KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will proceed with opening its doors to 3,000 Syrian refugees, despite the recent attacks in Paris.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the ministry would spend more time filtering the backgrounds of refugees before deciding whether to take them in.
"There is always a danger of accepting refugees from the Middle-East and that is why we have been taking our time to filter out who we can take in, preferably those with clean backgrounds," he told reporters at Parliament lobby on Monday.
Nur Jazlan said this following rumours that one of the terrorists in the Paris attacks was a Syrian refugee.
"Of course, with what's happening in Paris now, we have to (filter). But let's not taint all Syrian refugees in the same light," he said.
He said the pledge made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to accept 3,000 Syrian refugees in stages over the next three years had not changed.
"We assume they are not terrorists, but we also have to ensure they don't pose any threat to the country if we do decide to take them in," added Nur Jazlan.
Najib told the United Nations general assembly in early October that Malaysia was taking the lead in assisting Syrian refugees besides providing shelter for refugees from other countries.
The Prime Minister had said that Muslim countries were partly responsible for marginalised Syrians fleeing their country, causing social and economic distress in Europe. About four million Syrian refugees are estimated to have fled into neighbouring countries over the last four years and are struggling with hardship and poverty.