M’sia proposes global counter-terrorism secretariat


BALI: Malaysia’s proposal on the formation of a secretariat at a global level to combat terrorism was well received and unanimously agreed to at the Counter-Terrorism International Convention held here today.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the strong backing for the proposal was an international recognition for the country in taking steps to counter terrorism at a global level.

He said Interpol would be responsible for the secretariat and the proposal would be tabled at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly soon.

“Interpol Executive Director Jurgon Stock met me personally and will take up the recommendation for its implementation and coordination by the United Nations.

“… and of course the United Nations Security Council is the best platform in forging collaboration with Interpol,” he told Malaysian journalists after attending the international convention themed “Transboundary Movements by Terrorists” here today.

He said Malaysia was prepared to work together in establishing the standard operating procedures (SOP) for the secretariat.

Zahid said that in the preliminary discussions with the Interpol executive director, it was indicated that the secretariat might be located at the Interpol Regional Centre in Singapore.

He said the acceptance of Malaysia’s proposal also proved that the world recognised and appreciated the efforts made by the anti-terrorism division in Bukit Aman to counter terrorism.

However, he said there were still a number of countries that did not consider the terrorism problem seriously and described it as a political gimmick.

“Certainly several approaches must be carried out (in forming the secretariat), particularly with regard to prevention. Awareness campaigns should be carried out at all levels and the community must realise that when matters concerning terrorism are discussed, they are not political gimmicks.”

As such, he said, leaders and key players in the efforts to check terrorism had agreed to intensify awareness campaigns.

He said that in addition, there were terrorist networks known as “Katibah Nusantara”, which used South Asia and Southeast Asia as their new location.

Zahid said that as such, Malaysia had urged that a study be carried out on the reasons for the existence of the problem (of the networks) which should also be looked at by the international community.

“We suggested to the meeting just now that the terrorism problem be resolved in a holistic manner, and not merely viewed from a minor angle.”

He said Malaysia would now move further ahead to play a role and contribute to the international community, especially to the nations which had become the sources of creation of the terrorists.

Zahid said the country’s background in successfully tackling the communist threat since 1948 and followed by several other incidents had provided the background for Malaysia’s capability in contributing at the international level to fight terrorism.

He said the reason for the occurrence of violence was global in nature and the network received their instructions online or via the social media without requiring physical existence.

In addition, Malaysia would also propose that the Asean member countries coordinated to create a joint facility in the use of technology such as biometrics in the Immigration division of their respective countries in order to track down the movement of the terrorists.

Zahid said Asean member countries should not make financial problems as constraints because national security could not be compromised.