Malaysia, Australia to share intelligence info on immigration issues

May 9, 2017
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi being welcomed by Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Canberra on Monday, May 8, 2017 … photo Bernama.

Malaysia and Australia will share intelligence information to tackle immigration issues that are of mutual benefit to both countries.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said such sharing of information would enable both countries to respond speedily if there was a need to do so.

“We will share intelligence information on illegal immigrants in Australia who used Malaysia as a transit point. This information will be very useful for follow-up action,” Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Home Minister, told Bernama in Canberra on Monday.

Earlier, he had paid a courtesy call on Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the Parliament House.

While there, Ahmad Zahid had also received courtesy calls from his Australia’s counterpart Barnaby Joyce, Immigration and Border Security Minister Peter Dutton, Justice Minister Michael Keenan and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

Ahmad Zahid said Canberra had expressed its concern over illegal immigrants using Malaysia as a transit point before entering Australia.

“The second matter discussed was that we want to arrive at an action plan to resolve this problem at the source country, we do not want the country concerned to wash its hands off (in tackling the issue),” Ahmad Zahid said.

He said the third point of agreement in his meeting with the Australian leaders was the proposal to hold an international conference on immigrants in the effort to resolve the issue at the global level.

“UK (United Kingdom) had previously proposed the conference so that the countries involved can take part and resolve the problem,” he said.

He said Malaysia and Australia had agreed and supported the conference to be held in the UK to find a more concrete solution to the issue.

On his meeting with the Australian prime minister, Ahmad Zahid said Turnbull also touched on deradicalisation, counter-terrorism and cross-border crimes.

Turnbull also expressed the need to share information on policies implemented by Malaysia, said the Malaysian DPM.

Ahmad Zahid arrived in Canberra on Sunday for a three-day working visit to further enhance the already close ties between Malaysia and Australia with the focus on security, fighting terrorism and cross-border crimes.

At noon today, he met Malaysian students studying in Canberra.

Today, Ahmad Zahid will leave for Sydney to meet the Governor of New South Wales, David Hurley.

He will also visit the Australian Border Force College there followed by a dinner with Malaysian students in Sydney before returning to Kuala Lumpur. – Bernama