Ministries can no longer work in silo following terror threats

TASNIM LOKMAN

KUALA LUMPUR: Ministries that were previously not involved in defence activities must face the fact that they now have to work together for the sake of the nation's security.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said this is the new scenario following the spate of terror attacks.

He said the Defence Ministry is currently monitoring the overall situation and working closely other ministries following the terror attack in Egypt by the Islamic State (IS) group, which left dozens dead.

The Defence Ministry, he said, is working with the Foreign Ministry, Higher Education Ministry and Home Ministry to ensure the safety of Malaysians in Egypt.

"Ministries that were previously not involved in defence activities must now face the fact that they may need to work together now. They cannot work in silo," he told a press conference after officiating the Armed Forces Order of Military Service (DKAT) for 2016.

He also said Malaysia's close relationship with Middle East countries which has experience with such incidents has helped Malaysia obtain information and the latest data to counter possible attacks here.

On whether the ministry would assist in bringing Malaysians from Egypt back home, Hishammuddin said the decision would be made by the Cabinet or the Foreign Ministry.

"We are always ready to help. They only need to inform us and we are ready to assist but the decision can only be made by the Cabinet or Foreign Ministry.

"The attacks are very worrying and Malaysia may not be spared from it. We can only hope we have done our best to counter it.

"I hope the public will help us. Those on the ground, if they have any information, share with us, with the police or Defence Ministry so we can monitor it even more closely," he said.

Also present was Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Johari Baharum.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for bombing two Egyptian churches on Sunday in the deadliest attacks on the country’s Christian minority in recent memory.

The first bombing struck a church in the city of Tanta north of Cairo, killing 25 worshippers.