Police on high alert after NZ mosque attack: IGP (Updated)

19 Mar 2019 / 19:18 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The police went on high alert throughout the country immediately after the attack on two mosques in New Zealand last Friday, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said today.

Policemen were instructed to monitor all places of worship across the country for fear of retaliation by sympathisers after the armed attacks on two mosques in New Zealand last week that left 50 people dead.

“Immediately after the incident, I had instructed to all chief police officers, OCPDs and ground officers to be on alert,“ he told a press conference after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Police Cooperative, Retired Senior Police Officers Association and Malaysian Safety Industry Association at Bukit Aman.

“They were told look at churches and temples, in case there is retaliation Immediate action was taken. There is no need to worry. We are always on alert.”

On Friday, a 28-year-old Australian gunman opened fire at two mosques at Christchurch, New Zealand with assault rifles leaving 50 people dead and 50 others including three Malaysians wounded.

The gunman who was arrested by New Zealand police about 30 minutes after his shooting spree claimed that he had pulled off the act as he was incensed by the migration of foreigners to a “land meant for white people”.

On a separate matter, Mohamad Fuzi said police would not allow Malaysia to become a “safe haven” or “dumping grounds” for fugitive militants who flee from the authorities of their country of origin.

Referring to the 12 suspected Filipino militants who were arrested by the federal police Special Branch in Sabah about a week ago, he said the foreigners had fled to Malaysia as they were pursued by the Philippines authorities.

“They belong to the Abu Sayaf, Maute and Royal Sulu Force militant groups. We are also investigating if there are terrorists from these groups taking refuge in peninsular Malaysia and locals who are harbouring them. We will not allow our country to be turned into their safe haven,“ he said.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Hindu Sangam committee member P. Murugiah said people must be rational when discussing sensitive issues such as race and religions.

He said Malaysians must also be alert to prevent the country from becoming a transit point for extremism activists. He also praised the police for taking action against any party, who insults any religion.

On the dumping of toxic waste in Sungai Kim Kim, police said more people could be arrested. Mohamad Fuzi Harun said investigators also believe that the nine suspects nabbed over the case on Sunday are directly involved. He said several of them also had past criminal records.

However, he said police are focusing primarily on solving the river pollution case.

“The suspects are working with certain companies and a few are involved in some criminal elements but our priority is to investigate the river pollution. We have obtained a six-day remand order against them. Investigations are intensely ongoing,“ he said.

Over 2,800 people including students took ill after inhaling noxious gasses following the contamination of the river over a week ago. The incident also prompted the closure of 111 schools.

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