Minister, who really is ISIS?


KJ John
Malaysiakini
Aug 19, 2014

Malaysia is not an Islamic state or a Muslim nation-state, but a Muslim-majority country which is well regarded by most of the world for our unity-style moderate government and our consistent principled stand on global issues; within the larger paradigm and context of a Muslim world which appears often confused or inconsistent on universal issues and values; mostly internal but some global inaction as well.

While it is not my purpose to highlight any failures of our Foreign Affairs Ministry, we have to manage Malaysia’s reputation which had been put on a global scale which is still much respected for our principled position, as exemplified by the late Tunku Abdul Rahman, especially on the issue of a racist South Africa.

Today however, we appear somewhat inconsistent in a number of foreign policy issues and global actions. For example, for me it is still not very clear if and whether the government of Malaysia did pay a few hundred millions for the release of our cockpit recorders for the downed MH17. Is then negotiating with International terrorists’ part of our new foreign policy?

For another instance, we have not ratified many international agreements and conventions; can the minister please explain the delay especially since we are now fighting so hard to sit not only on the UN Human Rights Council but also seeking to occupy one of the UN Security Council’s non-veto seat.

Our credibility has been as an international values promoting nation-state; even if we are small, we are perceived as part and parcel of the international global community. The Tunku left us that legacy, by also personally campaigning and then assuming the appointment of the secretary-general of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Therefore, the even more critical question today for you, minister is: what is our stand on the Islamic terrorist groups like ISIS or Boko Haram or even the Yemeni pirates.

In this column I want to rather focus on ISIS; because I genuinely do not know much about them, and what they appear to be fighting for, other than they are merciless group of who are inhumane, and who kill at will and without a conscience. What is our view of them, and why are you and the ministry so quiet about them and their current activities?

Who is ISIS?

Scott Ng wrote in FMT a comment on ‘Malaysia’s ISIS problem’ on Aug 16, 2014 and concluded:

The new ‘Islamic Caliphate’ taking hold of Syria and Iraq is already spreading its tentacles and threatening our way of life in Malaysia as well.

Is this true? Are his arguments, facts and storyline true? If not, who, if not Wisma Putra, should correct our/and his misperceptions about who this fearsome group is and if in fact they have ties other terrorists in Malaysia?

Scott Ng also wrote

“That is scary,” you may say, “But what does all that have to do with Malaysia?”

A lot more than you may think. Just a few days ago, buried under news about the current Selangor political crisis, was an interview in the South China Morning Post with Ayub Khan, the senior counter-terrorism division official at Bukit Aman.

In that interview, Ayub revealed that some 19 Malaysian jihadists captured had confessed that there are plans to storm Putrajaya and replace the government with an Islamic Syariah government through armed warfare.

Along with that, they also planned to attack a disco, a Carlsberg factory and several pubs.

Well, I can only assume that since Bukit Aman knows about this, things should be under control, right? My honest fear is that they are too busy chasing the like of students who put ‘likes’ on the pro-Israel FB page, and framing sedition cases to be concerned about these real militant-links to terrorism in Malaysia.

For that matter, I also received an article and video from a reliable friend.

My question is: what is Malaysia’s foreign policy on the ISIS in Iraq and Syria? Please do not get me wrong, I support the Malaysian government’s policy on Palestinians, and their loss of their homeland.

But, I have serious reservations about why we are so quiet about the ISIS in Syria and Iraq and maybe the Government must table a white paper in Parliament on this subject to inform and educated on all Malaysians become educated on these issues.

I wait to hear from the foreign affairs minister. May God bless Malaysia.

KJ JOHN was in public service for 29 years. The views expressed here are his personal views and not those of any institution he is involved with. Write to him at [email protected] with any feedback or views.

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  1. #1 by good coolie on Thursday, 21 August 2014 - 11:37 pm

    The probem of IS is a distraction from the problem of Gaza. That is why little is being said of IS within the halls of Putra Jaya. After all, IS makes Israel look like ponteng- sekolah fellows.

    Pockets of Boko Haram/IS mentality surfaces now and then in Malaysia. Ibrahim Libya, Al- Ma’unah, the Batang Kali incident, and that bomb-expert who fled to Indonesia, are examples. Mahatir managed to keep these types under the lid – one of the few good things he has done!

    The key is to keep these fellows from infiltrating the armed forces. We have also to disabuse people of the notion that an Islamic State is the panacea to all our problems. Stick to the Federal Constitution (PROPERLY INTERPRETED), and all will be well.

  2. #2 by Noble House on Friday, 22 August 2014 - 4:47 am

    The silence over IS is deafening. The atrocities committed by this group of lunatics are beyond description. Innocent civilians (Christians and Muslims alike) are being indiscriminately slaughtered in the most inhumane way possible. They killed more people in the past year than any other group or even Israel in Gaza.

    While we demonstrated and often condemned those we called blood thirsty, the manipulative Americans and Jews, but yet again, they are the ones to send the air force there to try and stop this genocide while the rest of the Muslim world just stood by and watched.

    Take your fight to your enemies and stop using the civilians as pawns to further your cause. They have no quarrel with this beastly pugnacious struggle of yours.

    Aren’t we the country that set up the Global Movement of Moderates?

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