Malaysia mulls tightening airport security: Only passengers allowed inside terminals

A man stands near flight information boards at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), on June 14, 2014.
A man stands near flight information boards at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), on June 14, 2014.PHOTO: REUTERS

ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA - The Malaysian government is mulling a proposal to allow only air passengers to enter terminals at all major airports to tighten security, according to state media.

Only passengers will be allowed at the check-in counters while those sending them off would be kept outside the building or restricted to group at a particular place, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi

He was speaking to journalists at the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem) Summit here on Friday (July 15).

"The Cabinet had instructed Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai to work out this proposal with MAHB (Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad)," Dr Ahmad Zahid was quoted as saying by the Bernama news agency.

Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is leading the Malaysian delegation to the Asem Summit, said Datuk Seri Liow was also asked to find a way to prevent vehicles sending off or waiting for air passengers from parking near terminals.

The proposal to tighten airport security comes after an attack at the Istanbul Ataturk Airport last month that killed 45 people and wounded hundreds, the deadliest in a series of bombings this year in Turkey.

In the June 28 airport attack, three bombers opened fire to create panic outside the airport before two of them got inside and blew themselves up. The third militant detonated his explosives outside at the entrance to the international arrival terminal, Reuters reported.

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria claimed responsibility for the suicide bombings.