The Star Online <>  > Focus 

Sunday June 20, 2010

All-out effort needed against JI activities


LATELY, there has been disconcerting news that Indonesia-based Jemaah
Islamiyah (JI), identified internationally as a terrorist group, is
expanding its activities even here in Malaysia.

However, the Home Ministry has assured Malaysians there is nothing to worry
about. While it is comforting to know that the authorities are on top of the
situation, there should also be no room for a dangerous complacency. If JI
is indeed being watched and tracked, then there is no need for undue alarm.
However, the situation demands constant vigilance, since the group is known
to be wily and to change its tactics. JI activity in Malaysia is not new. It
is known to have a membership following here, besides establishing a
madrasah in Johor in the 1990s.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said JI was not linked to
established Malaysian political organisations. But they may well want to do
that for propaganda and proselytising purposes, so it could come down to the
authorities having to continue to foil their efforts in that direction.

Musa said police had thwarted JI's attempts to blow up two places of worship
in the country six months ago. While keeping their channels of information
open, police will need to continue frustrating such dastardly attempts.

Malaysia has tried long and hard to preserve national unity through our
various ethnic and religious identities. This is a work in progress that
must continue with co-operation between the public and authorities.

JI has also reportedly been trying to recruit university students here for
jihad "missions" abroad. Wherever they are directed to strike, no Malaysian
student should have to be so deranged as to succumb.

When approached, students should play along only for so long as to report
their contacts to the authorities. These canvassing interlocutors need to be
removed from society root and branch.

The authorities also need to investigate why some students succumb to the
purveyors of doom. Whatever inducements or blandishments offered must be
neutralised comprehensively and systemically.

An effective campaign against terrorist activities must also be unhindered
by specific labels. Terrorism can and does come in various guises, and even
now may span more than just JI.


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