KUALA LUMPUR — The United States can count on Malaysia to be a “staunch and steadfast friend” and partner in their shared quest for peace, prosperity and security in the 21st-century, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak said.
The prime minister, on an official trip to Washington DC this week to mark 60 years of bilateral ties, also reiterated Malaysia’s commitment to the fight against radicalisation and terror and extended assistance,
“Our commitment to the fight against radicalization and terror is something we feel in our hearts, as well as planning and implementing our policies coolly and rationally,” he wrote in an article published in US political website The Hill on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on US soil.
“Your enemy — those who blaspheme against the religion of a majority of Malaysians by claiming their terrorism is Islamic — is our enemy, too,” he added.
Mr Najib said bilateral ties in the last 60 years have extended beyond trade and investment into political, diplomatic, education, security, defence and people-to-people cooperation among others.
“There is no better example of this partnership than our shared efforts against violent extremism,” he wrote.
Mr Najib said the 9/11 terror attacks not only changed the US but the world as the assault was inspired by the same “false and poisonous ideology” spread by the global terror network known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria ― or its various acronyms ISIS, IS and Daesh.
Malaysia has faced one non-fatal IS-linked attack, the June 28, 2016 grenade attack against a pub in Puchong, Selangor, but has thwarted other terror attempts prior and since, the most recent as disclosed by police intelligence being the 29th SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.
Mr Najib said Malaysia’s successful counter-terrorism offensive was possible through promoting moderation and through a deradicalisation program that has had a 90 per cent success rate.
The prime minister said he hoped to strengthen Malaysia-US ties further in his talks with President Donald Trump later today and gave an assurance the country “will always stand shoulder-to-shoulder with America on this vital mission to eliminate a terror group whose acts sicken all of civilized humanity”.