Published: 10 August 2016
1. Minister Shanmugam held a bilateral meeting this morning with Malaysian DPM and Minister of Home Affairs Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on the sidelines of the International Meeting on Counter Terrorism in Bali, Indonesia.
2. They discussed the latest terrorism situation in Southeast Asia and what could be done to further enhance cooperation between the security and intelligence agencies of Malaysia, Indonesia and neighbouring countries in light of the recent arrests by the Indonesian authorities of six persons in Batam who were involved in a terror plot targeted at Singapore. Given the threat from the estimated 1,000 fighters from Malaysia and Indonesia who have travelled to participate in the conflict in Syria and Iraq, and several hundred other individuals previously convicted of terrorism offences in Indonesia who will be released from prison in the next few years, the two Ministers agreed that the two priorities in ensuring a fruitful outcome and follow-up to the International Meeting were (1) the exchange, on a systematic basis, of biometric information including fingerprints of known fighters and those convicted of Terrorism Offences; and (2) the sharing of best practices in deradicalisation and countering violent extremism through regular institutionalised exchanges at the working level.
3. Minister Shanmugam raised these two priorities during his call on Menko Wiranto later in the day. Given the transnational nature of terrorist networks and the attraction of ISIS propaganda, it is critical to deny terrorists ease of movement across borders and new recruits from amongst prisoners being released. Both Ministers acknowledged that these were important priorities in the fight against terrorism.