DAVOS (Switzerland): Terrorism can be minimised if nations and the public co-operate fully, several government and non-government leaders attending the World Economic Forum here said.
They also said the fight against terrorism must be approached on a broad front, that there must be preventive laws and governments must be assertive in their effort to curb terrorist acts.
“I believe that we cannot achieve perfection (in preventing terrorism); there will be cases that will somehow get through,” said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“There will be terror attacks around the world, the main thing is to minimise them,” he said during the plenary session on “How the fight against terrorism will change the world.”
Outlining Malaysia’s success in fighting the communist terrorists during the Emergency, he said the Government’s way was not only to embark on military action but also to win over the minds and hearts of the people.
Asked whether it was politically manageable to have preventive laws against terrorism, Dr Mahathir said the Government had managed all this while.
US Attorney-General John Ashcroft said that in the fight against terrorism, his government had shifted its priority from prosecution to prevention.
“I agree with the Prime Minister that we’ve got to prosecute people who violate the law,” Ashcroft said, but added that he “was not sure that he agreed” with what Dr Mahathir said was the cause of terrorism.