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Non-Western responses to terrorism$
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Michael J. Boyle

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526105813

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526105813.001.0001

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Malaysia: Adapting to the dynamic changes of terrorist threats

Malaysia: Adapting to the dynamic changes of terrorist threats

4 Malaysia: Adapting to the dynamic changes of terrorist threats
Non-Western responses to terrorism

Kamarulnizam Abdullah

Ridzuan Abdul Aziz

Manchester University Press

Threats posed by the current religiously inspired terrorist groups leave Malaysia with no choice but to adapt to new strategies and approaches. Not only the threats have become more global in terms of networking and influences, but also the use of Islam to justify their attacks produces great challenges to the country and its security enforcement apparatus. At the macro level, Malaysia’s promotion on moderation and wasatiyah, as part of its counterterrorism campaign has been widely accepted by the international community. At home, the campaign of winning heart and mind continues to become an essential strategy of the government. Malaysia’s success in countering major terror threats since independence has also been credited to the role played by the police’s Special Branch (SB) Unit and the existence of preventive laws. Yet when those preventive laws were repealed, amid changing political climate and democracy in the country, the enforcement authorities particularly the police’s Special Branch are forced to re-strategize their intelligence gatherings and to learn vigorously the legal process. They are forced to be equipped with higher legal knowledge since the new laws required reasonable evidence to be presented during the trial, failure which could have be resulted in a dismissal of the charges. At the same time, the force is also upgrading its tactical skills and surveillance technology given the current terrorists’ adaptive capability with a loosely connected decentralized network.

Keywords:   The Royal Malaysian Police’s Special Branch Division, preventive laws, wasatiyah, counterterrorism

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