Rapped by Anwar, IGP defends deportation of foreign militants

The IGP said the country’s security was at risk and the police merely carried out their duties after receiving instructions from the deputy public prosecutor. ― Picture by Razak Ghazali
The IGP said the country’s security was at risk and the police merely carried out their duties after receiving instructions from the deputy public prosecutor. ― Picture by Razak Ghazali

KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun today defended his force’s deportation of seven foreigners accused of links to terrorist groups, after PKR president Anwar Ibrahim complained that the government had not been consulted.

Mohamad Fuzi said the country’s security was at risk and the police merely carried out their duties after receiving instructions from the deputy public prosecutor (DPP).

“We received orders from DPP to deport them back, so we immediately had to get things going as this is a serious threat to the country.

“Some of them entered using fake passport. So don't tell me we need to tolerate such an obvious crime, while jeopardising the country’s security?

“We don't want these foreign fighters to make our country a safe haven to carry out attacks. We have the info on that that’s why we took drastic action,” he told reporters after attending the handover ceremony of the federal police’s Criminal Investigation Department director and presenting the Pingat Jasa Pahlawan Negara (PJPN) medals to 93 senior officers at the Police Training Centre (Pulapol).

However, Mohamad Fuzi said the police will keep Putrajaya better informed going forward.

In a statement yesterday, the Port Dickson MP said checks revealed that the police acted unilaterally in deporting the men without consulting the relevant ministers or Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said Malaysia must act based on accurate information and not depend on claims by foreign intelligence and be wary of countries that do not follow due process of the law.

On Sunday, the police arrested and deported the seven men, including two men each from Egypt and Tunisia accused of links to Ansar Al-Sharia Al-Tunisia, a North African-based organisation listed as a terrorist group by the United Nations.

The move drew protest from Amnesty International and other rights activists, who said the Egyptians could face torture and persecution.

Rights activists have alleged that hundreds of dissidents were tortured in the last five years, with Human Rights Watch saying there is a “documented pattern of systematic torture of detainees” including in secret detention centres and police stations.

The move to deport the foreigners contrasts with the authorities’ decision to drop immigration-related charges against 11 Uighur men who entered Malaysia after escaping jail in Thailand.

Malaysia then defied Beijing by sending the men to Turkey, amid fears that they could face torture in China.