Malaysia waging all-out war against IS on ideological front, Anifah says
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PUTRAJAYA, January 12 — Apart from countering the threat of physical attacks, Malaysia is waging an all out war against Daesh and other extremists on the ideological front, said Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman.
Speaking at the Institute of International Relations in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan during his official visit to the country yesterday, he said Daesh and its ilk sought to penetrate and infect the minds of youth with malicious ideologies and agendas, particularly through the digital platform.
A copy of his speech was made available to Bernama.
Thus, he said, Malaysia was responding to this threat by developing and disseminating correct counter-narratives.
“Currently, such efforts are spearheaded by two digital counter-messaging centres under the Malaysian Foreign Ministry and Royal Malaysia Police, both established in 2016,” Anifah said.
He added Malaysia believed that tackling the scourge of terrorism required a broad-based, long term strategy, in which military actions alone were inadequate; rather, root causes must be addressed, ideally through a multi-pronged approach.
Anifah said preventive measures, vigilance, education, public awareness and de-radicalisation campaigns together with effective rehabilitation programmes were all necessary to combat these threats.
On the Palestine issue, he said Malaysia had and would remain fully committed to the Palestinian cause, and had never wavered from defending this just cause.
“So when Malaysia took its place at the horseshoe table - as the Security Council is nicknamed - we took every opportunity to highlight the injustices and suffering faced by the Palestinian people,” he said.
Anifah said Malaysia was also deeply concerned over the recent developments in the Middle East region and was of the view that the ongoing crises needed to be resolved expeditiously by the countries concerned.
He said Malaysia continued to uphold its policy of neutrality and moderation in this issue and urged all parties involved to make the necessary efforts in de-escalating tensions.
Touching on the Rohingya issue, Anifah said Malaysia’s position was well-known and consistent, that the situation in Rakhine state was no longer a domestic conflict.
“Malaysia has always maintained good bilateral relations with Myanmar and has no desire to interfere in its domestic affairs,” he said, adding that Malaysia stood ready to assist Myanmar in finding a just and durable solution to the protracted situation in Rakhine.
Currently, he said Malaysia’s effort in aiding the Rohingya focused on providing humanitarian aid including the field hospital which had been set up recently in Cox’s Bazaar in Bangladesh for medical relief of the refugees. — Bernama