Government may use deradicalisation programme for foreigners

May 7, 2017

The federal government has not ruled out the possibility of using the deradicalisation programme for foreigners who were detained for their involvement in extremist activities as an effort to combat terrorism.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi however, stressed that implementing such a programme would require the green-light from the foreigner’s country of origin.

“The deradicalisation programme is basically for Malaysians detained involved in activities related to extremism and terrorism. However, if foreign fighters ‘hide’ in the country in whatever capacity, position or job can be sent home.

“If a deradicalisation is required, we will carry out with the consent of their country of origin,” he told reporters after meeting leaders of the Indian community at the Traditional Indian Village at Jalan Feri, Simpang Empat, Hutan Melintang, yesterday.

Ahmad Zahid who is also the Home Minister said when referring to a statement from the Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar about the detention of three Turkish nationals recently on suspicion of being involved in terrorist activities.

The Home Minister said the three suspects, comprising two academicians and a businessman, were being investigated to determine if they were involved or linked to any international terrorist groups or if they were operating individually.

“We do not want foreigners in Malaysia, whether they are under the expatriate programme, skilled professional, semi-skilled professional or tourists to have a specific agenda for being in Malaysia. We hope steps taken can ensure Malaysia is free from elements of terrorism that can be detrimental to the harmony and peace of Malaysia that has a multiracial population, culture and religion,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid said the National Registration Department (NRD) had received 4,300 applications for identity cards from the Indian community, especially those who were born before ‘Merdeka’ but did not have any valid documents.

“We will gather all documents of applicants who do not have identification cards but have been in Malaysia before Aug 31, 1957 or those who were born after Independence but do not have identity cards under Perkara 15(1) Perlembagaan Persekutuan atau Perkara 19(1) Perlembagaan Persekutuan,” he said.

He said in Bagan Datuk, a mobile unit had been set up with the help of a political party, non governmental organisation, residents association and temple committee, to solve issues involving identity cards. –Bernama