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Modi in Malaysia: Calls for new global resolve, strategies to combat terrorism


Kuala Lumpur: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called for a new global resolve to fight terrorism and spoke of the need for unimpeded commerce in the Asia Pacific and the Indian Ocean regions.

Modi had a hectic schedule on the second day of his visit to Malaysia, addressing the 10th East Asia Summit (EAS), unveiling a statue of Swami Vivekananda, meeting Malay-Indian political leaders and delivering a speech to a diaspora gathering in which he sought to revitalize the bonds between India and the Indian-origin people in this southeast Asian nation.

Besides India, the countries that participate in the annual East Asia Summit held immediately after the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit are Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam.

In his address at the East Asia Summit, Modi said “the barbaric terrorist strikes” in Paris, Ankara, Beirut, Mali, and on the Russian aircraft that was brought down in Egypt’s Sinai last month were a stark reminder that the shadow of terror stretched across the world.

“We must build new global resolve and new strategies for combating terrorism, without balancing it against political considerations,” the prime minister added.

Without naming Pakistan, he said no country should use or support terrorism.

“There is no distinction between groups. There are no sanctuaries. There are no funds. There is no access to arms. But, we also have to work within our societies and with our youth. I welcome the commitment to de-link religion from terrorism and the efforts to promote human values that define every faith,” Modi said.

Stating that since his government came to power 18 months ago, no region has seen greater engagement from India than the Asia Pacific and the Indian Ocean regions, Modi outlined his vision of five elements for an Asian century, including a regional architecture for security cooperation.

Describing the ocean as a pathway to peace and prosperity, Modi said India shares with Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) “a commitment to freedom of navigation, overflight and unimpeded commerce in accordance with accepted principles of international law…”

Referring to the disputes in the South China Sea, Modi said India hoped that all parties will abide by the declaration on the conduct and the guidelines on the implementation.

“Parties must also redouble efforts for early adoption of a Code of Conduct on the basis of consensus,” he said.

He also sought an early conclusion of a regional comprehensive economic partnership.

Later in his address to the diaspora, Modi sought to enhance India’s connect with the people of Indian origin in Malaysia with a lavish praise for their accomplishments and a string of announcements, including naming a cultural center here after freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and one million dollar as additional fund to corpus of India-students Trust Fund.

Of the nearly 30 million population of Malaysia, around two million people are of Indian origin.

As over 15,000 people of Indian origin chanted “Modi, Modi” at the Malaysian International Exhibition and Convention Center here, the Indian prime minister acknowledged the large proportion of people of Tamil majority among the Indian diaspora in this southeast Asian nation by starting with the greeting, “Vanakkam”.

Modi said his government was prepared to work with the Malaysian government to build a memorial to Indian soldiers who laid down their lives in Malaysia during World War II.

He said India and Malaysia should recognize each other’s degree, on which he would talk with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

He talked of India and Malaysia drawing strength from their respective diversities.

“India is a nation where everyone has equal rights that the constitution guarantees, the court protects and government defends,” Modi said.

He also spoke on the issue of terrorism, describing it as the biggest threat to the world today.

Modi said independent India owed a debt of gratitude to Malay-Indians.

“Your forefathers in thousands came forward to join Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and the Indian National Army.”

“India is not confined to its territory. India exists in every Indian in every part of the world,” he added.

While unveiling a statue of Swami Vivekananda at the Ramakrishna Mission complex here, he said that people should instil the values of the great Indian sage and philosopher in their mind and soul.

He met a delegation of the Malaysian Indian Congress and other Malay-Indian parliamentarians and lawmakers.

Modi wraps up his Malaysia visit on Monday and leaves for Singapore on the second and last leg of his tour.


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Malaysians protest against the policies of US President Donald Trump

About 61 per cent of Malaysia's population of 31 million people adhere to Islam

Donald Trump at Press Conference- Image Courtesy- Wikimedia

Kuala Lumpur, Feb 3, 2017: Dozens of Malaysians took to the streets of the Malaysian capital to denounce the policies of the new United States President.

The protest on Friday, held in front of the US Embassy, was joined by about 100 people, mostly Malaysian Muslims and small numbers of Chinese and Indian protesters, Efe news reported.

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Around 2 p.m. (local time), they began their rally, which consisted of carrying banners, making speeches and shouting slogans.

A man with a megaphone led the group in chanting “Long Live Islam” in Malaysian and “No Muslim Ban” and “No Wall No Ban”.

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Their placards carried the same message of “#NoWallNoBan” and “#NoMuslimBan”, referencing the controversial executive order issued this week by Donald Trump banning entry to the US for nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries including Syria, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

Many protesters were members of various Malaysian opposition parties and NGOs, with some from the Socialist Alternative group.

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Muhammad Emuzufar, that group’s leader, said that his organisation opposes racism, homophobia and Trump’s alleged anti-Islam stance, and criticized the US president as representing “the worst face of capitalism”.

Around 40 police officers were standing guard near the protest area, but there were no reports of arrests.

About 61 per cent of Malaysia’s population of 31 million people adhere to Islam, with most followers being ethnic Malays. (IANS)


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Malaysian Police to Open Counter-Extremist Messaging Center in November

The message will be in three languages English, Malay and Arabic, Police Inspector-General Khalid Abu Bakar said

Malaysian police give directions to a tourist outside a popular shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, Feb. 23, 2016. BenarNews

Kuala Lumpur, October 23, 2016: Malaysia next month will officially open a messaging center whose mission is to counter online propaganda from Islamic State (IS) and other extremist groups, the nation’s police chief told BenarNews.

The messaging center will be housed at the Malaysian Police Training Center (Pulapol) in Kuala Lumpur, Police Inspector-General Khalid Abu Bakar said last week.

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“Structurally, we are already under way. At first we had an issue regarding the venue, but that’s already been resolved. The PM will launch [the center] in November. We’ve already done a soft start,” Khalid told BenarNews.

Authorities in Malaysia and neighboring Indonesia have long warned of a threat posed by IS and like-minded groups using social media to indoctrinate and recruit local youths as supporters and combatants.

IS has a Malay-language combat unit, known as Katibah Nusantara, made up of fighters from countries where forms of the language are spoken, and which has produced Malay-language propaganda.

Experts from the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) are working with police officers to develop content to be disseminated by the center, according to the police chief.

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“We are getting assistance from JAKIM. As you know, we have to be very careful with the content. The content will be in three languages English, Malay and Arabic,” Khalid said.

He added that the Malaysian center had sent officers to Abu Dhabi to learn about the Sawab Center, a messaging center launched by the United States and United Arab Emirates that seeks to “draw out the poisonous propaganda” of IS, according to its website.

At the International Conference on De-radicalization and Countering Violent Extremism in Kuala Lumpur in January, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak spoke about the importance of countering extremist narratives with messaging that was “solid, persuasive and real.”

“It must state clearly why they [IS] are wrong, and why true Muslims will have nothing to do with this ideology of hatred and destruction,” he said.

About 1,000 Southeast Asians had joined IS in Iraq and Syria by the end of 2015, according to the U.S. State Department.

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IS claimed an attack in downtown Jakarta in January 2016 that left eight people dead, including four attackers. An alleged IS supporter was killed Thursday in Tangerang, West Java after attacking police officers with a knife.

Malaysian authorities have arrested at least 230 suspected IS members since 2013 and have charged some 75 suspects linked to the group in court.

Police allege that a Malaysian in Syria ordered a grenade attack at a nightclub on the outskirts on Kuala Lumpur in June that injured eight people, the first IS attack on Malaysian soil. (BenarNews)

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Callers warn of Explosion Threat at Hindu Temple and Bursa Malaysia Headquarters in Kuala Lumpur

The building was re-opened sometime around 15:30 and the public were allowed access again

Explosion threat
Exchange Square of Bursa, Malaysia. Wikipedia
  • A security personnel was warned by certain caller about explosion threat around 12.01 pm at the headquarters of Bursa Malaysia
  • A bomb-disposal unit along with a K9 unit were immediately dispatched to the threatened location
  • Following the threat of the explosion, the building of Bursa was evacuated in the afternoon and all the adjacent streets were protected from intrusion

Oct 01, 2016: Police officials in Malaysia reported that a security personnel was warned by a caller at the headquarters of Bursa Malaysia in the Exchange Square of Kuala Lumpur. On Friday, the caller threatened that an explosion will take place in that building and the Hindu temple standing nearby after the prayers.

After the threat, the security personnel along with a colleague filed a complaint with the police, said Dang Wangi district police chief Zainol Samah. He added further that a K9 unit and a bomb-disposal unit were immediately dispatched to the threatened location, but they could not trace any explosive device!

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Explosion threats
Dang Wangi Police Headquarters. Wikimapia

According to the report, Samah stated that the investigation by the police is ongoing with the ones that have been involved in this hoax. He also added that the investigation of the case is proceeding under the Penal Code- Section 507.

The public was advised not to panic about the threat in concern and also assured that the police will always be ready to manage all forthcoming situations. Following the threat of the explosion, the building of Bursa was evacuated in the afternoon and all the adjacent streets were protected from intrusion.

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The building was re-opened sometime around 15:30 and the public were allowed access again. Thereafter, the activities went on completely normally in the building, despite the threat.

Bursa reported in a statement to the press that the explosion threat was received by the management around 12.01 pm and as a precaution, the staff and the tenants were evacuated. Business Continuity Plans or BCP also got activated thereafter. Everything has got back to normal and the operations continue in regular pace.

– prepared by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC