Dr Maszlee Malik suggests Malaysia to also cooperate with other foreign countries that share similar concerns when it comes to extremism and violence

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia should work with other countries too and not only Saudi Arabia in dealing with global terrorism, said International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) academic Dr Maszlee Malik.

The senior fellow at IDEAS added that Malaysia must share its concerns with countries such as Tunisia, Jordan, Qatar and United Kingdom in combating violence and extremism.

“It is best for Malaysia to also cooperate with countries that I have mentioned. They share similar concerns when it comes to violence and extremism and these countries are working to eradicate the problems surrounding extremism and violence. Putrajaya must not only rely on Saudi Arabia to fight terror.

“The cooperation however must be done in a transparent manner. It must not be treated as a clandestine operation,” he said.

Maszlee, who authored several books on good governance, hoped that there will be a national command centre to counter violence and extremism in Malaysia.

He said with such command centre, all parties are able to get involved in the issue.

“I hope there will be a national command centre for counter violence and extremism in Malaysia where all parties involved in the issue could come together and exchange information and data,” he added.

Yesterday, Maszlee told Berita Daily that the collaboration between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia as a positive effort to curb terrorism but stated that Malaysia must have a broader framework.

The lecturer said that the focus must not only be targeted at IS militants but also at any sort of extremism from other ideologies and religions.

“The current collaboration between Malaysian government and Saudi is another positive effort taken by the government in fighting terrorism. However Malaysian government must have a broader framework, by not missing the bigger picture in dealing with the issue.

“Malaysia, both government and citizens, must work inclusively with everybody to fight the global terrorism phenomenon. It’s not only the issue of Daesh and the like, but also any sorts of terrorism and violence extremism from other ideologies and religions, including those perpetuated by states and those in power.

“In dealing with them, a comprehensive and holistic approach must be taken by all parties involved,” said Maszlee.

In July, Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that construction of the King Salman Centre for International Peace (KSCIP) on a 16ha or 40 acres of land in Putrajaya.

KSCIP currently operates from Kuala Lumpur, and the government has been given two years to build the new centre, which is a brainchild of King Salman. It is aimed at deflecting the influence of extremism and terrorist activities, as well as promoting universal peace.

Najib said the decision was made after a discussion with the assistants to Saudi King Salman Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed Salman who visited Malaysia in July.

Comments from Maszlee came after Muslim reformist Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa slammed Putrajaya’s decision to allot land to Saudi Arabia to combat terrorism.

This, he said, was because research has revealed that Saudi Arabia was the biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world today.

Farouk, who heads the think tank Islamic Renaissance Front, said Saudi Arabia’s track record in combating terrorism was wanting.

“To me personally, this action by the government made little sense, if there is any at all.

“Researchers have pointed out that Saudi Arabia is without doubt, the biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world today. And the Saudi ideology remains the source of most radical Islamic extremism,” Farouk said as reported.

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