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Call for higher security in public spaces


Beefing up security: Policemen making their rounds at KLIA. — Bernama

Reports by MAZWIN NIK ANIS, JUNAID IBRAHIM, RAGANANTHINI VETHASALAM and JUSTIN ZACK

PETALING JAYA: The heightened security at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) terminals should be a permanent fixture, with the same done in other high-density public spaces, says Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.

The Alliance for a Safe Community chairman said that with the recent shooting incident at KLIA and the arrest of an alleged Israeli hitman Shalom Avitan who was found with six pistols and 158 bullets in a hotel in Kuala Lumpur, the “omnipresence” of security personnel would be a deterrence to would-be criminals.

“It is important that the government takes steps not just at airports but at all other public spaces such as train stations, ports and especially at places where a large number of people gather,” he said.

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However, he added that such measures would only be effective if it was permanent.

“The concern now is whether the authorities would continue and make it sustainable. I hope these patrols are not there only for a couple of months and later we don’t see them anymore.

“It is better to take all the necessary precautionary steps. Yes, the shooting at the airport was due to a personal issue and an isolated case but in view of the global security threats, the whole world isn’t safe right now,” he said.

For those who claimed that having too many armed policemen patrolling would give an impression that the country is unsafe, he suggested that the police also increase the number of plain-clothes policemen for patrols as well.

Previously Selangor police chief Comm Datuk Hussein Omar Khan said members of the General Operations Force (PGA) have been deployed to both terminals of the airport following the April 14 shooting incident at the arrival hall of KLIA.

“There are now additions to general duty policemen at the buildings. Full-gear PGA policemen are also on patrol at entry points and outside the airport buildings,” he said.

On April 14, KLIA was rocked by a gunman who allegedly attempted to kill his wife at the arrival hall.

Travel agency owner Farah Md Isa was at the terminal waiting for the return of her clients from umrah (mini-pilgrimage) at 1.20am.

The suspect threw a firecracker towards her direction, leading to injuries to passers-by, before opening fire at her at close range.

Farah’s bodyguard, Muhammad Nur Hadith, nicknamed Along, saved her life but he was shot in the abdomen in the process.

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