Umno V-P plans to screen beheading videos

KUALA LUMPUR – Umno vice- president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi plans to screen uncensored videos of the beheadings by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants during his closing speech to the party’s general assembly today.

This is in the hope of hammering home the need for tough measures to curb the influence of extremist groups in Malaysia.

But an aide would not confirm to The Straits Times whether Datuk Seri Zahid would carry through with the showing of the horrific videos made by ISIS, saying: “I have the material but let me check.”

On Wednesday, Malaysia’s English daily New Straits Times quoted Mr Zahid, who is also Home Minister, as telling reporters that he would screen the full videos as a “warning” to Umno delegates of what could happen in Malaysia if they did not unite against the threat of extremism.

“If they still do not wise up and realise the seriousness to be united, this will happen,” the paper reported him as saying.

“I want to show them (the delegates) that the threat is real.”

His remarks came after he had met representatives of Palestinian resistance group Hamas, including its political affairs head Mohammad Naser and Islamic relations chief Khaled Qadami.

They also followed the tabling of a White Paper – Addressing The Threat Of Islamic State – in Parliament by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

The White Paper provided details of the emergence of ISIS, the threat it poses, its impact on Malaysians and the dangers of allowing the spread of its “skewed” Islamic teachings and its violent tactics to take hold in the country, the New Straits Times reported.

The Malay Mail Online reported the White Paper as saying that 17 Malaysians had joined ISIS and another 22 had joined Ajnad al-Sham, an alliance of Islamist groups active in Syria.

Yesterday, Mr Zahid confirmed that a new anti-terrorism law proposed by the government would contain “preventive measures”.

Critics fear such a law would mark a return to detentions without trial, which could open the door to power abuse.

But Mr Zahid said that such stronger measures were needed because existing laws deal with terrorism only after an act is committed.

In addition to boosting present laws, he said, the Home Ministry was exchanging information with other ministries as well as international enforcement bodies to keep a lid on terrorist group activities.

After a closed-door meeting held with the Umno Overseas Club and student representatives, he said: “We are taking action to monitor these activities to ensure the country’s peace and security remain protected.”

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