United States and Malaysia to share biometric database of crime and terrorism suspects

November 19, 2015 - 

The Malaysian and American governments have signed an agreement to share a database containing the biometric records of about 1.2 million people suspected of terrorism and other serious crimes, according to a report by Channel News Asia.

The agreement, signed between US Ambassador Joseph Yun and Secretary-General of Malaysia’s Home Ministry Alwi Ibrahim, are a part of an overall effort to prevent terrorist acts following last week’s attacks in Paris.

The list of suspects will be used by security officials at all entry points in Malaysia as well as across the United States.

“From the intelligence information gathered, some groups may be motivated by what happened in Paris and may try to repeat it here,” said Zahid. “I am confident our authorities are on top of the situation to ensure similar attacks will not happen here.”

The agreement came after Zahid and US Secretary of State John Kerry in the United States signed another security pact agreement earlier this month which could eventually lead to the establishment of a visa waiver program for Malaysians.

Singaporeans and Bruneians are the only two nationalities from Southeast Asia which are exempted from the visa requirement when travelling to the U.S.

Previously reported, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Malaysia has proposed the introduction of a biometric identity card to be issued to all refugees so that the government can monitor their whereabouts as they await resettlement.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.