Malaysia beefing up checks at key entry points to prevent threat of terrorist attacks: Transport Minister

A passenger looks at his luggage at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia, on Jan 6, 2016.
A passenger looks at his luggage at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia, on Jan 6, 2016. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Security at key entry points such as airports, train stations and ports in Malaysia has been strengthened as a precaution against terrorist attacks, said the country's Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai.

He said Malaysia began tightening security last year when intelligence sources revealed possible attacks in Jalan Alor, which is a popular spot in Kuala Lumpur.

"Airports and train stations are public areas and we always pay close attention to these places. We have put in more surveillance equipment and personnel. We will continue to strengthen security at these areas," he said.

He said Malaysia Airports Holdings had refurbished its security system and was on guard.

The Immigration Department was also monitoring the movement of Malaysians fighting for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Syria, he said.

"This has been done not just after the Jakarta attacks, but since last year when we were warned of possible attacks in Jalan Alor. Since then we have taken action and put in all these measures," he told reporters yesterday after launching a civic awareness programme.

But Mr Liow urged the public not to panic.

"Although some areas in the city have been identified as possible targets, Malaysians must stay calm and have confidence in our security forces.

"I would like to thank the police. They have done a lot, including arresting several IS suspects to ensure there is peace and stability in the country," he said.

He said it had been revealed that there were 50,000 ISIS sympathisers in the country "and this is of concern".

City buses and monorails in the capital Kuala Lumpur were also taking precautions.

Mr Azmi Abdul Aziz, group chief executive of Prasarana, which runs the RapidKL city buses, said company officials were working closely with police to enhance public safety and ensure no disruption to travel. The group also runs the Ampang and Kelana Jaya LRT, as well as the KL Monorail.

"We assure the travelling public their safety and that security is being looked into without any compromise," said Mr Azmi after viewing the first of 14 Bombardier Innovia Metro Trains built for the Kelana Jaya LRT line extension.