Malaysia de-radicalises seven prison warders influenced by militant detainees

Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that seven prison warders who had been influenced by militant ideologies had been sent for de-radicalisation programmes.
Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that seven prison warders who had been influenced by militant ideologies had been sent for de-radicalisation programmes.PHOTO: THE STAR

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian authorities have had to send seven prison warders for de-radicalisation programmes after they were influenced by detainees involved in militant groups, it was reported on Thursday (July 28).

The Home Ministry has also started separating detainees held for militant activities from regular prisoners in a bid to curb the spread of terror ideology within Malaysia's prisons, the New Straits Times (NST) quoted Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as saying.

"I know that this is news which will make everyone feel uncomfortable. However, this is not something we can deny and we have addressed this problem," he told reporters after attending a Hari Raya gathering.

Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said the government is pulling out all stops in curbing militant activities, according to the NST report.

"That is why we have begun separating detainees with militant ideologies from regular prisoners to avoid the spread of such influences within prisons in the country," Dr Zahid was quoted as saying.

The Home Ministry is also in the midst of refurbishing Taiping's Kamunting prison, which will house detainees linked to the militant group, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), he added.

They will undergo de-radicalisation programmes supervised by the prison department, police, the health ministry, as well as Islamic Religious Department and councils.

The newspaper quoted Dr Zahid as saying he was confident of Malaysia's ability and experience in de-radicalisation and rehabilitation.

The deputy prime minister also said so far 261 Malaysians have been arrested for suspected involvement in militant activities.

Police have also identified 63 Malaysians in Syria and Iraq recruited by ISIS groups.