KUALA LUMPUR: The Defence Ministry admits that about 1% of the members of the armed forces are being monitored by the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division for having possible links to militant groups.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said that while the number may seem small, it was something that was being taken seriously by his ministry and the armed forces leadership.
“We are going all out. The Military Religious Corps (Kagat) and Military Intelligence have been tasked to monitor and gather intelligence on our men and women for any signs that they may be influenced by militant propaganda,” he said.
Speaking after delivering a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the 40th Pacific Armies Management Seminar (PAMS) in Kuala Lumpur Monday, Hishammuddin said that anyone could be vulnerable to the influence of militant extremist groups like the Islamic State (IS).
“Anyone with a laptop or a computer can be exposed to this and we must stay vigilant,” he said.
Hishammuddin said the threat of militant extremists groups like the IS, is a global issue that needs the cooperation of all nations.
“It will be one of the main agendas looked at during the US-Asean Defence Ministers meeting in Hawaii, United States, on Wednesday.
“After that, I will heading to Paris, France, and Ankara, Turkey, this week to meet my counterparts there to discuss it as well,” he said.
The theme of this year’s PAMS is Unity and Effort: Building Civil-Military Partnership to Counter Violent Extremism.
It is a platform for senior army officers from the 34 participating Asia- Pacific countries to exchange views and opinions on security issues and forge lasting multilateral working relationships.- by M. Kumar/The Star Online