KUCHING: Malaysians must be vigilant in combating the Islamic State (IS) threat, as it is no longer a question of “if” but “when” an attack in the country will take place, said Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
“It is no longer a question of if but when a terror attack will happen.
“We have to be alert and we have to be together to make sure our country is safe,” he said at a Hari Raya gathering for state Home Ministry personnel at Kompleks Islam Sarawak here on Thursday.
On suspected IS militants in Malaysian prisons, the Deputy Prime Minister said the detainees had been isolated to prevent them from influencing other prisoners.
Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Home Minister, said there were 261 IS detainees in Malaysia and that police have identified 63 other Malaysians as being currently involved with the terror group in Syria and Iraq.
“I have instructed the prisons director-general to isolate the IS detainees.
“I don’t want them to influence other prisoners,” he said.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said that in addition to isolation, efforts were ongoing to deradicalise the militants in order to rehabilitate them.
He said Malaysia was experienced in deradicalisation and rehabilitation, stemming from fighting the communist threat since 1948.
“We have a 97% success rate in rehabilitation,” he said.