Malaysia is beefing up its security ahead of the 27th Asean Summit this week, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said yesterday, following terror attacks in Paris last Friday that left 129 people dead.
The police force will be deploying an increased number of personnel to the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC), where the summit will be held from Wednesday to Sunday, to ensure the safety and security of some 3,000 delegates. These include Asean leaders and those of dialogue partners including Japan, China, India and the United States.
Dozens of policemen were stationed around KLCC yesterday in ongoing rehearsals to prepare for the Asean Summit which will take place at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from Thursday (Nov 18) to Sunday (Nov 22).
"The police are not just at a stage of preparedness, but we will be increasing our manpower, especially (this) week, when Malaysia plays host to the Asean Summit.
"What happened in Paris could happen in any other country if preparedness is not at its optimum," Datuk Seri Zahid, who is also Home Minister, told reporters yesterday.
The police's counter-terrorism division is also on high alert for any terrorist activity in the country and will deal swiftly with individuals who have links to terror groups, he added.
Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar told The Star that the police force has increased its vigilance and redoubled efforts to maintain safety in Malaysia, including reviewing the security arrangements for the Asean Summit.
The government has also tightened security at all entry points into Malaysia, including airports, said Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai.
Terrorism remains a viable threat, with reports indicating that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror group had put several Malaysian leaders on its target list.
Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein was quoted by The Star as saying yesterday that the threat to several leaders, including himself, was made before the joint Asean Defence Ministers' Meeting that was held in Malaysia in March. But he said this would not scare them or halt the country's efforts in combating terrorism in the region.
Separately, Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed warned that militant groups were trying to recruit lecturers who have knowledge in weapons and explosives, following a report in The Star that three wanted Malaysian militants were planning to form an ISIS faction in South-east Asia.
"This is a threat to other South- east Asian countries. In order to deal with the (ISIS) militant group, we must monitor the Internet as it is their main medium of communication, where directives are sent out," Datuk Nur Jazlan said, according to Bernama news agency.