KUALA LUMPUR: The government should not adopt a soft approach or be sympathetic towards Malaysians arrested or prosecuted for being involved in terrorist activities, including Islamic State (IS) activities.

Criminologist Associate Professor Dr P. Sundramoorthy said these criminals should be incarcerated for an extended period of time as these “extreme personalities” could not be changed easily.

Lauding the government’s proactive move to tackle this issue, Sundramoorthy said the proposed law to counter the militant threat should consider imposing life imprisonment without parole.

“Let them face the consequences. Do we truly want to waste our resources and rehabilitate those
who have endangered so many lives?”

He cited Noordin Mat Top. Noordin was the Malaysian mastermind behind a series of bombings in Indonesia, whose remains were brought back to his hometown in Pontian, Johor, for burial.

“Bringing back the remains of a person who had killed and injured so many people is pushing the limits.

“When we mean business, we must mean business. The government should not tolerate or try to defend them unless they know that they are truly innocent.”

He said the government should enact a law similar to the Internal Security Act to deal with individuals who use violence and aggression
on anyone who opposes their ideology.

He said the long-term measure to tackle this problem would be to ingrain the principle of moderation in every Malaysian to go against extremism and radicalism, as advocated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye urged enforcement and security agencies to step up in their efforts to halt the movement of militants, especially in schools.

“It is our biggest fear that these militants will get to our children in schools to spread their ideologies.

“Students make an easy target as they are easily influenced and persuaded into accepting their skewed ideologies.”

He lauded the government for acknowledging the seriousness of the issue and coming up with solutions, including the enactment of a new law.

Lee also asked for the contents of the White Paper to be made public so that the people would realise the gravity of the issue.