Countering religious fundamentalism: Lessons from Malaysia

Source: Channel NewsAsia

Malaysia police arrest 3 suspected Islamic State militants planning attacks on the eve of National Day. (Photo: Malaysian police counter terrorism unit)

Malaysia police arrest 3 suspected Islamic State militants planning attacks on the eve of National Day. (Photo: Malaysian police counter terrorism unit)

SINGAPORE: Individuals tend to be drawn to fundamentalist ideology out of a desire to escape personal, familial, or social problems, rather than out of religious piousness, said Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

This understanding can inform how authorities should counter the influence and spread of religious fundamentalism, noted Mr Zahid, who shared key lessons from Malaysia in a keynote address at the Asia-Europe Counter-Terrorism Dialogue on Tuesday (Nov 1).

“Young girls, as young as 14 years old, from Malaysia were also influenced. She was caught at the airport when she was about to board the plane. She was so attracted by the young, handsome, bearded potential husband,” he said, adding that the girl had been radicalised through materials on the internet.

“Why was she influenced? It’s not because of religious belief… It’s because of escapism, because they would like to get out of the problems that they are facing in their family, in the society, with employers.” Read more

European Union–Malaysia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement initialled today

Source: European Union – EASS

Brussels, 06/04/2016

European Union–Malaysia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement initialled today

The chief negotiators of the European Union and Malaysia initialled today the text of the EU-Malaysia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) at a ceremony held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia in Putrajaya. The initialling marks the successful closure of negotiations that started in October 2010.

Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission said: “Today’s initialling is a concrete step that will further advance our bilateral relations. The Agreement will reinforce our political dialogue with Malaysia on a range of issues, among them counter-terrorism and the promotion of human rights and of international justice.” Read more

SOP in the works to fight terrorism

Source: The Star Online

KUALA LUMPUR: Asean will be coming out with a standard operating procedure (SOP) for programmes to combat terrorism in the region.

And Malaysia will be counting on its long history of dealing with such problems – going all the way back to 1948 – to help develop the SOP.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Malaysia was on the frontlines again in Asean’s efforts to come up with long-term plans like rehabilitation activities for terrorists arrested.

“Malaysia will be hosting a conference on deradicalism in the Asean region on Jan 25 and 26 next year, in which Asean, along with eight dialogue partners, will discuss three main themes and present eight papers on the aspects of terrorist rehabilitation.

“This includes approaches like psychology and engagement programmes with those arrested for terrorism, including a proposal for engagement programmes involving ­families and loved ones, so the rehabilitated terrorists can be accepted into society again,” he told a press conference after chairing the Special Asean Ministerial Meeting on the Rise of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism (SAMMRRAVE) here yesterday. Read more

Terror’s many dimensions – Shad Saleem Faruqi

Source: The Star Online

Shad Saleem Faruqi - file pic

Shad Saleem Faruqi – file pic


Counter-terrorism measures must be accompanied by a holistic approach that promotes prevention and peaceful resolution of prolonged conflicts.

LAST Saturday, a seminar was held at the Multimedia University in Malacca on “The Threat of Global Terrorism in the 21st Century”. It explored the many dimensions of this challenge to civilisation.

Participants were reminded that terrorism has existed throughout the ages. No nation and no region have escaped its evil. No race, religion or region is without guilt in perpetrating it. Read more