KUALA LUMPUR, July 8 (Bernama) -- Operations, code-named "Ops Laras" and "Ops Api", are among measures taken by the government to address smuggling and unlawful use of firearms in the country.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said "Ops Laras", carried out by the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), was aimed at eliminating smuggling of firearms in the border areas.
"Ops Api is a special operation against criminal cases in the country which involve the use of firearms," he said in a written reply to Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut) in the Dewan Rakyat today.
He said the police also worked with other enforcement agencies like the Anti-Smuggling Unit, the Royal Customs Department, the Immigration Department and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency to address the problem.
Lim wanted to know the statistics involving use of firearms in 2012 and the number of people killed in these incidents, as well as on the method used to smuggle firearms and action taken by the government to address the problem.
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Ahmad Zahid said 68 murder cases, involving use of firearms, were recorded in 2012, with Selangor recording the highest number of cases, which was 15, followed by Sarawak with 11 cases.
A total of 44 criminals were shot dead the same year, he added.
He said the frequent movement at the border, as well as the presence of secret paths, were among factors which facilitated smuggling of firearms into the country.
Meanwhile, Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri criticised an opposition Member of Parliament, Admiral (Rtd) Mohamad Imran Abdul Hamid (PKR-Lumut), for politicising the incident on the intrusion by Sulu terrorists in Lahad Datu last March.
He said being a former member of the security force, Mohamad Imran should know better the action taken by authorities in the country in handling such a situation.
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"Perhaps he knows, but pretend not to because of politics," he said when winding up the debate on the motion of thanks on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's speech.
Abdul Rahim said the government had many options in handling the situation.
He said the death of members of the Malaysian security forces in the incident was not merely theatrics
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