Malaysia: We can protect classified data

Top government official says the country has the necessary system in place to protect classified information and communications, following reports Singapore had helped the U.S. spy on Malaysia, among others in the region.

The Malaysian government has stepped out to say it has effective counter-measures in place to protect classified communications and information, following reports Singapore had helped the United States spy on the country. 

Speaking to local reporters at the 11th Malaysia International Conference on Communications held Wednesday, Malaysia's Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the government was still investigating whether its communication lines had been breached and would lodge a protest with the U.S. should this be confirmed, according to a report by The Star.

A report by Bernama further quoted the minister to say he was in discussions with industry experts and other government officials to identify how the country can best combat cyberespionage and cybersecurity attacks. 

Ahmad Shabery said Malaysia already had effective counter-measures to safeguard classified data, but did not provide details. "Of course, we cannot reveal what the security measures and strategies are. If we were to expose them, we will be exposing ourselves to our potential enemies," he said.

The minister was responding to reports that its Southern neighbor Singapore , played  a key role in the U.S. "Five Eyes" spy network , facilitating surveillance on Southeast Asian nations--notably, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Concerned over the reports, the Malaysian government on Tuesday called in Singapore's high commissioner for a discussion--the third foreign representative to be summoned for a meeting. Earlier this month, the Malaysian government also requested a meeting with the American and Australian envoys after previous reports revealed the two countries had spied on several nations in this region, including China , Indonesia , Malaysia, and Thailand.