Hisham: Malaysia ready for IS although threat is low

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KUALA LUMPUR: Although Putrajaya is confident that Malaysia will not come under direct threat from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (IS), it is nevertheless preparing for any possibilities, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

This state of preparedness, he said, followed reports of support accorded to the militant group by Philippine-based Abu Sayyaf and other regional terror organisations.

He said that the government was monitoring Western countries, such as the United States, which had recently launched air strikes on Syria to slow the advance of IS militants, to see how they were handling the situation.

“It is unfolding as we speak. So it is important for us to monitor them ... what is wrong and what is right, and what are the pros and cons, and translate it to our capabilities in the future,” he said at a press conference at the Parliament lobby yesterday.

The minister also stressed on the importance of cooperation with neighbouring countries, such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Brunei, to ensure the threat was dealt with.

“We cannot work in isolation. We need to work with our friends and our neighbours as the silence from the Arab states is deafening when it comes to the issue of IS. We do not want that to happen here.” — The Malaysian Insider

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 17, 2014.