Malls in JB beef up security amid recent threats

JOHOR BARU - Shopping malls and popular tourist destinations in Johor are beefing up security to ensure public safety in light of the recent Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) threats, The Star reported. 

The security measures come days after Malaysian police said that a night club blast in Puchong, Selangor, last month was carried out by locals who were directly instructed by ISIS member Muhamad Wanndy Mohamad Jedi from Syria.

A Johor Baru City Square shopping mall official, Joyce Lee, said the management had been training its staff to be more vigilant.

"We have also set up a standard operating procedure for more effective training and police have been doing frequent rounds at the vicinity," said Lee who is the deputy marketing manager here on Friday.

Lee noted that the complex recorded some 28 million visitors last year, an average of 2.3 million monthly.

"Our shoppers are a mix of locals and Singaporeans. We take the security issue very seriously and constantly monitor the place through closed-circuit television and patrols," she added.

Similarly, Sutera Mall centre manager Crystal Soon said that they have been conducting impromptu bomb emergency drills in the mall without causing panic among its shoppers.

Soon pointed out that the exercises were carried out discreetly during the day or night to avoid panic or chaos, adding that the mall receives about 700,000 visitors a month.

Malaysian police have said the June 28 blast in a neighbourhood bar in Puchong, Selangor was the work of Malaysian ISIS militants. Police said the blast, which injured eight people, was caused by an old hand grenade that was thrown into a crowd watching a Euro Championship match.

At least 15 people, including two low-ranking policemen, have been arrested in connection with the attack.

Malaysia has also ramped up security following the blast, including putting its main transport hub in the capital on high alert.

Police on Friday also denied claims circulating on social media that militants are targeting locations in Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur.