
8] Poor People Spy
9] Justice Spy

this will qualify him to be the next Prime Minister !

Ken Destino

there are also local spies spying on the massive renovation ezam is doing to his house in shah alam. the picture can be seen on MT site. wow!!!! so much money!!!! hope the spies will not be detained under ISA. afterall, the rakyat wants to know the lifestyle of their aspiring leaders. so they too have spies on political preachers. preachers seldom practise, they say. let the rakyat judge then.



Why can’t we discuss things more logically rather than making unfounded and illogical accusations.

Uwekkk, if you have nothing worthwhile to say, it is better not to say at all.

Malaysians are blissfully unaware the presence of dozens of foreign spies actively working in Malaysia. In most cases they are just collecting political, economical and military data. But there are some who actually try to make the step to steal national secrets or plant their spies into sensitive areas of the govt.

BTW there was some annoucement on these arrests back some years back during Mahatir’s time.


Peruse through the name list of Aliran ISA Watch, most detainees are ‘Malay’.

Any explanation for this, Anil? Maybe this is one of the things in Malaysia without ‘quota’.


Did not hear or read of any court round-ups about these so-called detained foreign spies. What harm did they do to the poor people of Malaysia? Making the poor to get richer? Impossible. Killing all the poor? Not at all – most of the detainees are humane. To avoid heavy responsibility shouldering the burden of healing their dying loved ones at home – thus the detainees themselves preferred to be detained for several years? That’s clowning. Or, the other way round? To put shame on existing corrupted leaders? Could be. Could be.


Anil, what about “foreign spies” or guinea pigs in the form of local politicians themselves. They have such good relations with the outside world, somehow a little too friendly and lose for comfort. How about *that* piece of news? 😛