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Tourism Ministry to beef up security at mosques that draw tourists

Tourism Ministry to beef up security at mosques that draw tourists
To beef up security at some of Malaysia's iconic mosques, the Tourism Ministry will be assisted by the Home Ministry, Jakim and the Islamic Tourism Centre. - BERNAMA/Files
KUALA TERENGGANU: The Tourism and Culture Ministry is to work with the Home Ministry to keep the 30 mosques in the country that are tourist attractions free from the threat of extremists who intend to burn down houses of worship.

Deputy Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin said the ministry, through the Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) and Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim), would beef up the security units at these mosques.

"We will invite the Home Ministry to give briefings on security and cite the latest situations that can jeopardise the safety of visitors to enable the mosque security units to keep the houses of worship safe.
"The mosque managements must also be alert and not remain silent when dubious groups or individuals come to their mosques with the aim of spreading false teachings," she said.

Mas Ermieyati spoke to reporters after opening the second edition of the National Roundtable of Imams on Mosque Tourism, here, today. About 80 people attended the two-day meeting that began today.

Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said there existed certain groups which wanted to burn down houses of worship in the country, purportedly to spark social unrest among the multiracial population.

Mas Ermieyati said the Tourism and Culture Ministry would cooperate with the Home Ministry to increase the number of security guards at these mosques which drew tourists from the country and abroad.

"The mosques already have security units but we want to strengthen them. We want them to report anything at all they feel suspicious about as well as threats.

"Besides, the worshippers should also report to the security units when they come across groups or individuals which appear all of a sudden and start spreading false teachings," she said. -- Bernama