Najib: Malaysia cannot isolate itself


  • Nation
  • Friday, 28 Feb 2003

BY RUBEN SARIO

KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia hopes to remain an oasis of peace in today’s troubled world as the nation ponders beefing up its security. 

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said while Malaysia was investing more in defence due to the nation’s prosperity, the country, however, could not isolate itself from the effects of possible regional conflicts. 

These include a fall-out in the event of a nuclear detonation in the Korean peninsula or pollution from burning oil wells in Iraq, if the country is attacked. 

He said part of efforts to enhance security involved the need for a special department to prepare Malaysia, particularly sensitive installations, from cyber attacks. 

“The Defence Ministry is working with Mimos on a special network system to protect its computer equipment, particularly those in critical units, from hackers and other cyber intruders,'' added Najib. 

He said closer to home, the ongoing insurgency in southern Philippines had stifled progress in that part of the country, which he described was what Sabah was like 40 to 50 years ago. 

Najib noted that the Philippine Government had to deal not only with Islamic groups such as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), but also with problems posed by communists now numbering about 15,000. 

He said Malaysia was one of the few countries that had successfully addressed the communist problem not only through military and police action but also by winning the hearts and minds of people who had supported the armed group. 

“We are also helping the Philippine Government to resolve its conflict with MILF,'' he said without elaborating, when fielding questions from the floor after a lecture on “Defence and National Security Issues in the Context of Globalisation” at Universiti Malaysia Sabah. 

Najib said the American approach in dealing with communists in Vietnam failed as “they were interested in the body count” resulting in innocent civilians being killed and included in numbers of communists eliminated. 

He said after the fall of communism in Europe, there were expectations of peace with the emergence of a multi-polar world where various countries would be responsible for global security. 

“Instead, we have the United States as the sole superpower in the 21st century and it seems we cannot solve any conflict, such as the Palestinian problem, without American intervention,” Najib added. 

He said the problem could be resolved only through the establishment of a Palestinian state that co-existed peacefully with Israel.  

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