Najib Tun Razak
19 May 2017
Saudi Arabia is a true friend to Malaysia,
and we were delighted to host King Salman on his recent state visit, during
which Saudi confidence in our economy was shown by Saudi Aramco’s announcement
of its $7 billion investment in a refinery project with our state oil and gas
These historic high ties are just one of
the reasons that Malaysia fully supports this summit. We are in total
accordance with its aims to increase tolerance and coexistence, and to enhance
security, stability and cooperation.
Both at home and abroad, Malaysia is fully
committed to fighting the threats of terrorism and violent extremism. As a UN
member, Malaysia has fully supported UN efforts such as the secretary-general’s
“plan of action in preventing violent extremism,” which calls for
intelligence-sharing among member states.
We are a state party to nine out of 14
international legal instruments concerning counterterrorism, and we are part of
the global coalition against Daesh. Malaysia also supports the Centre for
Dialogue, Peace and Understanding, an initiative of the Organization of Islamic
Cooperation (OIC) in Jeddah.
This strong stance has been translated into
reality with considerable practical effect in our own country. We have placed
great emphasis on pushing counter-narratives via social media, and have founded
the Regional Digital Counter-Messaging Center to combat extremism in Malaysia,
Southeast Asia and beyond.
We in Malaysia also have considerable
experience in rehabilitating people who have succumbed to the siren voices of
terrorism. This is something we have pursued because we know we should not give
up on those who have been led astray, but could still return to being useful
members of society.
Our de-radicalization program has worked
with hundreds of extremists, and has had a 95 percent success rate in
reintegrating them so they can return to the mainstream and show that even
those who have fallen prey to false and evil ideologies can ultimately reject
them and be a warning, example and instruction to others.
We are willing and happy to share our
experience and expertise in this with all countries at the summit. For just as
with my call for a Global Movement of Moderates at the UN in 2010, and our
establishment of a foundation to support it in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia will
never falter in its efforts to fight for moderation and the true path of Islam,
and to say loudly and clearly to the extremists that they do not speak for us.
This summit represents an important attempt
to bring ties between the Muslim world and the US to new levels. With even
greater mutual understanding, we can work together all the better to fight the
ignorance, exclusion and sense of grievance that can fuel violent extremism. We
know President Donald Trump is committed to eradicating Daesh. Under my leadership,
so will Malaysia be, as should all Muslim countries at this summit and beyond.
We must ensure that the barbarism we see in
Syria and Iraq is rooted out. We must show that we stand ready to confront
terror swiftly and decisively wherever and whenever it manifests itself. We
must never surrender.
It is up to all of us at the summit to
forge this partnership and prove, once and for all, that there is no clash of
civilizations between the Muslim world and the West. There is only a clash with
civilization, and on that members of all religions must stand united, firm,
determined and ready to act.
Razak is the prime minister of Malaysia.