Deputy Inspector-General of Police Noor Rashid Ibrahim claims that a good air transport network in Malaysia has become a factor for terrorists to enter Malaysia and using it as a transit destination. He said – “Airports in our country are open for all flights so it is easy for outsiders to enter here and I believe they take the opportunity to sneak in.”
Based on his logic, Singapore should be the preferred destination of terrorists. But is that the case? Armed with 159 countries that Singaporeans can visit “visa-free”, the tiny nation located in the Southeast Asia became the first Asian nation to head the rankings as the most powerful passport in the world in 2017, before losing the spot to United Arab Emirates (UAE) last year.
The No. 2 police chief, however, was correct to say – “In addition, they (terrorists) see that they may gather here without being disturbed.” In reality, the primary factor that terrorists are attracted to the country is due to extremism – even corruption and racism – policies adopted by the previous regime and increasingly being trumpeted by desperate political parties such as UMNO and PAS.
To be fair, Malaysia is not the only breeding ground for terrorist in the region. Indonesia and the Philippines have been the favourite countries for radicalisation as well. In 2017, Russell Salic, a 37-year-old Filipino doctor, revealed how he transferred money to Jasanizam Rosni in Johor on June 24, 2016, just days before the attack at the Movida pub in Puchong, Malaysia.
In January this year, the Malaysian Counter-Terrorism Division disclosed that the authorities have since 2013 arrested 453 people involved in IS-related activities. When 35-year-old Dr Mahmud Ahmad, a lecturer from the University of Malaya Islamic Studies Faculty, was revealed as a suspected militant in 2014, eyebrows were raised over colleges and universities becoming breeding grounds for terrorists.
Besides operating under the cover of being students in local institutions of higher learning, militants also masked their intention venturing into local business. According to the then-Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Malaysian Muslim youths were attracted by terrorism groups such as ISIS after being led to believe in heavenly rewards for their “Jihad.”
Malaysia is a fertile breeding ground largely because unlike neighbouring Singapore, the authorities don’t really scrutinise or suspect foreigners entering and living in the country, especially if the foreigners originated from Muslim-majority countries. Days ago, the Counter Terrorism division had detained nine suspected terrorist fighters including two local residents.
Apparently, the militants were members of the Ansar Al-Shariah Al-Tunisia group, a part of the Al-Qaeda terror network operating in North Africa. Detained during anti-terror operations in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Sarawak between Feb 2 and Feb 9, the suspected terrorists were reportedly involved in plans to launch large-scale attacks in several countries.
A 42-year-old Egyptian who worked as an educator at a religious school was one of the foreigners arrested by police in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur. Other Egyptians arrested included students at a higher learning institution in the Klang Valley and East Coast of Malaysia. Another arrested Egyptian worked as an Arabic teacher in Ampang, Selangor.
The foreign terrorist fighters, according to investigations, had planned to use Malaysia as a “safe haven” for a transit and logistics centre by using legitimate or fake documentation, marrying locals to obtain a spouse visa, exploiting education facilities, or by doing business in the country. The suspected militants have since been deported to their country of origin.
However, the fact that the African-based terror group could easily infiltrate into the country with the assistance of two Malaysians, who helped provide lodgings and pay for other expenses that include plane tickets into the country, means extremism has been successful in radicalizing the local Muslims and turned Malaysia into the launch pad for terror attacks in the country or the region.
Like it or not, Perak DAP chairman Nga Kor Ming was absolutely correct when he claimed that Malaysia would be like Taliban-controlled Afghanistan if the alliance of PAS Islamist party and UMNO party succeeded in taking over control of the country in the next general election. You don’t need a rocket scientist to tell what would happen when the magic potion of racism and extremism are mixed together.
Allowing UMNO and PAS to shout and lie about Malay losing power, and Islam being insulted by non-Malay and non-Muslim is definitely a dangerous game which the authorities don’t seem to care. If some local Malay-Muslims could be brainwashed to fight for ISIS, how difficult would it be to radicalize the same gullible locals to launch attacks on local non-Malay and non-Muslim?
Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun admitted the arrests of the six Egyptians and a Tunisian were made after the police received a tip-off from a foreign intelligence agency regarding the presence of suspected foreign terrorist fighters. Without those alerts, the local police might not even aware of the existence of such threats from the beginning.
As UMNO-PAS alliance desperately and increasingly plays the card of race and religion to win Malay and Muslim votes, those who believe their poisonous propaganda would be inspired and may resort to violence and terrorism. The police should lock up anyone who abuse the freedom of speech to stir up racial and religion sentiments. Extremism breeds terrorism.
Source : Finance Twitter