KUALA SELANGOR: The government has revoked the passports of 68 Malaysians for involvement in Islamic State (IS) militant activities abroad, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today.
Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said the passports were revoked two weeks ago after a directive was issued by Prime Minister Najib Razak.
“Now, they no longer have travel documents as Malaysian citizens. When they return (to Malaysia), legal action according to the Immigration Act will be taken against them,” he told reporters after opening the Kuala Selangor Umno divisional delegates meeting here today.
Also present were Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed; Selangor Umno deputy liaison chairman Mat Nadzari Ahmad Dahlan; Kuala Selangor Member of Parliament Irmohizam Ibrahim; and Kuala Selangor Umno division leader Ishak Haron.
Earlier in his speech, Zahid, who is also Umno vice-president, said the Malaysian citizens whose passports had been revoked included two families from Shah Alam and Ipoh who had sold their houses, restaurant and cars to travel to Syria to join the IS militant group.
“These two families left everything and brought along their young children to Syria, purportedly to fight for ‘jihad’ (holy war) as a shortcut to heaven.
“From information I received, they ended-up as toilet cleaners and street sweepers.
“I was informed that they regretted their action and want to come back, but I do not want to compromise with those who betray the country,” he added.
In another development, Zahid said the police and the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) were tracking down eight hand grenades believed to be in the possession of IS militants in the country.
“We want to ensure the people are not affected and disturbed by their action,” he said, adding that security measures were being stepped-up in the country.
Zahid also advised Selangor Umno leaders and members to emulate the teamwork displayed by fireflies, if they wanted to wrest back the state from the Opposition in the coming general election.
“If we unite all the Umno leaders and members in Selangor, God willing, we can wrest back the state.
“They should be like the fireflies which give so much light when they are together,” he said when opening the meeting.
As for Umno leaders in the state, he said they should be thankful and carry out the responsibilities entrusted upon them.
“When Allah entrusts the responsibilities on us, do not forget the people who supported us. When there is an allocation, do not just help family members and friends, but also those in need.
“Be a leader with the people’s interests at heart. Stay away from ‘satay’ politics,” he added.