Najib: Government committed to national and regional safety

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia stands ready to actively contribute to regional security, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Prime Minister said as the third-party facilitator to the Southern Philippines Peace Process, Malaysia had helped the participants reach the final peace agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

“The Bangsamoro Basic Law, which follows the agreement, has been certified as urgent by President (Rodrigo) Duterte. He has also urged congress in Manila to fast-track it.

“Malaysia has been the facilitator to the Southern Thailand Peace Dialogue since 2013.

“Stability and peace in these areas will contribute to an environment which is conducive to economic development, making these areas and the whole region more secure,” he said in his keynote address before launching the Putrajaya Forum, “Recalibrating Regional Security Architecture”, held in conjunction with Defence Services Asia and the National Security Asia exhibition yesterday.

The very foundations of international security are weak when countries do not properly address the safety of their own populations, he added.

“In Malaysia, the Government has passed a number of laws, including the National Security Council Act and the Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota), so that our citizens are protected and our security services are able to work freely.

“I make no apology for ensuring our police and security services have all the tools necessary to combat those who would bring death and destruction to our soil,” he said.

So far, there has been only one successful Islamic State attack in Malaysia and since 2013, 389 people have been arrested for IS links, he noted.

Najib said protecting Malaysians also means protecting them from fake news.

“This (fake news) can pose a security threat and we have seen many instances around the world where fake news has been used as a tool of interference by outside powers, which strangely some opposition leaders now say they welcome.

“I can tell you that members of my Government do not and will not compromise our sovereignty by allowing other countries or individuals to tell us what to do or who to choose,” he vowed.

He added that the future of the nation is for the Malaysian people to decide.

“They should do so on the basis of facts, not the fake news of lies, propaganda, false promises and illusions,” he said.

Among measures that Barisan Nasional is committed to are establishing a special prison with an integrated electronic security system for those detained under the Prevention of Crime Act and Pota as well as establishing a Cyber Defence Operations Centre under the Defence Ministry.

“We are also planning to increase control posts and monitoring systems along our borders to prevent smuggling and human trafficking as well as terrorist threats.

“Enhancing the weapons capability of the security forces stationed in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone is also in the pipeline,” he said.

The Prime Minister later visited various booths that displayed weapons and assault vehicles at the event at MiTEC (Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre).

Also present were Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun and Armed Forces chief Jen Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor.