KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s legal and regulatory framework in fighting terrorism financing has gained the world’s confidence, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
The framework has also contributed to the stability of Malaysia’s financial system and economic development, he said in articles he wrote that were published in the latest edition of the Journal of Public Security and Safety.
He said the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 required financial institutions to promptly report suspicious transactions to the financial intelligence unit of Bank Negara.
Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said terrorists needed substantial resources to run their training facilities, acquire weapons and travel to destinations in order to carry out attacks.
“Without the necessary funds, they would not be able to execute many of their plans,” he said.
To weaken and neutralise terrorism, he said, it was necessary for the authorities to detect, reduce and cut the flow of money to terrorist organisations.
He said that based on the commitment shown and the continuing efforts to improve its anti-money laundering, as well as combating the terrorism financing initiatives, Malaysia was last year included as a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a policy-making body established in 1989 by the G7 Summit in Paris.
The body aims to promote effective implementation of legal and regulatory measures for combating money laundering, terrorism financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
As an FATF member country, Malaysia was recognised by the international community as a country that was seriously committed to fighting money laundering and terrorism financing, said Dr Ahmad Zahid.
Such recognition, he said, would improve the country’s position in gaining wider access to the global financial market, particularly the capital market, to become an excellent hub for finance and banking in the region and in the world at large.
On the terrorist threat posed by Islamic State, Dr Ahmad Zahid said Malaysia had enacted two preventive laws – the Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota) 2015 and Special Measures against Terrorism in Foreign Countries Act (Smata) 2015.
Besides this, the Penal Code imposed a severe penalty of imprisonment, from 30 years up to life or the death penalty for terrorism-related offences, he said.
In drawing attention to the regional front, Dr Ahmad Zahid said Malaysia and the other Asean member states maintained strong cooperation to deal with security matters, including terrorism-related issues.
He also said that Malaysia had become party to most of the international conventions and protocols on combating terrorist activities. — Bernama