Special taskforce to screen entry of Syrian refugees, says home ministry

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Source: The Malay Mail Online

Deputy Home Minister Masir Kujat said among the security measures being taken by the government was to ensure these refugees were free from terrorism ideology and did not undermine national security. — Reuters pic

Deputy Home Minister Masir Kujat said among the security measures being taken by the government was to ensure these refugees were free from terrorism ideology and did not undermine national security. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 14 — The screening of Syrian refugees to enter and be accepted into Malaysia will be conducted by a special taskforce in efforts to check militant and terrorist threats.

Deputy Home Minister Masir Kujat said among the security measures being taken by the government was to ensure these refugees were free from terrorism ideology and did not undermine national security.

“A temporary migrants placement special taskforce headed by the Home Ministry and comprising various government agencies has been formed to ensure the implementation of this programme in line with the existing laws,” he said when winding up on the Supply Bill 2016 for his ministry in the Dewan Negara today.

He said the taskforce had set up tight security screening and vetting process to ensure the refugees did not bring in any beliefs and ideologies on terrorism that has spread throughout the world.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak recently announced the government’s policy to accept 3,000 Syrians who are victims of war and conflict in their country over the next three years.

Meanwhile Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim when winding up the bill for his ministry said the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA)’s assets would be increased.

This is to enable the agency to conduct more patrols to curb intrusion by foreign vessels such as the Chinese coast guard ships in Beting Patinggi Ali, about 80 nautical miles from Tanjung Baram, Sarawak.

Shahidan said MMEA and the Royal Malaysian Navy would also conduct ongoing patrols ever since such intrusion was detected in Malaysian waters in the South China Sea on September 4, 2013.

He said a comprehensive approach through diplomatic channels and negotiations with China to resolve the intrusion problems arising from overlapping claims in the waters concerned was also being taken.

Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom when winding up the same bill for the ministry said the distribution of tithe would be simplified to help the homeless.

“The procedure is that the applicant must have a home address, water and electricity bills. Despite not having a home address, we will try to give proper assistance such as money and food.

“The procedure is to manage the aid money and it will not be given arbitrarily without checking,” he said.

In order to help the group, the Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Council (MAIWP) Baitulmal has collaborated with several non-governmental organisations (NGOs), he said.

“The homeless verification letter issued by the NGOs is being used by MAIWP Baitulmal to give monthly aid especially to the homeless. The organisation also provides temporary transit homes to the homeless before tithe can be channelled to them,” he said.

The sitting continues tomorrow. — Bernama