70 army personnel found involved with ISIS: Malaysian parliament told

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - About 70 army personnel were found to be involved with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group, Malaysian officials said on Monday.

Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri told the parliament that the figure was based on confirmation by the police.

"The army is monitoring the situation via its investigation and intelligence division, together with its human resources section," he said. "If army personnel are found to embrace elements of ISIS, the army and police will cooperate in our efforts to counsel them and restore their faith in accordance with proper teachings," he said during question time.

He was answering a supplementary question by lawmaker Datuk Jamilah Sulaiman who asked what were the ministry's steps in ensuring that soldiers do not enlist themselves with the ISIS militant group.

Earlier to another question, Mr Abdul Rahim said nobody has ever been accepted into the army using a fake identification card.

"Each recruit will go through a stringent selection process before being accepted into the army.

"The army will also check the criminal record of each recruit to ensure they are free from any criminal history and were legal citizens of Malaysia," he said.

Abdul Rahim added that the army constantly worked closely with the police and the National Registration Department in the selection process of each recruit.