KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 — Malaysia has been given global recognition for its successful efforts to rehabilitate terrorists and fight efforts to recruit new militants, Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has said.
Zahid, who is also deputy prime minister, noted that the police and rehabilitation panel had in the past rehabilitated various groups, including the local communist movement where he said many religious school leaders were then involved in.
“We succeeded when communists that become terrorists can be rehabilitated, when Jemaah Islamiyah, when Malaysian militant groups, when Al-Maunah can be rehabilitated…87.5 per cent rehabilitation was successfully carried out by the Malaysian government and Malaysian authorities,” he said, adding that Malaysia has streamlined its rehabilitation standard operating procedures (SOP) to be shared with the world.
“The de-radicalisation policy has been translated to Bahasa Malaysia, English, Arabic and French and we share with countries all over the world and I personally share the SOP, which means countries all over the world recognise Malaysia’s role in the policy and process of de-radicalisation of terrorists and militants,” he added in an event that was televised live nationwide last night.
He also said global recognition was accorded to Malaysia when it formed the counter-messaging centre to track down and counter activities to recruit new militants.
“This was done because we have a police team that is committed to conduct de-radicalisation and rehabilitation by doing early eradication and this is also recognised by the global community,” he said, referring to the counter-messaging centre.
“This means we never endorse any terrorist, whether they are religious terrorists or race-based terrorists or terrorists in the literal sense; we will not compromise with that,” he said, before adding that Malaysia holds on firmly to the Sunni sect of Islam.
Zahid was speaking at a dialogue session to collect feedback from an Islamic perspective for the drafting of the National Transformation 50 (TN50), a 30-year plan until 2050 for the nation.
At the same event, Zahid said Malaysia is globally recognised for leading the way with its clear commitment in issues related to Muslims, such as through the stationing of its army in Lebanon and the Philippines’ Mindanao region, as well as in the food flotilla for the Rohingya community.
He highlighted that Malaysia was willing to be the host for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member nations when it came to the Rohingya community’s plight, also noting in an allusion to a joint PAS-Umno solidarity rally of how differences were set aside.
“How we see, even though we have differences in opinion, but we met at the Titiwangsa stadium, we set aside our differences in opinion for the sake of the Muslim community, we set aside our beliefs,” he said in allusion to the rally.
“Our common ambition, Malaysia will be a model nation where although our opinions differ, but if it touches on the issue of Islam, we are together and we set aside our beliefs,” he later added when speaking of his visions for Malaysia in 30 years.