Asean accepts Malaysia's proposals to address transnational crime

MANILA: Malaysia's voice continues to be heard and respected as several proposals brought forth by the country at the 11th Asean Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC) here were well accepted by fellow Asean member states.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, as the chairman of the 10th AMMTC before handing over the post to the Philippines' representative today, Malaysia would continue to actively contribute to the AMMTC.

Malaysia brought forth four proposals at the plenary session of the 11th AMMTC today, namely on Asean's integrated efforts to address terrorism, human trafficking, immigrant smuggling, and money laundering, he told Malaysian media here.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, arrived here yesterday to lead the Malaysian delegation at the biannual meeting beginning today.

Asean is comprised of 10 member states, namely Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar.

The Deputy Prime Minister said Malaysia would lead the way in adopting the four proposals, which could be emulated by other Asean member states, as certain actions would also require their cooperation and participation.

To enhance integrated efforts among Asean member countries, he said Malaysia would organise the second edition of the Putrajaya International Security Dialogue, which would not only see the participation of Asean member countries, but also of the United States and Britain, as well as Middle Eastern countries.

“The international dialogue, which will be co-organised by a non-governmental organisation from Saudi Arabia, Rabitah Al-Alam Al-Islam, is also aimed at correcting the global misperception of Islam that had caused Islamophobia which didn’t do anybody any good,” Ahmad Zahid said, referring to the dialogue scheduled for Jan 4 to 6, 2018.

The first edition of the international dialogue took place last year.

At the AMMTC, Ahmad Zahid said Malaysia had also called for cooperation from Asean member states in addressing the issues of human trafficking and immigrant smuggling, which were issues that had received global attention.

According to him, Malaysia had been intensifying efforts to address human trafficking issues, and based on the US Department of State's Annual Report, Malaysia's current rating at Tier 2 could be upgraded to Tier 1 by 2020.

“The target to be in Tier 1 can be achieved through the implementation of the National Anti-Human Trafficking Action Plan from 2016 to 2020.

“This plan is the continuation of the same plan for 2010 to 2015 which provides direction and guidance for the ministries and agencies involved to work together in an integrated and comprehensive manner under the National Blue Ocean Strategy,” he added.

The main event of AMMTC, which is the 2nd Special Asean Ministerial Meeting on the Rise of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism (SAMMRRVE), provides a platform for Asean member states to exchange experiences, opinions and ideas on how to best address radicalisation issues and violent extremism, will take place tomorrow. — Bernama