Malaysia steps up security ahead of Asean summit


The Paris attacks overshadow the Asean summit

Following Friday’s terror strikes in Paris, Malaysia’s police have been put on high alert and will be doubling security procedures ahead of next week’s Asean summit.

According to the Malaysian Star newspaper, Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said all departments had increased vigilance to ensure security.

It was reported that he was reviewing security arrangements at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre ahead of the visit by US President Barack Obama, Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Japan’s Shinzo Abe and China’s Xi Jinping for the November 18 to 22 event.

“We will not let our guard down,” Khalid said, in response to reports of so-called Islamic State’s plans for the region.

French prosecutors said three coordinated teams of gunmen and suicide bombers carried out attacks across several venues in Paris – restaurants, a concert hall and the national football stadium – killing at least 129 people and injuring hundreds.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said: “We are not only in a state of preparedness but are increasing our strength in terms of manpower, especially for next week when Malaysia hosts the Asean summit.”

French President Francois Hollande described the attacks as an “act of war” by IS and declared a state of emergency.

IS claimed responsibility for the attacks, Reuters reported.

“To teach France, and all nations following its path, that they will remain at the top of Islamic State’s list of targets, and that the smell of death won’t leave their noses as long as they partake in their crusader campaign,” said the group, according to Reuters, referring to French air strikes on IS in Syria.

Earlier this month, eight Malaysian men with alleged links to IS were arrested in three states.

The men, aged between 22 and 36, were detained in Selangor, Perak and Johor and held under the Security Measures Act of 2012, which allows detention without trial for up to 28 days.

Two of the men, both 28, are civil servants believed to be linked to two suspects arrested on August 19 for spreading IS’s ideology, Khalid said earlier this month.

The other four men arrested are allegedly linked to a Malaysian branch of al-Qaeda, known as Tandzim al-Qaeda Malaysia.

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