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NEW STRAITS TIMES (Malaysia): All key facilities safeguarded against attacks

2007/08/10

PUTRAJAYA: All 426 critical installations in the country are protected against threats such as subversion and terrorism as well as natural disasters, Internal Security secretary-general Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said yesterday.

Key installations are listed under Category One and Two and come under 13 sectors; electrical energy, telecommunication, water, irrigation, transport, oil, gas, radiation, printing, weaponry, food, chemistry and broadcasting.

Those under Category One are guarded by the armed forces and the others by private companies.

Aziz said the government was satisfied with the measures adopted by government-linked companies and others such as Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) and Shell.

“They have their own security base and layers of security controls”.

“They have also been strictly following our standard security procedures. However, there is still room for improvement.”

Aziz said oil rigs, for instance, were open to “attacks” by fishermen who carried out fish bombings.

“Fishermen love to go close to the rigs because there are lots of fish there.

“Companies like Shell and Petronas have been working closely with enforcement agencies such as the police and armed forces to prevent untoward incidents,” said Aziz.

The command centres for such key installations at district and state levels would continue to operate 24 hours a day, he said after the launching of a two-day “Important Targets” seminar by Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre yesterday.

More than 200 participants, from both the public and private sectors, attended the seminar.

Earlier, Sidek said it was important for those responsible for taking care of vital facilities to understand what protective security measures entailed and how to safeguard such infrastructure.

“With such installations being increasingly more reliant on computers and networks, more organisations and individuals can cause harm using cyber attacks.

“The government is concerned with attacks from individuals and groups with malicious intent that can cause a devastating effect.”

Sidek said protecting vital installations was the key element in future national security.

“The prospect of protecting these installations could be a daunting task and the threats could be directed at both government and private or commercial facilities.

“Therefore, developing a trusted partnership and information-sharing relationship between the government, state governments, security forces and those who own the installations in the private sector is critical, more so in identifying vulnerabilities.”

If these vulnerabilities were exploited, he said, the installations could be disabled or disrupted.

“A vital protection programme requires a partnership between the government and commercial sector.

“Only through such co-operation can we prepare and be able to determine alternatives and improve our capabilities to detect and warn of impending attacks,” Sidek added. 

http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Friday/National/20070810075436/Article

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