Former militants who have gone through successful rehabilitation are to participate in a Malaysian government scheme to stop the spread of terrorism. The announcement comes two days after police said that Islamic State (Isis) had carried out their first terrorist attack in Malaysia on 28 June, injuring eight people at a nightclub.
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that those who have been deradicalised will be enlisted to speak to university students and preach against joining the Isis terrorist group. According to Hamidi, who is also the Malaysian Home Minister, social media channels and other means of communication will also be monitored in the clampdown on the spread of terrorism.
According to the Malay Mail, Hamidi said: "We will ask those formerly detained over the offence of being involved in militant and JI (Jemmah Islamiyah) groups and those trained under the deradicalisation system to work together with authorities to appear in the media, to give awareness to the public and also those who may be influenced by IS sentiments, to not join in the activities."
The Malaysian government will be seeking the assistance of reformed individuals who have previously been detained under the country's Internal Security Act and the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act. Hamidi added that students will be targeted due to the fact that universities are known to have the strongest Isis influence in Malaysia.
Hamidi said: "As for those who have been deradicalised, we will have them appear not only in the media, we will also have them at several institutes of higher learning, because we know that the strongest influence is feared to be at the institutes of higher learning."
Meanwhile, Malaysia's Chief of Defence Forces, Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin has urged the public to assist security officials by reporting activities of militant groups such as Isis. He urged people to be the "eyes and ears" of the government and watch out for anything out of the ordinary.
Highlighting the threat from militant groups entering the country through land and airports disguised as ordinary people, Mohd Zin said Malaysians abroad who had been subject to terrorist influence could return to the country at any time. He also said that another Isis attack could occur if the country does not remain on alert.