It’s been two years since Malaysia made history by electing a new party to lead the country and dethroned the former prime minister, Najib Razak, and the then ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) party. Recently, a new information has surfaced alleging that the Najib signed a deal with an Israeli cyber company and obtain technology that would allow him to spy on his rivals.
The revelation of this company was brought to light by Calcalistech, a news site based in Tel Aviv. According to the court documents presented to the Israeli court, the Israeli-based cyber startup went by the name Senpai Technologies and specialized in cybersecurity technology.
Little is known about the startup, except that in April 2018 – just a month before the General Elections – Najib signed a deal with the company to the tune of US$1.5 million (~RM6.52 million) for RogueEye; a system that enabled its user to both obtain and analyse data. Collected from civilian activity. That technology was then passed on to Malaysia’s own intelligence agency, Special Branch (SB), which was then instructed to spy on key Opposition party members.
Now, dealing directly with an Israel or an Israeli company is heavily restricted by local laws. As such, the deal was made in proxy via a Cypriot-based conduit company called Kohai Corp Ltd. In reality, Kohai was actually founded by two major shareholders within Senpai and that Kohai was a front created specifically for dealings of such nature.
It is to no one surprise that Najib was not Senpai’s only client to purchase its data-tracking technology. Documents submitted to the court also detailed a deal made with the Sultanate of Oman, which also has no official diplomatic ties to the Israel.
At the time of writing, Senpai’s activities have been in limbo; it’s last reported activity is said to have taken place back in 2019, when it said that it planned on joining Intellexa Ltd, a consortium specialising cybersecurity.
(Source: Calcalist // Image: BenarNews)