Kuala Lumpur (dpa) – More than 300 Chinese nationals who have joined the Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria and Iraq used Malaysia as transit point, a senior official said Wednesday.
Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the information was relayed to him by China’s vice minister of public security at his office. He did not reveal the timeframe for the transit.
“Although there exists an arrangement between Malaysia and China to combat terrorism through counter-terrorism measures, this problem is serious,” state-run Bernama news agency quoted Ahmad Zahid as saying.
“This is because ties exist at the international level between terrorists in China and those in other countries in the South-east Asian region,” he added.
More than 20 per cent of predominantly Muslim Malaysia are ethnic Chinese, and more than a million Chinese tourists from the mainland visit the country each year.