KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — Malaysia has slightly fallen in the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) 2017 released today, following the Islamic State-linked hand grenade blast at a pub in Puchong last year.
In the report by Australia-based Institute of Economics and Peace, Malaysia was also named among the 32 countries with affiliates or network of the pro-caliphate militant group, together with neighbours Indonesia and the Philippines.
For 2017, Malaysia scored 3.334 out of 10, up from 2.692 last year. Zero denotes no impact of terrorism while the higher the number, the greater the impact of terrorism on the population.
Malaysia was also ranked 60th out of 106 countries in the index that seeks to measure the number of terrorist incidents, fatalities and casualties as well as damage to property in a country. It was ranked 61st previously.
It also listed Malaysia, together with the Maldives, as two Asian countries that are grappling with jihadists who return from strife-torn Syria and Iraq.
“The first challenge is knowing who is coming back, the second is assessing what risk they pose, and the third is deciding what to do with them.
“Both have seen a startling number of their citizens travel to Iraq and Syria relative to their population,” it said, referring to the two countries.
Map: the state of Global Terrorism in 2017 pic.twitter.com/b2EGSLrhwL— Global Peace Index (@GlobPeaceIndex) November 15, 2017
The report said Malaysian terrorists were previously more likely to commit violence in neighbouring Indonesia and the Philippines compared to back home, but it all changed after the attack on Movida Bar in Puchong in June last year, injuring eight.
This comes as Putrajaya reported that 56 Malaysians were still in Syria and Iraq, while 32 had been killed there. However, eight of them have returned to the country.
It was revealed recently that the deradicalisation programme here is being run by Zamihan Mat Zin, a Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) officer seconded to the Prisons Department who had courted controversy over his inflammatory remarks.
Several groups have criticised Zamihan’s appointment, including deputy home minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed who told the preacher to quit his job over his attitude. Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had previously defended Zamihan’s purported success in deradicalisation.
Countries that suffered the greatest impact from terrorism in the 2017 Global Terrorism Index:— Global Peace Index (@GlobPeaceIndex) November 15, 2017
Read more in the full report: https://t.co/rJJrrbfvxC pic.twitter.com/W6BXOrHNpJ
The report noted that the Asia-Pacific region has seen an increase in terrorist activity since 2002, with a 720 per cent increase in the number of attacks over the period.
In 2002, there were 106 terrorist attacks with 350 deaths, but this increased to 870 in 2016 with 469 deaths, with a peak of 744 deaths in 2014.
Globally, Iraq topped the index, followed by Afghanistan, Nigeria, Syria, and Pakistan.