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KUALA LUMPUR, June 25 – The government did not extradite Singapore Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) militant leader, Mas Selamat Kastari, to the island state due to security reason, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said Thursday.
He said Mas Selamat, who was captured in Johor in April this year after escaping from a high security prison in Singapore in February last year, was a arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) as he is deemed a threat to the country.
He said Mas Selamat’s ISA detention would ensure that his activities and contacts with other militant groups in Asia could be contained.
“The ministry has sufficient information to arrest him under the ISA,” he said in reply to a supplementary question from Datuk Mohd Jidin Sahfee (BN-Setiu) at the Dewan Rakyat today.
“We know his background, the details of his plan, network and contact with militant groups. He is arrested under the ISA as the government finds that he not only pose a threat to the country but also to the neighbouring countries like Singapore and Indonesia,” he said.
“Believe me, from the information that we have gathered, it was a serious plan,” said Hishammuddin.
Meanwhile, speaking to reporters at parliament lobby, he said Malaysia needed the cooperation from Indonesia to carry out its investigations.
“We did not extradite Mas Selamat as we are concerned it will undermine the country’s peace and put the people’s safety at risk.”
Earlier, in reply to Mohd Jidin’s original question on the number of people arrested under the ISA since 2004, Hishammuddin said 29 were arrested for falsifying documents, 17 for forging RM1 coins, 18 for involvement in JI, 17 in Kumpulan Darul Islam, five in Hindraf, one for bringing in illegal immigrants, three for involvement in southern Thailand separatist groups and seven for international espionage.
Hishammuddin said there were only 12 ISA detainees left, six of them Malaysians.