Zainuddin: Stranded Palestinian issue has exposed Government's weakness

PETALING JAYA - The Star's report of stranded Palestinian Ahmed Kanan has exposed a weakness in the Government machinery's ability to ensure national security at KLIA, said Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin.

The former Information Minister said the fact that Ahmed was from conflict-torn Palestine did not detract from the fact that he had made the airport home for 54 days without being picked up by the authorities.

He wrote on his blog yesterday that this included Malaysian Airport Holdings Bhd (MAHB), the Immigration Department and the police.

Zainuddin, a former Utusan Melayu group chief editor, pointed out that Ahmed had also been using the airport facilities to shower.

He said Malaysians, especially Muslims, might have been sympathetic to Ahmed's plight on humanitarian grounds but cautioned that this case was not about the Palestine cause.

"This is not a light matter. News must have spread worldwide that KLIA can become a comfortable, air-conditioned home to illegal travellers (musafir haram), especially those from poor and troubled countries, as there are many here who are willing to help," he said.

Zainuddin pointed out that terrorists, traitors, spies and smugglers could also take the opportunity to make KLIA home to carry out research.

He urged parliamentarians to voice concerns about the issue instead of remaining silent.

"This is a serious incident, which shamed the country, and is also a threat to security," he said.