No ISIS threat in Penang, Malaysia police say, after social media scare

State police chief Datuk Abdul Ghafar Rajab clarified that images of policemen in combat gear were dated and not recent.
State police chief Datuk Abdul Ghafar Rajab clarified that images of policemen in combat gear were dated and not recent.PHOTO: THE STAR / ASIA NEWS NETWORK

GEORGE TOWN (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Penang police have denied that threats have been made by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on Penang and are asking the public to remain calm.

State police chief Datuk Abdul Ghafar Rajab clarified that images of policemen in full combat gear making rounds at malls that were spread on social media on Friday (Sept 16) were old ones and were not of Penang.

Abdul Ghafar, however, acknowledged that police did increase security on Malaysia Day - which took place on Friday - as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of the public.

"I urge the people not to spread untrue stories on social media as it could create unnecessary panic and fear among the public," he said.

"Verify it with the police first before making any comments regarding national security," he told Bernama.

People as far as Sabah and Sarawak had been sharing the post.

Penang is a popular tourist venue, including with Singaporeans.

Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur had its first ISIS attack in June, when eight people were injured in a grenade attack on a bar in Puchong. The police arrested 15 Malaysians in a counter-terrorism swoop after the attack.