Aizat Training Service director Dr Ahmad Nazzan Abdullah said that Malaysia is on the right path in fighting terrorism within the country. He also credited the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), previously known as Internal Security Act (ISA), as a successful program against terrorism.
According to last year’s Global Terrorism Index, Malaysia improved its ranking for the third year in a row for the decline in deaths related to terrorism. Despite that, the report also indicated that Malaysia is gradually contributing to the movement of ‘second wave of Islamic terrorism’.
The graph above shows the impact terrorism had on Malaysia till 2018. 0 means no impact, while the increase in numbers translate to the increase of impact from terrorism.
Although there is a slight improvement in Malaysia’s terrorism score, the Asia-Pacific regions are predicted to be an emerging hotspot for terrorism. This is due to multiple Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia individuals pledging themselves to IS (Islamic State group).
Speaking of pledges, a survey concluded that 21% of university students actually think terrorism is necessary to achieve an objective. The survey by SEA Regional Centre for Counter-Terrorism serves as a reminder that even some educated individuals hold dangerous beliefs, and authorities should take countermeasures with this realization.
The survey was conducted among 2,000 undergraduates from Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK), Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Universiti Tenaga Malaysia (Uniten), Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas).
Dr Ahmad said that pro-active counter terrorism approach by officials, networking, intelligence gathering, surveillance, and pre-emptive raids, have all contributed to Malaysia’s success in curbing terrorism.
He urged students to not be easily persuaded into participating in activities with extreme ideologies.