Malaysia’s armed forces are on a terror alert. Source: Wikimedia
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is asking for a united Asean strategy to tackle terrorism.
The region must unite and play a greater part in the global battle against Islamism, he told the bloc in Laos.
“Daesh and its cruel, twisted ideology have no place in our peaceful, diverse, tolerant country and nor in our region,” he told the 36th Aseanapol (Asean Chiefs of Police) Conference in Vientiane.
Malaysian Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar, is chairman of the conference.
Khalid told the conference: “We call upon our neighbours and friends to join us in our resolute fight against terrorism and to deny the terrorists the opportunity to force us to live in fear.”
Najib argued that no one was immune to the threat of terrorism.
The government was pushing for new legislation like the Security Offences Act, Special Measures against Terrorism in Foreign Countries Act, the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the National Security Council Act, Najib told delegates.
“We were criticised for passing some of these laws. But my government will never apologise for placing the safety and security of the Malaysian people first. These laws are necessary and other countries have since been following our lead,” the embattled premier said.
Najib said that Malaysian security forces were on a heightened state of alert, adding that digital media was the new frontier in the fight against terror.
“It is the new battleground and its centrality cannot be overestimated.
“We must seize the opportunity to convince the world that Muslims have nothing to do with the ideology of hatred and destruction,” he said.
Kuala Lumpur initiated the Regional Digital Counter-Messaging Communications Centre to synchronise efforts to fight terrorism in Asean and beyond.
“It is vital that this centre uses the studies that illustrate why there is nothing ‘Islamic’ about the state that shamefully declares itself as such. It is also vital that all authorities ensure that the message, which the centre puts out is solid, persuasive and real,” Najib told the police chiefs.
Najib said he wanted the conference to provide a platform to share anti-terror expertise and experience.