Controversial political consultation firm Cambridge Analytica (CA) allegedly pitched a proposal to the United Malays National Organisation (Umno), the party of Najib Razak, Malaysia’s former prime minister, to influence the voting of 40 parliamentary constituencies , according to leaked files.
The files, unveiled by former CA business development director Britanny Kaiser, includes a document on the email correspondence between several people in October 2016, including SCL Southeast Asia’s director Azrin Zizal.
SCL Group was the parent group of CA.
The correspondence claimed that former Umno secretary general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor assigned an aide, Aminudin Mustafa, to engage with representatives of the SCL Group on October 10, 2016, to discuss the proposal.
Azrin supposedly set up the meeting, according to the email thread.
Other files indicated that former Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi was to have a breakfast meeting with SCL Group representatives in New York during the Concordia Summit in September 2016.
The leaked files were uploaded on January 1 via Twitter on the account @HindsightFiles.
They were to reveal the details of CA’s activities during the 2016 US elections, Brexit referendum, as well as the company’s involvement in elections and other large-scale data-mining operations around the world.
The document release included previously unreleased emails, project plans, case studies, negotiations and more spanning 65 countries.
“In the name of shedding light on these dark practices, I am releasing documents and emails in full for the public good. I do this to strengthen the case for data rights and enforcement of our electoral laws online globally,” said Kaiser, who worked in the firm from 2014 to 2018, in a statement.
“We should all be seeking a more ethical digital future for ourselves and our children, ” she added.
London-based Cambridge Analytica was accused of extracting the personal data of up to 50 million Facebook users without consent to help Donald Trump in his US presidential campaign in 2016.
The Barisan Nasional government had in March 2018 claimed that it had never engaged Cambridge
Analytica and its parent company SCL Group in any way.
A statement by the Prime Minister’s Office then said that contrary to media reports, neither Cambridge Analytica nor its parent company SCL Group had ever been contracted, employed or paid in any way by Barisan Nasional, the Prime Minister’s Office or any part of the government of Malaysia.
Source : SCMP