Published: Saturday January 26, 2013 MYT 5:34:00 PM
Updated: Saturday January 26, 2013 MYT 10:56:41 PM
Najib: Militant threat in Southeast Asia declining
KUALA LUMPUR: The threat of Islamic militants in Southeast Asia has receded quite substantially due the efforts from other nations in the region, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
He said the cooperation between Malaysia and the other countries, including Indonesia and the Philippines, had helped to tackle Al-Qaeda-linked groups.
"I think most of them (the countries) are behind us. I think we've dealt with radical Islam," he told a CNN televised session entitled 'An Insight, An Idea with Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak' at the ongoing World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.
In the 30-minute interview which was anchored by Fareed Zakaria, the Prime Minister also pointed out Malaysia's involvement in hosting peace talks between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and its deployment of troops to head an international truce-monitoring force in the region.
The Philippine government signed an accord last October with the MILF, who had been fighting for more than 40 years and had cost about 120,000 lives.
"This means that the whole potential of that area being radicalised, being linked up with Al-Qaeda directly or through the various groups, has been eliminated.
"That's a huge contribution towards peace and a more moderate form of Islam in Southeast Asia," Najib said.
He stressed that although in the past some form of military-type action was "unavoidable", the task was now to engage with fundamentalist Muslims and persuade them to embrace more moderate forms of Islam.
On his visit to Gaza, Najib said he had privately as well as in his speech told Hamas that he was there for humanitarian reason and with a mission in peace.
"I did not come to side with the Hamas. I did not come to interfere with the internal politics.
"I came with a mission and basically to tell them...look you have to be united and form a unity government.
"Once you have unity government, then you should negotiate with Israel," Najib said. - Bernama