THE EN­EMY WITHIN

ASIO raids NSW La­bor over Bei­jing ‘in­fil­tra­tion’

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - Front Page - ANNA CALD­WELL & JANET FIFE-YEOMANS

LA­BOR is in cri­sis with ASIO raids on one of its MPs and a staffer amid an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into al­le­ga­tions of in­fil­tra­tion by agents act­ing for Bei­jing.

Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son said af­ter the raids on state MP Shao­quett Mosel­mane’s home and Par­lia­ment House of­fice the threat of for­eign in­ter­fer­ence was “ex­tremely se­ri­ous” and “real”.

“We won’t cop any­one com­ing and seek­ing to in­ter­fere in our po­lit­i­cal sys­tem, in our en­ergy sec­tor, in any area of per­ceived op­por­tu­nity,” the PM said.

A MAS­SIVE ASIO in­ves­ti­ga­tion is underway into al­le­ga­tions Chi­nese agents and in­tel­li­gence op­er­a­tives have in­fil­trated the of­fice of NSW La­bor MP Shao­quett Mosel­mane.

Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son said a string of co-or­di­nated AFP raids con­ducted on be­half of ASIO on Mr Mosel­mane’s

home and Par­lia­ment House of­fice showed the threat of for­eign in­ter­fer­ence was “ex­tremely se­ri­ous” and “real”.

“The need to take ac­tion is nec­es­sary and the gov­ern­ment is ab­so­lutely de­ter­mined to en­sure that no­body in­ter­feres with Aus­tralia’s ac­tiv­i­ties,” Mr Mor­ri­son said.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion is con­sid­ered “on­go­ing” and has also ex­am­ined Mr Mosel­mane’s staffer John Zhang who Nine news­pa­pers last year re­vealed took a Bei­jing pro­pa­ganda course run by the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party in 2013. One source told The Satur­day Tele­graph the in­ves­ti­ga­tion could still widen.

AFP of­fi­cers swooped on the Rock­dale home of Mr Mosel­mane from 6.30am yes­ter­day, be­fore then ar­riv­ing at his level 11 of­fice at NSW Par­lia­ment House, where the Up­per House MP spent most of the day.

Spe­cial pro­to­cols were in place to en­sure the raid com­plied with par­lia­men­tary priv­i­lege re­quire­ments, with NSW par­lia­ment Clerk David Blunt or his deputy present from 11am un­til the raid was com­pleted.

Mr Mosel­mane re­turned home at about 8.30pm last night af­ter spend­ing al­most 12 hours at Par­lia­ment House.

The raids were also un­der­taken at a busi­ness and per­sonal ad­dress of Mr Zhang.

Mr Mor­ri­son con­firmed he’d been briefed on the raids Thurs­day night, say­ing: “The need to take ac­tion is nec­es­sary and the gov­ern­ment is ab­so­lutely de­ter­mined to en­sure that no­body in­ter­feres with Aus­tralia’s ac­tiv­i­ties.

“We won’t cop any­one com­ing and seek­ing to in­ter­fere in our po­lit­i­cal sys­tem, in our en­ergy sec­tor, in any area of per­ceived area of op­por­tu­nity for an out­side ac­tor.

“We won’t cop it. We are a re­silient peo­ple. We will stand up to it. And we will take ac­tion, as what you’ve seen to­day demon­strates.”

Just last month Mr Mosel­mane, who has been a strong public sup­porter of China, praised the Chi­nese han­dling of the coro­n­avirus.

He was also caught warn­ing “the ob­so­lete scum of White Aus­tralia” has reemerged in an opin­ion piece in which he also at­tacked Aus­tralia’s me­dia as anti-Chi­nese and praised China’s COVID-19 lead­er­ship. It re­sulted in him be­ing forced to re­sign as as­sis­tant pres­i­dent of the Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil.

NSW La­bor Leader Jodi McKay asked for Mr Mosel­mane’s mem­ber­ship of the La­bor Party to be sus­pended yes­ter­day, which was moved on quickly by Sus­sex Street.

“It’s dread­fully con­cern­ing. It’s ter­ri­ble. There is an ex­pec­ta­tion on MPs that what­ever they do is in the best in­ter­est of this state,” Ms McKay said at a press con­fer­ence.

“I be­lieve there’s one other per­son of in­ter­est that was a staff mem­ber, but we’re try­ing to fig­ure out if he’s a mem­ber of the La­bor Party. If he is, his mem­ber­ship will be sus­pended as well,” Ms McKay said.

NSW Po­lice Min­ster David El­liott called on Mr Mosel­mane to be ex­pelled by the ALP and to re­sign from par­lia­ment im­me­di­ately.

The La­bor MP has taken 10 trips to China in the space of nine years.

He has also been de­scribed by former for­eign min­is­ter and former NSW premier

Bob Carr as a “friend”.

Mr Carr did not com­ment yes­ter­day, nor would former La­bor up­per house MP and friend of Mr Mosel­mane Ernest Wong, who was last year hauled be­fore ICAC over his own Chi­nese links.

It comes al­most three years af­ter Sen­a­tor Sam Dast­yari quit over con­nec­tions with China.

Former NSW La­bor boss Kaila Mur­nain re­signed last year over a Chi­nese do­na­tions scan­dal.

Shao­quett Mosel­mane ar­rives home af­ter spend­ing the day at NSW par­lia­ment (main) and re­turns in­side (right). Pic­tures: Jonathan Ng, APP

The AFP raid the of­fice of Shao­quett Mosel­mane (left) and the MP meets Com­mu­nist of­fi­cial Mrs Jie Ju in 2015 on a trip to China.

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