KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — Malaysia’s Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today said the domestic security architecture of a country is a vital part to contribute to peace and regional security as a whole.
He stressed that the very foundations of international security would be weak when countries do not properly address the safety of their own populations.
“When we talk about regional security architecture, we tend to think about what nations are doing together.
“But our own domestic security architecture is a vital part of the whole,” he said in his opening speech at the Putrajaya Forum 2018 held in conjunction with the Defence Services Asia (DSA) and National Security Asia (NatSec Asia) 2018 exhibition here.
Speaking before more than 1,000 local and international delegates at the forum, Najib said that in Malaysia, the government had passed a number of laws including the National Security Council Act, the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the Security Offences Act to ensure that its citizens were protected and security forces could do their work freely.
Najib added that the country’s successes in combating security threats was also evidence to the effect as there was only one partially successful Daesh-linked attack in Malaysia.
“Thankfully no lives were lost — but we had to be prepared. In fact, from 2013 until now, 389 people have been arrested in Malaysia for Daesh-linked activities,” he said, adding that the government would ensure that all the security forces have all the necessary tools to combat the problem.
The prime minister pointed out that fake news could also cause a security threat to the country when it was being used as a tool of interference from outside powers.
He said the Malaysian government would not comprise on the nation’s sovereignty by allowing other countries or individuals to dictate to this country.
“The future of our country is for the Malaysian people to decide, and they should do so on the basis of the facts, not the fake news of lies, propaganda, false promises and illusions,” he said.
Najib also reaffirmed that the Barisan Nasional government would continue to preserve the liberty and safety of Malaysians while at the same time increasing its efforts to manage and contain all present and future threats.
Among the measures taken were increasing the number of high definition closed-circuit television cameras in high-crime areas, enhancing the weapons capability of the security forces in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone and increasing control posts and monitoring system along its borders, he said.
On the international front, Najib said Malaysia stands ready to actively contribute to regional security and to uphold the regional mechanisms for cooperation that have been fundamental to the region’s stability for so long.
Among the cooperation that Malaysia is involved in are the Melaka Strait Patrol, Trilateral Maritime Patrol, Third Party Facilitator for the Southern Philippines Peace Process and also the facilitator to the Southern Thailand Peace Dialogue.
On another development, Najib called for the Myanmar government to address the Rohingya issue, in order to prevent militant elements from infiltrating into the community.
“We acknowledge that the Government of Myanmar has taken some steps to tackle the crisis which many have said amounts to ethnic cleansing. However, far more is needed.
“The root cause must be addressed urgently in its entirety and we call on the Government of Myanmar to facilitate the safe and dignified return of refugees to their homes and communities,” he added.
Najib said Malaysia’s role in promoting moderation was also highly recognised by the international community when the United Nations adopted Malaysia’s resolution on moderation at the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly last year.
He said the establishment of the Saudi Arabia initiated King Salman Centre for International Peace in Kuala Lumpur that aimed to rectify misperceptions about Islam, also reflected the Kingdom’s confidence in Malaysia as a key ally in promoting moderation and regional security. — Bernama