KUALA LUMPUR: Military action alone cannot eradicate the threat of radicalism and modern armies need to rethink their approach to combat it, says Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
"Iraq, Syria and Yemen have shown us that just a military option is not enough.
"We need to find a new canvas – and we cannot do that alone," he said in his closing remarks to attending chiefs of armies during a round-table discussion on the topic.
The talk – attended by representatives of 18 countries – was held behind closed doors at the Defence Services Asia and National Security Asia 2018 exhibition on Tuesday (April 17).
Hishammuddin referenced a need to utilise more "soft power" approaches to combat the issue in a more holistic manner.
He added that an increase in cross-country cooperation was imperative to prevent radical groups from gaining a foothold in any one country.
"You need to guide your intelligence heads to think outside the box. Because if you leave it to them, they are trained not to share. Intelligence sharing is easy to say but not easy to do," said Hishammuddin.
"We have not faced a challenge this great. I cannot impress enough on everybody how unprepared we are. If we don't work together, we don't stand a chance," he added.
Later, Hishammuddin said that he was pleased with the round-table talks.
"I'm proud that the chiefs of armies are looking at Malaysia and at the very least, asking for our views on how to combat the matter," he said.