Malaysia steps up anti-terror fight

Updated 02 February 2019
0

Malaysia steps up anti-terror fight

  • Defense blueprint to counter rising extremist, cybersecurity threat
  • The defense plan is expected to be tabled in Parliament in July.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is preparing to bolster its national security and counter-terrorism policies under a defense “white paper” unveiled by the government.

The 10-year program will provide a blueprint for Malaysia’s overall defense and security planning, Defense Minister Mohamad Sabu said this week.

The white paper — Malaysia’s first major defense policy shift since 2010 — follows a rise in militant terror attacks in the region and a growing cybersecurity threat.

Farlina Said, a senior analyst at Malaysia’s Institute of Strategic and International Studies, told Arab News the defense white paper will “serve as a confidence-building measure, particularly among Malaysia’s partners.”

Announcing the white paper, Sabu said: “We have to be strategic in terms of what is needed.” 

The defense plan is expected to be tabled in Parliament in July. 

Prof. James Chin, a political expert on Malaysia based in Australia, said the white paper is part of the Pakatan Harapan government’s promise to promote transparency.

The previous Barisan National government tarnished the Defense Ministry’s reputation with allegations of massive spending and corruption, he said.

“There are big problems with transparency.” 

On Tuesday, the defense minister chaired a high-level meeting to discuss the white paper with 75 ministers and high-level officers, including Home Affairs Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali, and Communication and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo.

Terrorism, cybersecurity threats, and defense acquisition and budgets were among high-priority subjects discussed at the meeting.

Said warned that terrorism, cybersecurity threats, and defense acquisition and budgets were among high-priority subjects discussed at the meeting.

Threats of terrorism are not only domestic but also widespread throughout the region via extremist networks, she said.

“Addressing both these issues goes beyond the military.”


New Zealand, France announce bid to end violent extremism online

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to the media during a press conference at the Justice Precinct in Christchurch on March 28, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 12 min 30 sec ago
0

New Zealand, France announce bid to end violent extremism online

  • A French Muslim group said on Monday it was suing Facebook and YouTube for allowing the grisly live broadcast of Christchurch massacre to be streamed

WELLINGTON: New Zealand and France will bring together global leaders at a Paris summit next month aimed at stopping social media being used to organize and promote terrorism, the countries’ leaders announced Wednesday.
Political leaders and tech company executives have been called to a meeting — to be co-chaired by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron — in Paris on May 15.
They will be asked to commit to a pledge called the “Christchurch Call” designed to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.
Ardern said the March 15 terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, in which 50 Muslim worshippers were killed, saw social media used “in an unprecedented way as a tool to promote an act of terrorism and hate.”
The mosque attacks were live-streamed on the Internet and showed distressing footage of the gunman firing indiscriminately at men, women and children.
In Paris, the Elysee presidential palace said the meeting would ensure that “new, concrete measures are taken so that what happened in Christchurch does not happen again.”
Nearly six weeks after the massacre, social media sites are still struggling to stamp out copies of the gunman’s video.
“We’re calling on the leaders of tech companies to join with us and help achieve our goal of eliminating violent extremism online at the Christchurch Summit in Paris,” Arden said.
The meeting will be held alongside the “Tech for Humanity” meeting of G7 Digital Ministers, and France’s separate “Tech for Good” summit also scheduled for May 15.
“We all need to act, and that includes social media providers taking more responsibility for the content that is on their platforms, and taking action so that violent extremist content cannot be published and shared,” Ardern said.
“It’s critical that technology platforms like Facebook are not perverted as a tool for terrorism, and instead become part of a global solution to countering extremism.”
Macron has previously stated his ambition for France to take a leading role in devising new regulatory measures “to reconcile technology with the common good.”
Ardern said the joint action was not aimed at curbing freedom of expression but at preventing extremist violence from spreading online.
“I don’t think anyone would argue that the terrorist on March 15 had a right to livestream the murder of 50 people and that is what this call is very specifically focussed on,” she said.
A French Muslim group said on Monday it was suing Facebook and YouTube for allowing the grisly live broadcast of Christchurch massacre to be streamed.
The livestream lasting 17 minutes was shared extensively on a variety of Internet platforms and uploaded again nearly as fast as it could be taken down.
New Zealand has banned both the livestreamed footage of the attack and the manifesto written and released by Brenton Tarrant, who faces 50 murder charges and 39 of attempted murder following the mosque attacks.