SYDNEY: Asean member countries and Australia should step up cooperation ito prevent the spread of terrorist ideologies and to hone even more effective approaches to counter the threats of radicalisation and violent extremism in Asia Pacific, says Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
“No one country can fight terrorism alone.
“The more united we are, the more effective we will be in combating this terrible and inhumane scourge. None of us are safe from it. But together, we will be safer,” said Najib.
The Prime Minister said this in his address at the closing ceremony of the Counter-Terrorism Conference here yesterday.
The Counter-Terrorism Conference is one of the major events during the two-day Asean-Australia Special Summit.
Najib was the only Asean leader invited to deliver a speech at the closing ceremony.
The other leader to address the conference was Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Najib said this region was not only at risk of cross-border crimes but many other issues, including terrorism and irregular movement of people who do not respect borders.
“The more we work together on these issues, the more successful we will be.
“As examples, I would mention the annual Redback Operation between the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency and the Australian Border Force, and the Malacca Straits Patrol initiative, which brings together Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand.
“Similar mechanisms have also been set up in other strategic waterways – such as in the Sulu Sea, where Malaysian, Indonesian, and Philippine authorities work closely to curb kidnapping and piracy in those vast territorial waters.”
On the Rohingya, Najib said the situation in Rakhine state and the suffering of the people and their displacement could no longer be considered a domestic issue.
“Rakhine, with thousands of despairing and dejected people who see no hope in their future, can be a fertile ground for radicalisation and recruitment by Daesh (IS)-affiliated groups,” he said.
Najib said Malaysia was ready to render assistance in finding a just and durable solution, “just as Malaysia is cooperating with its neighbours in the peace processes in the Southern Philippines and in Southern Thailand.
“We must be vigilant and increase our collaboration because the collapse of Daesh (IS) core territories in Iraq and Syria has forced it to go ‘underground’ and re-emerge elsewhere, especially in crisis zones where it could grow and operate,” he said.
“We must draw lessons from the seizure of Marawi and be extremely concerned that at least 10 militant groups in Mindanao have declared their affiliation with Daesh (IS),” he said. — Bernama
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