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Malaysia eyes stopping terrorist fighters in their tracks

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WASHINGTON DC: Malaysia’s new immigration system will incorporate mechanisms to prevent foreign terrorist fighters from crossing its borders.

Speaking in this United States capital,  Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin underscored that Kuala Lumpur’s commitment to strengthen its border security would be reflected in the implementation and collection of Advance Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record (PNR).

“Both applications are being integrated into the new immigration system which is now being developed by Malaysia’s Immigration Department,” he said.

Muhyiddin shared this development when addressing the Banyan Tree Leadership Forum on US-Malaysia strategic relations, at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies here on Monday.

He arrived here on Sunday for a working visit to the US aimed at boosting security linkages between the two countries. The trip that runs until Sept 21 will also see him travelling to New York.

Muhyiddin also took the opportunity to thank the US for the support it rendered to Malaysian law enforcement agencies, including in the form of various training programmes and short courses for law enforcement officers.

“The US may also tap into available resources at the Kuala Lumpur-based Southeast Asia Regional Centre on Counter-Terrorism to advance our common goal of countering terrorism and preserve peace and stability in the region,” he said.

He also expressed gratitude to US authorities, primarily the US Department of Justice, for cooperation extended in pursuing the embezzlement of billions of dollars from state-owned 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fund.

Muhyiddin noted that he was one of the strongest advocates against the high-level corruption involving 1MDB when he was in the previous government.

The minister said he was grateful that his personal struggle and commitment to good governance and the rule of law paid off when the truth of the 1MDB scandal was unveiled.

“I note with special thanks to the US authorities who helped Malaysia recover US$322 million worth of 1MDB assets since investigation into 1MDB effectively began in May 2018.

“This asset recovery process is still on-going and we expect millions of dollars more to be remitted to Malaysia in the future,” Muhyiddin said.

He further said that Malaysia sought to continue working closely with the US not only in promoting global peace, security and stability, but also in bringing about economic prosperity that would benefit both sides.

“In our efforts to ensure that Malaysia continues to progress on its development path to become a high-income developed nation, we welcome new investments from the US especially in key economic activities identified as the new engines of growth,” he said.

Muhyiddin said they included financial technology, digital economy, e-commerce, green economy and renewable energy.

— BERNAMA

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