Kuala Lumpur, Aug 9 (IANS) A total of 230 terror suspects were detained in Malaysia over the past three years, of whom 84 have been charged, 18 banished and 62 freed, the Home Ministry said on Tuesday.
The ministry made the announcement during a special briefing to foreign diplomats based in Malaysia, detailing its strategies to address terrorism threats in the country, Xinhua news agency reported.
The ministry said it has enhanced security personnel presence, information sharing with other countries, joint patrol by the police and military, and installation of mobile police booths.
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the briefing was to prevent possible misconceptions regarding the security situation in Malaysia, especially after the country suffered its first attack linked to the Islamic State (IS) in June and police in Indonesia foiled a bomb attack in Singapore last week.
Ayob Khan, principal assistant director of the counter terrorism unit, said 90 Malaysians have been identified to be involved in IS activity in Syria in which 21 have been killed, including seven as suicide bombers.
Ayob said eight Malaysians, who have returned after spending their time in Syria, were now under de-radicalisation programmes.
The authorities also held a similar security briefing to foreign diplomats in April, during which a senior official urged Australian and British governments to withdraw their security alerts for Malaysia, saying the Malaysian government had undertaken all necessary security measures to prevent terrorism in the country.
At Tuesday’s briefing, Zahid also urged reporters not to sensationalize Malaysia’s security threats, saying “We have adopted a very open approach where security is concerned. We do not want to hide anything so that the truth can be known.”