Minister says Malaysia has adopted comprehensive framework that criminalises terrorism financing

PUTRAJAYA, Dec 18 — Malaysia has adopted a comprehensive framework that criminalises terrorism financing and money laundering, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah told a United Nations meeting in New York.

Addressing the UN Council Meeting of Finance Ministers on Countering the Financing of Terorrism yesterday, Ahmad Husni said punishment for terrorism financing under Section 130N of the Penal Code carries severe penalties, among others, of up to 30 years of imprisonment.  

The offence of terrorism financing was also contained in the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, he said.

He said Malaysia underwent the Mutual Evaluation Exercise in June this year, among others, and highlighted Malaysia’s commitment to the Financial Action Task Force standards with its strong legal and regulatory framework for combating terrorism financing.

“Malaysia’s legal framework for targeted financial sanctions against terrorism provides strong tools to identify terrorist networks and take steps to freeze terrorist assets,” he said in a statement, which was made available here.

Ahmad Husni said the regime against terrorism was administered robustly and well implemented to a large extent for United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1267.  

Malaysia, he said, welcomed the comprehensive coverage of the new resolution to further focus the UN’s longstanding 1267/1989 Al-Qaeda sanctions regime on the evolving terrorist threat.

The new resolution covers all aspects of member states’ obligations with regard to establishing the necessary legal framework for criminalising of terrorism financing and to operationalise terrorism financing sanctions through the listing and delisting process.

Ahmad Husni said Malaysia was well placed to adopt and implement the proposals contained in the new resolution.

“Our comprehensive National Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism Act Strategic Plan includes measures such as engaging with the private sector on terrorism financing issues, and implementing necessary measures,” he said.

He said Malaysia’s financial regulators and compliance officers constantly exchange views and share information on issues relating to the implementation of anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism with its regional and international counterparts.

“We constantly work to identify key Daesh (IS) threats, including the trends and modus operandi of terrorism financing, enhance investigation techniques as well as conduct specialised training in relation to typologies, investigations and new areas,” he said.

Malaysia, he said, joined other council members in urging all member states to continue to take appropriate measures to counter radicalisation and violent terrorism in all forms and manifestations that lead to terrorism, financing, recruitment and mobilisation of individuals into terrorist groups. 

According to an AFP report, finance ministers from the UN Security Council yesterday unanimously adopted a wide-ranging resolution aimed at ramping up sanctions against the IS group or Daesh and cutting off its revenue flows.   

The resolution calls on governments to ensure they have adopted laws that make the financing of IS and of foreign fighters who join its ranks a serious criminal offence, the report said.

Drafted by the United States and Syrian ally Russia, the measure updates a previous resolution that set up an Al-Qaeda blacklist, which will be renamed the “ISIL (Daesh) and Al-Qaeda sanctions list” to signal the UN’s stronger focus on the IS extremists, according to the news agency report. — Bernama

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