Kuala Lumpur | In a bid to blunt propaganda by terror groups like the Islamic State, Malaysia has announced that it is set to launch a regional centre to counter-terrorism digitally on the lines of the ones used by the US and the UAE to fight terrorism. We want to play a role in the international stage by sharing our experiences fighting against the Communist insurgency and the more recent terror threats such as from Jemaah Islamiah (JI) and Al-Maunah, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said here.
The regional digital counter-terrorism messaging centre is expected to open in May. Malaysia has been witnessing several cases of its citizens swayed by the Islamic State propaganda and has increased its vigilance to stem this trend. Hamidi noted that the terror groups might come and go but their styles and objectives remained similar. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Conference on De-radicalisation and Countering Violent Extremism, he said the government had allocated 46 million dollars worth of seed capital for the centre.
The centre will adopt the existing template that is used by the United States and United Arab Emirates, Hamidi said. Commenting on a study conducted by the Pew research centre which showed that 11 per cent of Malaysians supported the Islamic State (IS), Zahid said the findings should be viewed critically. I do not intend to question the research methodology of the study but what is more important is the government’s commitment to stop violent extremism.
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