Malaysia tables White Paper on Islamic militancy; says new anti-terror law needed

File photo of ISIS supporters.

PETALING JAYA - The White Paper to combat the threat of the Islamic State (IS) militants has been presented to MPs in the Dewan Rakyat.

The 19-page report with a 12-page appendix and photographs of IS militants is expected to be tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today.

It also names 12 Malaysians who were influenced by the IS ideology, with some of them travelling to fight in Iraq and Syria.

MPs who received the paper yesterday said its objective was to give a clear picture of the danger posed by the extremists; why certain laws required to be tightened and the need for anti-terrorism laws similar to the ones in Britain, Australia and the United States.

They said the report highlighted the danger posed by militants returning from Syria and Iraq to Malaysia, as they had the potential to continue their terrorist activities by establishing cells and carrying out attacks in the country.

The MPs said there were also concerns that Malaysia could be hub to finance terror activities if laws were not enhanced to curb them.

They voiced their concern that by networking, the militant groups would have the potential to carry out terror attacks, especially in the east coast of Sabah where threats have come from the Abu Sayyaf group, which has pledged allegiance to IS.

They also said that the anticipated release of about 300 former Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) members from Indonesian prisons could impact security in Malaysia as they could link up with other JI members in Malaysia to form an IS network.

So far, Bukit Aman's counter-terrorist unit believes that 39 Malaysians, including a woman, were with IS militants in Syria and Iraq, and five of them have been killed there.

Police have also detained 40 militant suspects in the country since February 2013.

Twenty-one were charged in court while 19 were freed due to insufficient evidence but were still under surveillance.