He has been imprisoned throughout Abdullah's premiership allegedly due to his involvement in producing nuclear centrifuge for Libya at SCORE, Scomi's subsidiary. It is believed that when the shipment was spotted near the Gulf area, it had put the nation at risk with the superpower.
His detention has been a controversy simply because of his linkages with Kamaluddin and Shah Hakim Zain. Not long after his detention, the release of the 'oil for food' scandal report in the US revealed Abdullah's involvement.
These two incidents is widely believed to have lead Abdullah to live "under ransom" and become increasingly obvious kow towing and compromising to the wishes and devious socio-political agenda of the foreign country, primarily Singapore and US.
The Malaysia Insider's news as below:
Sri Lankan nuclear middleman freed from ISA detentionBSA Tahir's release is a limited release situation. The condition of his release is that of a restricted residence. Why?
KUALA LUMPUR, June 22 — Sri Lankan businessman B.S.A. Tahir, who helped Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan sell illicit nuclear technology to Iran, has been released this past week from detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA), sources told The Malaysian Insider.
Tahir, whose full name is Buhary Seyed Abu Tahir, was detained under the ISA in Kamunting, June 2004 for two years before another extension in 2006. He is a Malaysian permanent resident and is married to a Malaysian.
Police have put Tahir under restricted residence as a condition for his release.
Home Minister Datuk Syed Hamid Albar told Parliament on May 7 that Tahir was detained under the ISA after investigations showed his actions posed a threat to national security and the country's economy. "He had also made Malaysia as a place to produce centrifuge component units," he said when replying to a question from Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir.
Police said Tahir had obtained centrifuge parts for nuclear systems, from SCOPE, which was then part of Scomi Group Berhad controlled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's son Kamaluddin. SCOPE had said the relevant parts were ordered legitimately for oil and gas work.
Gas centrifuges spin at supersonic speeds to separate fissile uranium-235 from nonfissile uranium isotopes. Police had cleared SCOPE of any involvment in the case and it was later sold off by SCOMI.
United States President George W. Bush had described Tahir as the "chief financial officer and money-launderer" of Khan's clandestine operations. Abdul Qadeer Khan had allegedly sold Iran nuclear centrifuge parts for US$3 million in cash in the mid-1990s. He is still under house arrest in Pakistan.
Police said said Tahir told them his involvement with the man dubbed the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb began some time in 1994 or 1995 when Khan asked him to send two containers of used centrifuge parts from Pakistan to Iran.
"B.S.A. Tahir organised the transshipment of the two containers from Dubai to Iran using a merchant ship owned by a company in Iran," police said in a report, adding "payment for the two containers of centrifuge units, amounting to about US$3 million", was paid by an unnamed Iranian.
"The cash was brought in two briefcases and kept in an apartment that was used as a guesthouse by the Pakistani nuclear arms expert each time he visited Dubai," says the report, which identifies Khan as the arms expert.
Diplomats and arms experts have said they believe Pakistani nuclear scientist Khan, who has admitted leaking nuclear secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea, offered Iran his centrifuge designs on the black market. Tahir also said Libya had received enriched uranium from Pakistan.
"Around 2001, the nuclear arms expert informed B.S.A. Tahir that a certain amount of UF6 (enriched uranium) was sent by air from Pakistan to Libya," the report says.
Experts say acquiring weapons-grade material is the biggest hurdle that countries seeking to make an atomic bomb must overcome.
Libya has since dropped its nuclear programme and become friends with the United States while North Korea is still in talks to dismantle its nuclear programme. Iran continues to move ahead to develop nuclear energy in a programme criticised by the US.
He was detained but his partners namely; Kamaluddin Abdullah, the Prime Minister's son and Shah Hakim Zain, Tun Salleh Abas's son-in-law was not held under ISA.
The buzz in the business community is that the two of them could not plead ignorance for they are fully aware of it. Both had been hawking the proposal around town from the days of Tun Dr Mahathir's administration but could not get it started.
The Malaysian Government have clearly no interest to put the country in jeopardy by pursuing a nunclear program, except limited commercial use at Puspati.
In fact, it is widely believed that BSA Tahir arranged for the seed capital to establish Kaspadu as the vehicle for the three to takeover control of Scomi. The rest about Scomi is history plus the only one about being the only two in the world supplying mud for oil drilling.
At the beginning of the first Parliament session, Dato Mukhriz Mahathir posed a question to Dato Syed Hamid, Minister of Internal Security regarding the status of BSA Tahir. The answer was 'official' in nature.
Is there the likelihood that Dr Mahathir is aware and has kept in his drawers many secrets behind the incident? And, could the question posed by Mukhriz turned on the alarm bells that need be quitened with UMNO party election coming closed?
The accusation that Abdullah is under the whims and fancy of foreigner is growing acceptance at the party grassroot. This could likely be another of Abdullah's attempt to please himself with the UMNO grassroot and dispell the accusation.
But to those who understand, why is he on restricted residence? Could it be someone is afraid BSA Tahir will squell and jeopardise someone's party Presidency and Youth leadership?