KUALA LUMPUR – The Malaysian Government will always push for more efforts to ensure peace, stability and security in the Asia Pacific, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Najib said faced with all kinds of security challenges, ASEAN member countries including Malaysia could not stand by and do nothing.
“We must all contribute to ‘fostering a shared future’, and I hope and pray that after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit and subsequent ASEAN and related summits, we will have made strong progress in doing so.
“A gathering of world leaders, such as this one, must take advantage of being together to consider what they all collectively can do to take action,” he said in his blog www.najibrazak.com.my today.
Najib, accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, arrived in Vietnam on Thursday afternoon for the APEC meeting and the leaders’ summit which will begin on Friday.
Najib in his blog also mentioned that the Asia Pacific faced huge challenges; from rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula, to the scourge of Daesh and its regional affiliates in Southeast Asia, to the suffering and persecution that had caused unprecedented mass migration in the Andaman Sea and in neighbouring countries.
He said as for Malaysia’s part, Kuala Lumpur had been consistent in its strong condemnation of the series of nuclear tests that had been conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
“An escalation that could lead to nuclear catastrophe, with the consequent deaths of hundreds of thousands, if not millions; the radioactive fallout, devastating long-term illnesses and mass displacement of people – this is something we simply cannot contemplate in the 21st century.
“Any conflict, particularly one involving such weapons, would be catastrophic not just for the Korean peninsula but for the region and beyond.”
“Nuclear armegeddon was a threat that blighted far too much of the second half of the last century, and we must take all steps necessary to avoid these dark clouds shrouding the first half of the current century,” he said.
In terms of Daesh, the Prime Minister drove home the point that Malaysia had not been spared the shadow of a barbarity that had wrought such wicked havoc in Iraq and Syria with the first Daesh-linked attack which had been foiled by the Royal Malaysia Police in June last year.
Najib said the Malaysian Government had introduced a raft of counter-terrorism legislation over the past few years to deal with this scourge as well as standing shoulder to shoulder with so many other nations in the Global Coalition Against Daesh on the international level.
“For when we see what happened in Marawi City in the Philippines recently, it is clear that this is a threat that is real and present in our region. Nobody should underestimate it, and I will never apologise for putting the safety and security of the Malaysian people first.”
“But this challenge needs to be dealt with in a number of ways: not just by prevention, but also by battling radicalisation and working to rehabilitate those who have been falsely lured away by criminals who blaspheme the name of Islam,” he said.
The Prime Minister said Malaysia’s efforts to promote the concept of wasatiyyah, and the example set by its Global Movement of Moderates initiative, had been widely recognised and taken as a model by other countries and was confirmed earlier this year by the establishment in Malaysia of the King Salman Centre for International Peace – a wonderful endorsement by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
Touching on the ethnic cleansing in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, Najib said Malaysia was one of the first countries to call for action and successfully proposed the meeting of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers in Yangon last December.
“We hosted the Extraordinary Session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Council of Foreign Ministers to discuss the plight of the Rohingya in January this year. And we have led numerous humanitarian initiatives, sending goods and establishing a field hospital to help Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh,” he added.