Malaysia revoked the passports of 68 citizens, who were suspected of being involved with the Islamic State (IS) terror group and threatened legal action if they returned to the country, officials said on Monday.
“They no longer have travel documents as Malaysian citizens and if they return to our country legal action in line with the Immigration Act will be initiated against them,” said Home Minister Ahmad Zahid.
Zahid said the decision was taken by Prime Minister Najib Razak two weeks ago, following intelligence reports.
He added there would be no negotiations with these people as the government does not want “ideological criminals” in the country, The Malaysian Star reported.
Zahid said two Malaysian families had sold off all their property in Malaysia before moving to Syria to join the IS, which employs them as sweepers and cleaners, and now want to return to Malaysia, but the government is unwilling to entertain people who betrayed the country and will not recognise them as Malaysians.
More than 220 jihadis have been detained in Malaysia since February 2013, and 132 Malaysians are still fighting in Iraq and Syrian territory, according to the Malaysian Home Ministry.