KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 – Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi does not need to reveal the relationship between the government and alleged gambling kingpin Paul Phua, said former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Mohd Noor.
In an interview with Malay daily Sinar Harian yesterday, Rahim stated that the government’s co-operation with Phua, if it actually existed, was not shocking as police have many tactics to gain information on criminal activities, including working with criminals who may help them infiltrate an organisation.
He, however, added that the matter should not be revealed to the public as the life of the individual concerned may be on the line as criminal organisations tend label the person as a “snitch”. “We (police) use our own methods to ‘sneak into’ in a criminal group’s movements. But whatever method we used, must be kept a secret.
“The sources’ identity must also be protected to avoid putting their lives at risk. In the case of Phua, if it’s true that the government had sought his services, we need to shut our mouths as this is a massive secret,” said Rahim as quoted by the daily. In December last year, South China Morning Post reported that Zahid had written a letter to United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) vouching for Phua, stating that he had assisted the government in projects related to national security.
Also in the letter addressed to FBI deputy Mark Giuliano was Zahid’s statement clearing Phua of being a member of a powerful crime syndicate, 14K Triad, notorious for its involvement in drug trafficking, illegal gambling and money laundering. The statement was made in contrary to a 2008 report by PDRM that identified Phua and his involvement in the triad.