Local bodies to be scrutinised to check terror financing

  • Nation
  • Friday, 17 Jan 2020

Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

PUTRAJAYA: Financial records of societies and organisations will be scrutinised for terrorism financing, says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

This will be one of the continuous efforts by authorities to curb the use of local bodies for money-laundering and to channel funds for terror activities, he said.

However, Muhyiddin assured organisations that they would not be harassed or controlled while authorities put a stop to terrorism.

“That is certainly not the intention. If the ROS (Registrar of Societies) feels there is a strong reason to scrutinise the finances of a society or organisation, only then they will do so, ” he told the media after attending the ministry’s monthly assembly yesterday.

He said it was normal for ROS to look into the finances of organisations registered under it, but what will be done from this year is to further scrutinise the record to ensure “no suspicious activities”.

“We need to be serious about terrorism financing in light of the latest development regarding terrorism and cross-border crimes, ” he added.

Muhyiddin said there was a need to ensure registered societies and organisations in Malaysia are not used for money-laundering and to finance terror, adding that some would channel funds in the pretext of welfare, education and religious activities.

On another matter, the minister said the report by the Royal Commission of Inquiry on the discovery of transit camps and mass graves in Wang Kelian will be presented to the Cabinet next week.

“After going through the report and if the Cabinet agrees, it will be made public, ” he said.

The report and recommendations of the inquiry were made based on findings of the 17-day inquiry involving 48 witnesses.

In May 2015, police discovered 139 graves and 106 bodies believed to be Rohingya and 29 illegal immigrant camps deep in the jungles of Bukit Genting Perah and Bukit Wang Burma in Perlis, which is located a few hundred metres from the Malaysia-Thai border.

For this year, Muhyiddin said the Home Ministry planned to review and amend several Acts under its purview, including the Sedition Act, Prevention of Crime Act, Drug Dependants (Treatment and Rehabilitation) Act and Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act.

“As for the review for Sosma (Security Offences [Special Measures] Act), it is 95% ready but we are fine-tuning a few issues which the Cabinet wants us to do. We are also looking at views from the parliamentary select committee, ” he said.

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