KL-Riyadh deal to tackle IS threat

Fruitful talk: Hishammuddin having his meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Salman on tackling the IS threat. The meeting last two hours.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia and Saudi Arabia will strengthen intelligence sharing to deal with the influence and threat of the Islamic State (IS).

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the agreement was reached following his courtesy call on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Salman Al-Saud, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister II.

“We touched on matters of common interest and that of the region, particularly the concerns over the IS threat.

“In relation to this, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia agree to continue to strengthen intelligence information to counter the IS influence,” Hishammuddin said in a statement.

The two-hour meeting also saw Hishammuddin extending Malaysia’s thanks to the Saudi government for assisting pilgrims performing the haj and for allowing Malaysian armed forces personnel to be based in Riyadh for humanitarian operations.

This includes allowing additional flights to take pilgrims to perform the haj.

The Malaysian Government has been serious in its fight against IS, particularly concerning Malaysians involved with the militants.

Last November, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak presented a White Paper in Parliament calling for new security measures to curb the threat of the IS terrorist group.

On Sept 1, the Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota) to curb terrorist activities in Malaysia officially came into force.

The Act allows the authorities to take action against Malaysians suspected of being involved with IS or other terrorist organisations.

A new law, known as the Special Measures Against Terrorism in Foreign Countries 2015 (Smata), was also drafted together with Pota, and will allow the Immigration Department to suspend or cancel the travel documents of any Malaysian involved in a foreign terrorist organisation.

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