Refugees, migrants, terrorists
By TAY TIAN YAN
Sin Chew Daily
Sin Chew Daily
First and foremost, kudos to the newly minted IGP Abdul Hamid Bador.
Several days ago, the police arrested two Rohingyas, an Indonesian and a Malaysian.
It was reported that the people were prepared to launch a terror attack during the holy fasting month, and this would include assassinating people involved in the death of fireman Muhammad Adib, as well as targeting churches, temples and entertainment outlets.
The police found explosive device said to be able to exterminate thousands if going off at crowded places.
This reminds me of the terror attacks on Sri Lanka last month targeting churches and hotels and killing almost 300. The attacks shocked the world and paralyzed the island nation.
Fortunately the Malaysian police are much more efficient and capable than their Sri Lankan counterparts.
Although Sri Lanka had been tipped by India of the attacks, the authorities did nothing to stop them.
What if, in Malaysia, the terrorists are a little wiser and more cautious, or the police a little less efficient, would we become another Sri Lanka?
The thought of this is enough to make my heartbeat race.
I'm not here to exaggerate the potential risks, but lest we forget, two terrorists hurled a bomb into an entertainment outlet in Puchong two years ago, injuring eight people.
Initially the police said the attack was not an act of terrorism but was fueled by business rivalry.
However, the IGP later confirmed that the Malaysian IS was responsible for the terror attack.
What I was trying to say is that no matter how competent an intelligence network is, there are bound to be lapses. Not even super powerful CIA and FBI were able to stop the September 11 attacks.
The thing is, intelligence agency alone is not enough to completely fend off potential terrorism. When information is being collected by the intelligence agency, very high chances are that the terrorists have already set foot on our soil and are putting up their plans before their plots get detected.
A smarter way of doing things is to stop potential terrorists or destructive weapons from ever gaining access into this country.
As a matter of fact, the risks are mostly introduced here by foreigners. Among the four people arrested in the latest operation, one was from Indonesia while two others were Rohingyas from Myanmar.
When SEA Games was held in KL in 2017, the police detained 19 terrorists prepared to launch their attacks during the closing ceremony.
Indeed, 11 of them were foreigners, including Abu Sayyaf militants from the Philippines.
Other terrorists detained in past operations included those from Africa, southern Thailand, Syria and Iraq.
Question: why did our government open the doors wide to allow foreign terrorists to come in?
Malaysia's visa policy hardly takes into consideration the complexity and risk factors involved, and our lax immigration surveillance means undesirable illegals get to come in and go out easily past our doors while the corrupt bureaucracy condones human-smuggling activities.
As if that is not enough, we generously offer shelter to some 150,000 refugees, mostly Rohingyas, along with some Pakistanis, Yemenis, Somalians, Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis, among others.
Sure enough we have our humanitarian spirit, and are compassionate towards the misfortunes of these people.
Nevertheless, the influx of these refugees has not only increased the government's financial burden but also poses potential social threats.
The two Rohingyas arrested were associated with Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, a terror outfit, having secured their refugee status here earlier.
The line between refugees, migrants and terrorists has been obscured beyond discernibility.
We welcome these refugees out of compassion or other factors, making them new migrants and exposing ourselves to latent dangers the moment we let down our guard, blinded by religious empathy.