DAP calls on Abdullah to order an  independent inquiry into  the serious allegation of  Malaysia’s role in the nuclear black market used by Pakistan’s top nuclear atomic scientist to sell Iran, Libya and North Korea nuclear technology, including seeking access to interrogate A.Q.Khan

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(PenangThursday): DAP calls for an  independent inquiry into  the serious allegation of  Malaysia’s role in the international nuclear black market used by Pakistan’s top nuclear atomic scientist to sell Iran, Libya and North Korea nuclear technology. 

The public confession by the father of Pakistan’s atomic bomb, Abdul Qadeer Khan, of leaking nuclear secrets through his network of nuclear “middlemen” in countries which included Malaysia has reinforced International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohamed El Baradei’s assessment, following disclosures by Libya and Iran to the Agency, that “international export controls have completely failed in recent years. A nuclear black market has emerged, driven by fantastic cleverness…Nuclear businessmen, unscrupulous firms and perhaps also state bodies are involved. Libya and Iran made extensive use of this network.” 

Late last night,  the Inspector-General of Police, Datuk Seri Mohamed Bakri Omar issued a statement which Bernama entitled “Allegation that Malaysian Company Makes Nuclear Component Baseless, Says Bakri”, which was  a very weak statement and failed to  completely clear Malaysia of  being part of Khan’s international nuclear  black market network. 

Among other things, Bakri made two  statements, viz  

  • that “nuclear experts found it difficult to ascertain positively that the components” produced in a Shah Alam factory  by Scomi Precision Engineering Sdn. Bhd. (Scope), a subsidiary of   Scomi Group Bhd were “parts of the components for the centrifuge unit” that can be used to enrich uranium for use as nuclear bomb fuel; and
  • that “investigations carried out so far indicate that no company in Malaysia is capable of producing a complete centrifuge unit (to produce nuclear weapons) because it requires high technology and extensive expertise in the field of nuclear weapons”.

Both these statements are not helpful, for the former was no categorical denial while the latter  failed to address the question as to whether Malaysia was  part of Khan’s international nuclear black market network as the allegation was about  centrifugal parts and not complete centrifugal units. 

This is why Malaysia continued to suffer “rogue nation” status in the international media, mentioned in most dispatches even in the past 24 hours,  as one of the cogs in Khan’s wheel of international nuclear black market.

An  International Press Service (IPS) report today, for instance, touching on the “ramifications” of Khan’s clandestine network which cut across continents, “with a factory making centrifuge components in Malaysia, middlemen from Germany and Holland, and hardware shipments routed through Dubai”, said: 

“Khan was part of a gigantic illicit operation centred on the proliferation of mass-destruction weapons technology. The least this revelation demands is that the U.S. government and Pakistan publish the list of clandestine suppliers and middlemen in different countries so that they can be prosecuted.” 

New York Times today carried a report headlined “Malaysian Company Tied to Nuclear Trade Network” while the  Indian Express today reprinted another New York Times report on warhead designs sold to Libya by Khan’s “underground  network of nuclear middlemen and parts producers” which is “broken-up, from Germany to Malaysia, and from Dubai to the Netherlands”. 

Paktribune reported that Khan traveled 41 times to different countries during the last two years including Dubai, Turkey, Casablanca, South Africa and Malaysia “to meet the people of underworld”. 

The Chosun Ilbo reported that Khan had confessed to leaking nuclear technology to countries including North Korea, that “he had passed on nuclear technology to the North for seven years, beginning in 1991, and that he usually met with North Korean scientists in Malaysia”. 

DAP calls on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi  to order an  independent inquiry into  the serious allegation of  Malaysia’s role in Khan’s nuclear black market, as a police investigation and the weak  statement by the Inspector-General of Police is most unsatisfactory, especially as there is the additional issue of the  role of  Abdullah’s son, Kamaluddin Abdullah Badawi, the major shareholder of Scomi, the parent company of the Scomi Precision Engineering Sdn. Bhd. (Scope) alleged to be involved in Khan’s nuclear underground network. As Abdullah is also Home Minister, whose portfolio includes the Police,  credibility suffers when the police is used to investigate and clear Scope. 

The independent inquiry  into Khan’s nuclear black market connection in Malaysia should seek permission from Pakistan authorities to question Khan.


* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman