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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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Kuala Lumpur To Host The Premiere of ‘Mughal-e-Azam: The Musical’

"Mughal-e-Azam: The Musical" has live singing, intricately designed choreography, noteworthy performances, world-class production design and elaborate and elegant costumes by Manish Malhotra.

The Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) representative image, Wikimedia

“Mughal-e-Azam: The Musical”, the hit stage show based on K. Asif’s 1960 directorial, will premiere in Kuala Lumpur next week.

It will be staged at the Istana Budaya also known as the Palace of Culture in the Malaysian capital on August 10 and August 11, marking the second international tour of the musical extravaganza after Dubai.

The musical will run for about two hours and twenty minutes each night at Istana Budaya. It is in Hindi but there will be two LED screens carrying Bahasa Malaysia and English subtitles.

MI Cultural Event Sdn Bhd (MICE) Director Datuk Nabhesh Khanna, who has been instrumental in taking the musical to Kuala Lumpur, said in a statement: “We have worked very hard to bring the prestigious play to Malaysia. We approached the Indian High Commission which in turn got the Malaysian Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry to be part of the cultural exchange project.

Poster Of Mughal-e-Azam. IANS
Poster Of Mughal-e-Azam. IANS

“As such, it is now a government-to-government project.”

The musical’s director Feroz Abbas Khan said the show’s story has an universal appeal which transcends barriers of language and culture.

“It is a story of love that seems to connect with audiences everywhere. We are delighted that the play is travelling to Malaysia as part of a cultural exchange between the two governments. It encourages artistes to work harder when governments support such work, Khan said.

Also Read:Modi Visits Malaysian Prime Minister Dr.Mahathir Mohamad

“Mughal-e-Azam: The Musical” has live singing, intricately designed choreography, noteworthy performances, world-class production design and elaborate and elegant costumes by Manish Malhotra. (IANS)