INDIAN Prime Minister Narendra Modi has shown serious interest in Malaysia’s moderation agenda and its counter-terrorism efforts, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
During his 45-minute meeting with Modi on Tuesday, he said Modi asked extensively about Malaysia’s de-radicalisation module, anti-terrorism legislation and welfare of Muslims.
Modi told him Malaysia had vast experience in combating terrorism and extremism, and he wanted to know more about terrorism preventive laws such as the Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota) 2015 and the Special Measures Against Terrorism in Foreign Countries Act 2015.
“I explained to him that such laws are not punitive legislation, but are more preventive in nature.
“He told me that despite being a smaller nation, Malaysia had contributed much to counter-terrorism efforts at the international level.
“Prime Minister Modi has accepted my invitation to allow Indian enforcement officers to come to Malaysia for one to three months to learn more about our de-radicalisation and rehabilitation efforts.
“We have achieved a 97% success rate in our rehabilitation efforts and India wants to achieve the same level of success as Malaysia in combating terrorism and extremism,” he told Malaysian journalists on the last day of his three-day official visit here.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said Modi also brought up his government’s problem in properly managing India’s madrasah (Islamic religious schools).
He added that in Malaysia, the management of religious schools was coordinated by the Education Ministry and the national committee on Islamic education affairs.
“India, which has 200 million Muslims, wants to learn from Malaysia on managing Islamic education. Modi also wants India to implement Malaysia’s moderation efforts in its own Islamic school system,” he added.
He said Modi also urged Malaysia to organise an international conference on the teaching methods of Islamic education. Modi told him that Malaysia’s methods on improving Islamic education should not only be presented to Asean members but also to Asean dialogue partners and the world community.
He said Modi had also requested that India’s ulama and Islamic non-governmental organisations be allowed to attend the ulama and umara annual conferences organised annually by Malaysia.
At a separate function earlier, Dr Ahmad Zahid also launched the Electronic Travel Authorisation (e-visa) for Indian tourists visiting Malaysia.
The facility is valid for a single journey for a maximum stay of 30 days in Malaysia. Last year, 722,141 Indian tourists visited Malaysia, making it the sixth largest contributor to tourist arrivals.