Airports are high security areas, says DPM

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 12 Apr 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: Strategic points in the country such as airports must be regarded as high security areas at all times, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Deputy Prime Minister said airports served as the entry and exit points, with the KL International Airport (KLIA) being the main entry/exit point for most visitors.

“Tourists would surely need to be assured of their safety and that their security is not being threatened at the KLIA,” he said, adding that this applied to all the other airports.

Najib was commenting on the daring heist at the KLIA on Wednesday, when armed robbers shot five people and escaped with S$1.5mil (RM3.5mil) from two moneychangers.

Expressing hope that the incident would not recur, he said he was certain the police would act to ensure security at the KLIA.

In Johor Baru, Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said the police and Malaysia Airports Bhd (MAB) should have better co-ordination on security at airports,

He said he did not want to blame any party but the ministry would advise both agencies on what was needed on the ground.

He said security at KLIA would be increased with more police personnel and “running” closed-circuit TV cameras (CCTVs).

“We must have CCTVs operating (at all times) and more areas under surveillance.

“More police personnel should be placed there and they must be properly armed to deter anyone from committing crime,” he said after his working visit to the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) and Johor Baru (South) police headquarters here.

Meanwhile, the Transport Ministry has clarified that CCTVs installed at KLIA were monitored and taken care of by MAB.

Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat also pointed out that not all the CCTVs at the airport were equipped with recording facilities.

“The cameras in the security risk areas inside the airport are for surveillance and also record continuously.

“However, the cameras meant for non-security risk areas, such as public areas outside the airport where the shootout took place, are only for surveillance and do not record anything.”

Ong was responding to allegations that the CCTVs in the area where the shootout and heist took place were not operational.

He said he would meet Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan soon, after being asked for his comments on Musa saying he had sent the Home Ministry a letter a month ago to improve security at the airport but had received no response.

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