The Southeast Asia Regional Centre for Counter-Terrorism (SEARCCT) had successfully organised the third “Developing a Whole-of-Government Soft Power Response to Terrorism and Extremism Workshop” from 25 to 27 October 2016. The workshop was attended by 97 participants from Ministry of Defence, Royal Malaysian Police, Ministry of Higher Education, and the Ministry of Education from the southern region.
The workshop was aimed at sensitising the participants on the emerging threats of DAESH as well as to provide a platform to exchange views and experiences in addressing the threat. Throughout the workshop, participants were exposed to the current terrorism and extremism trends in Malaysia and the need for all parties to play their part in countering these threats.
The workshop was graced by Supt. Aemran Mustafa, the Director of Planning and Training Division of SEARCCT. In his opening remarks, Supt. Aemran Mustafa stated that it takes a network to defeat a terrorist network. Therefore, he highlighted that all government agencies needed to enhance their networking in order to combat terrorism particulary the emerging threat currently posed by DAESH. He stressed that the increasing number of Malaysians joining DAESH in Iraq and Syria should be taken seriously and there was an urgent need for all agencies to enhance its readiness to counter this threat.
Among the topics covered during the workshop included “DAESH 101” by Dr. Kevin Fernandez (SEARCCT), “Involvement of Malaysians in DAESH” and “DAESH Messaging” by ACP Azman Omar (Royal Malaysia Police), “DAESH Exploitation of the Internet” by Ms. Jasmine Jawhar (SEARCCT), “DAESH Narratives and Counter Narratives” by Mr. Asrul Daniel Ahmad (SEARCCT), “Legal Perspective on Counter Terrorism” by Mr. Mohamad Mustaffa P Kunyalam (Attorney General Chambers), “Community Engagement in Fighting Against Terrorism” by Mr. K.Shan (Asia Foundation), “Islamic Perspective on DAESH” by Ustaz Engku Ahmad Fadzil bin Engku Ali (Institute For Strategic Studies Islam Malaysia, IKSiM) and “Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Terrorism Detainees” by ACP Adinaraina Subramaniam (Correctional Academy Malaysia).
The participants were then engaged through a table top exercise about a student at a Higher Learning Institution who was exposed to extremism activities. Here, the participants were required to discuss appropriate actions and measures that could be taken by parents and communities. In essence, the workshop was successfully completed with participants being more aware of the issues of terrorism and extremism.