ROMPIN – Malaysians who joined the IS militant group in Syria and now wish to return home must be prepared to face the law, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
“It is a preventive measure as inevitably, they would have acquired certain experiences while with the militant group, which could be detrimental to the country,” he said.
He said this at the launch of a ‘Program Bakti Rela’ attended by 3,500 members of the people’s volunteer corps (Rela) here today.
According to him, 75 Malaysians had joined the militant group, of which 10 had lost their lives, while the rest were said to have regretted their involvement.
Yesterday, Bukit Aman Special Branch’s Counter Terrorism principal assistant director Datuk Ayub Khan Mydin Pitchay said 63 Malaysians had expressed their wish to return home after realising they had been duped into believing that they were in the struggle for ‘jihad’.
Ahmad Zahid also stressed that it was important for the country to have laws such as the Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota) to curb undesirable elements out to undermine public order.
Meanwhile, the minister said Malaysians should avoid violence and respect one another despite their diversity.
“We live in a plural society with diverse backgrounds such as in religion, language and culture.
“We should respect rather than act aggressively against people of other religions,” he said.
He said this while launching Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tanah Putih’s Anti Terrorism Run 2015 programme participated by about 5,000 students at Padang Majlis Perbandaran Kuantan 5, Taman Gelora here today.
Ahmad Zahid said Islam which is also the country’s official religion, is against violence and teaches Muslims about living peacefully and respecting others of different faiths. – BERNAMA