KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said has hit out at claims that the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) had purchased spyware.
In a statement released this evening, Azalina, who is Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, said the claims made by several online portals had no basis and had ill-intention.
"I wish to refer to the a question in the Dewan Rakyat by Batu Member of Parliament Tian Chua, who on Nov 19 had asked whether the PMO had bought spyware equipment from an Italian company on March 2014.
"He had also asked on what need would the PMO have for such equipment," she said.
Azalina said she has provided a written reply, in which she had explained there was no such requisition made by the PMO.
"Therefore, I stress once again that the PMO has made no such acquisitions."
The minister also addressed claims that other government agencies had obtained the equipment.
"It is therefore logical that one should obtain an explanation from the relevant agencies, as I cannot comment on behalf of other agencies which are beyond my jurisdiction," she said.
Online portals recently published claims by a tech blogger, who alleged that the PMO had purchased the equipment from Italian IT firm Hacking Team.
The blogger allegedly produced bank receipts showing two transactions between local company Miliserv Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd and Hacking Team in September 2013 and July 2014.
The blogger had claimed that Miliserv was a firm registered with the Ministry of Finance. On the other hand, the company on its website did not state that it is a government agency.
It said it was an organisation providing digital technology and IT solutions to various organisations.