Policies under review after Malaysia cited as terror transit hub
By Melissa Goh, Malaysia Bureau Chief, Channel NewsAsia
POSTED: 17 Dec 2014 20:23
Malaysia's enforcement agencies are re-examining the country's immigration policies after the Southeast Asian nation was recognised as an easy transit point and recruiting hub for radical Muslim extremists.
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian authorities have stepped up vigilance at all its immigration checkpoints as the chorus against violent extremism has intensified after the deadly attacks in Sydney and Pakistan.
Kuala Lumpur has been cited as an easy transit centre for radical Muslims. Man Haron Monis - responsible for the siege in Sydney - had himself travelled to Malaysia in the 90s before he settled on Australian soil.
But Malaysian police say they are on high alert and have managed to stop some 45 Malaysian men and women from travelling to Syria. The latest is a 39-year-old man who had been detained at KL International Airport as he tried to board a plane bound for Turkey.
"As we go along, we become better and better and more experienced,” said Deputy Inspector-General of Police Noor Rashid Ibrahim. “Now not only are we able to do a better profiling; we are able to make analysis of what is happening … and that contributes to our success"
But security experts say that for every person authorities have detained, at least nine have slipped through. They attribute this to Malaysia's friendly policies towards foreigners. "We have a friendly approach; we facilitate easy access for foreigners to come to our country as tourists and as investors to conduct their business here,” added Rashid. “But we realised that such a policy has been taken advantage of by syndicates."
The government agrees that Malaysia's reputation as a transit hub for terrorists, and drug and human trafficking must be tackled decisively. For starters, it will change laws to enable suspects to be detained without trial. It will also beef up national surveillance techniques as it becomes more integrated with the rest of the world. This will enhance the country's capabilities to share intelligence with regional and international security agencies.
Source : Channel News Asia (Singapour)
Relayé par H.G