Thursday, November 19, 2015

Malaysia to continue taking Syrian refugees despite Paris attacks

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 16, 2015

The Home Ministry will continue to take in Syrian refugees despite the horror that saw more than 100 lives lost following last weekend’s organised attack in Paris.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said although one of the perpetrators was said to be a Syrian refugee, there was no need to paint all other Syrian refugees in the same light.

“There is always danger when it comes to accepting refugees from the Middle East and that’s why we have been taking our time to basically filter out who we want to take and preferably those who have clear backgrounds.

“We assume they (Syrian refugees) are not terrorists but we have to filter their background to ensure they pose no threat to the country if we decide to take them in,” he told reporters when met at the Parliament lobby here, today.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had last month, told the United Nation general assembly that Malaysia would take in 3,000 Syrian refugees over the next three years.

According to Nur Jazlan, although the number of terrorists present has yet to be in the thousands, those such as the Islamic State group can create devastation at tremendous levels.

“Their attacks are huge but they only need a few people. So we monitor, even if its 20 people we will look at them, what more if there are thousands.

“But the most important thing now is to identify who has the potential of becoming a terrorist and we will take action on them before they initiate an attack.

He added that the country has dealt with terrorist elements since Al-Maunah and Al-Qaeda that have morphed into organisations such as IS that are only using Islam as a mask to hide anarchy.

When asked if he was personally shocked over the attack on Paris, Nur Jazlan replied back saying that following the Charlie Hebdo incident earlier this year, no one should really be surprised.

“That’s how difficult it is for authorities to monitor and to stop these new type of terrorism.

“They just operate in small groups, five, 10 people but they can create maximum havoc in city areas especially.”