Sharing biometric information with China since 2011 has enabled Malaysia to arrest 29 Uighur militants involved with Islamic State (IS) and deport them to China for prosecution, said Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said China had praised Malaysia’s action over their arrests and bilateral cooperation in the security aspect had strengthened since.
“They were arrested after having entered Malaysia through neighbouring countries by using false passports and personal information,” Zahid told Malaysian journalists in Beijing today.
Also present at the press conference were Malaysian inspector-general of police Mohamad Fuzi Harun and Malaysian ambassador to China Zainuddin Yahya.
Zahid, who is also the home minister, said Malaysia’s success in the Uighur matter had prompted Meng Jianzhu, secretary of the central political and legal affairs commission of the Communist Party of China, to convey at a meeting with him that China agreed to provide several pieces of equipment for the use of the Counter-Messaging Centre supervised by the Royal Malaysia Police.
He said the centre was responsible for tracking and solving terrorism-related messages, including obtaining information on terrorists’ activities and individuals financing such activities to plan attacks in the country, southern Philippines, and southern Thailand.
Ahmad Zahid said China also commended the proactive measure taken by Malaysia to address online gambling and fraud, such as the Macau scam in which the country managed to arrest 416 of the republic’s nationals and had deported them from 2014 to 2016.
He said the fraud, involving Malaysian and Chinese victims, recorded a loss of RMB500,000 million.
“This move is taken because such crimes destroyed the family institution and affected the family income of victims,” he said.
Hence, he said, cooperation between China and Malaysia would be intensified through the mutual legal assistance, whereby both countries could deport nationals who are wanted for offences relating to trans-border crimes.