Malaysian government has appointed a military officer as the director-general of the National Security Council, it was announced here Wednesday.
Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who made the announcement, said Chief of Defence Forces Gen Zulkifeli Mohd Zin has been appointed the first director-general of the council.
It is learnt that Zulkifeli’s appointment took effect on Aug 15. Up to now the council had a civilian occupying the post of secretary.
“In view of the threats to national security and defence, the government decided that a police or military officer should be in charge of the council,”
Ahmad Zahid said at a dinner with officers and staff of the Malaysian Permanent Mission to the United Nations and government agencies operating in New York, at the mission office here.
He also said that more police and military officers with experience in national security and defence matters would be appointed to the council.
Ahmad Zahid also urged Malaysians not to take lightly the domestic and external threats to national security and defence.
He said Zulkifeli’s appointment was a move to strengthen the National Security Council to be like the council in the United States.
He advised the people to view the matter positively and not to underestimate the threats to the country’s security and defence.
The national security and defence policy was drawn up by combining the synergies of duties between the Royal Malaysia Police and the Malaysian Armed Forces, he said.
Ahmad Zahid said the people could have differences of opinion in politics and that this was encouraged, but in the matter of national security and defence, they must be united.
He said the people should not assume that terror attacks which occurred abroad would not take place in Malaysia.
“The question is when and where they could take place,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid also said that there existed a group that called itself “Khalifah Nusantara” which wanted to establish a so-called Islamic empire in the archipelago with its members active in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam.
He said the group was committing terror attacks in the region, and added that the bombing at the Movida nightclub in Puchong, Selangor, on June 28 was believed to be the first Daesh attack in Malaysia.
The people must be vigilant against further attacks and should not leave the task of preventing such occurrences only to the police and military.