KUALA LUMPUR: The Defence Ministry will start monitoring trans-border crimes to prevent the proceeds from the activities from funding terrorism.
Its minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said trans-border crimes usually fell under the purview of the Home Ministry, but would now also be monitored by his ministry.
“These crimes, like drug and human smuggling, online gambling and arms dealing are lucrative and represent an untapped black economy, which could fall into the hands of terrorists and extremists.
“We cannot allow this to happen,” he told a press conference after co-chairing the 53th Malaysia–Thailand General Border Committee Meeting (GBC) along with Thailand Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister H.E General Prawit Wongsuwon, here yesterday.
Hishammuddin said the strategy to combat trans-border crime was continuing and the authorities were intensifying cooperation and information-sharing with neighbouring countries.
“We want to work closely with our neighbours to make sure these crimes do not occur across our borders, similar to the cooperation we have with the Philippines and Indonesia in the Sulu Sea.
“Both our countries share close ties and there is a lot of trust and cooperation.”
Asked if there would be changes in the efforts to combat terrorism with the United States, following Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election, Hishammuddin said it was too early to say.
“We have to wait and see because he only takes office in January.
“We have to look at his policies and take it from there but the US agencies that we have been working with all this while, like the US military and their Pacific Command, will not change and we have always had a close working relationship with them,” he said.