Johor may impose new rules for foreign businessmen following arrest of Singaporean militant

Mohamed Kazali Salleh (centre) was among six suspected militants detained in anti-terror sweeps between Dec 19 and Jan 28, 2019. PHOTO: MALAYSIA SPECIAL BRANCH’S COUNTER TERRORISM DIVISION

JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Johor state government is seeking advice from the police whether new regulations should be imposed on foreigners who want to start businesses here following the arrest of a militant, says a state exco member.

At the same time, the state government should strive to find a good balance to attract genuine foreign investors and safeguard security in Johor, said state Local Government, Science and Technology Committee chairman Tan Hong Pin.

"Local councils in our state usually will give approval to business licences to both foreigners and Malaysians," he said in an interview on Friday (Feb 22).

"If there is a need to impose further rules for foreigners, we will definitely look into it.

"But if we impose too many rules on foreign investors, then it will not be good for our economy as it will drive them away."

Tan also revealed that at present, local councils in the state have their own set of rules and regulations when it comes to approving licences for foreigners conducting their businesses in Johor.

He was commenting on a news report about a Singaporean man who was arrested recently for alleged militant activities.

The man reportedly had multiple businesses in Johor Baru, ranging from massage parlours to restaurants.

The man was identified by Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs as Mohamed Kazali Salleh.

The 48-year-old also brought in scrap cars from Singapore and Indonesia to Malaysia.

Mohamed Kazali was among six suspected militants detained in anti-terror sweeps between Dec 19 and Jan 28.

The suspect, who had given funds and received orders from Malaysian militant leader Akel Zainal, was told to recruit a few people for an attack on a Freemason building in central Johor Baru.

The suspect was handed over to the Singaporean authorities on Jan 7 after Bukit Aman completed the investigations.

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