Malaysia yesterday named new chiefs for its police force and intelligence agency, two key security institutions in South-east Asia's third-big- gest economy that has seen a rising threat from home-grown terrorism.
Datuk Seri Mohamad Fuzi Harun, who was director of the Special Branch (SB), has been named the 11th Inspector-General of Police (IGP). He replaces Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, who is retiring on his 60th birthday today.
The government also appointed Datuk Seri Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff as director of the intelligence agency, or SB. Mr Mohd Mokhtar was the national criminal investigation department chief.
The appointment of Mr Mohamad Fuzi, 58, came as a surprise after local media speculation that Mr Khalid's deputy, Tan Sri Noor Rashid Ibrahim, would become the new IGP. But police sources say Mr Noor Rashid was himself due to retire in March when he will be 60. Mr Mohamad Fuzi was also favoured by Prime Minister Najib Razak's administration due to his vast experience in counter-terrorism matters.
Malaysia has nabbed more than 250 people between 2013 and last year for suspected links to militant activities, and foiled several plots to carry out local attacks. It suffered its first terror attack in June last year when a grenade was thrown into a nightclub, injuring eight people.
IGP Mohamad Fuzi said yesterday that tackling the threat of terrorism will be a priority under his leadership. He announced that 343 new posts have been created to boost the counter-terrorism unit.
"The Counter Terrorism Division will be boosted with the additional personnel. Our priority is to curb the threat of terrorism - foreign or domestic," he said at his first press conference as the new IGP.