KUALA LUMPUR: The Asean Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC) will be held annually starting from next year, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said that after the first phase of the meeting, it was decided by delegates of the meeting would be held annually instead of once every two years.
"This is because there are many issues that we need to tackle on Transnational Crime by Asean countries," he told a press conference at the 10th Asean Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC) on Tuesday.
He added that three more issues have been added to the eight existing issues initially listed to be discussed at the four-day meeting.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said the three issues added were illicit trafficking in wildlife, illicit trafficking in timber and people smuggling.
Eight issues initially listed to be discussed at the four-day meeting are drug trafficking, terrorism, economic crimes, human trafficking, money laundering, piracy, weapon smuggling and cybercrime.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said earlier during his opening remarks at the meeting that Asean leaders must make a bold decision on whether to deal only with the existing eight issues of transnational crime, or tackle new ones as well.
He said Asean leaders should also consider wildlife trafficking and timber smuggling in its discussions this week.
Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said irregular movement of persons need to be addressed.
"This issue continues to be one of the main security threats in the region for quite a period, and it reaches the critical level during the middle of this year as well as impacted a few Asean member countries, including Malaysia, following the sudden influx of irregular migrants," he added.