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SCMP: Islamic Terrorism 'scaring off investors' - Badawi
By Baradan Kuppusamy

20/8/2001 7:53 pm Mon

[Kalaulah benar KMM mempunyai ahli sebanyak 10,000 ini bermakna polis terlalu lambat bertindak jika benar mereka menggugat keselamatan negara. Kenyataan Dollah Badawi bahawa pelabur tidak ingin ke Malaysia kerana ancaman 'pengganas Islam' dan 'Malaysia adalah pusat (hub) baru pengganas Islam' adalah kenyataan yang paling dungu sekali. Kalaulah benar mereka mahu menggulingkan kerajaan lebih baik mereka menyerang parlimen atau mahligai sahaja - bukannya kuil ataupun bank. Lagipun Osama bin Laden tidak pernah merompak bank kerana dia sudah cukup kaya!

Kenyataan Dollah Badawi yang dungu ini akan semakin merosakkan ekonomi Malaysia. Ia menunjukkan betapa hapraknya pemikiran dan analisis beliau. Kalau beginilah cara dia berfikir alamat gulung tikarlah Malaysia... - Editor]

The South China Morning Post, HK

20th August 2001

Islamic terrorism 'scaring off investors'


The Government yesterday said it feared investors were going elsewhere as the country is repeatedly hit by allegations of links to a new menace of Islamic terrorism.

The official concerns were aired yesterday as police pressed ahead with a crackdown on three home-grown militant groups, one of which has more than 10,000 members, they claim.

Officers have arrested 16 people since Friday and recovered a cache of high-powered rifles and explosives bought in the insurgency-hit southern Philippine province of Mindanao, and cash from a raid in the Malaysian state of Sabah. Police said the militants had excellent links with similar groups in Indonesia and the Philippines and had taken part in attacks on Christians in Maluku.

Six members of one militant group had fled, said police, who published their photographs in local dailies on Saturday.

The Defence Ministry said the seized weapons did not originate in the armed forces' arsenal.

Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said yesterday foreign investors had raised concerns when holding talks with him. "They want to know how serious the militant activities are." The investors were not worried about the economy, growth rate or level of foreign reserve, Mr Badawi said. They were more worried about their investments in the face of threats from the Islamic militants. "They could pull out and our people would lose their jobs," he said.

Mr Badawi denied charges from the main Islamic opposition Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS) that the crackdown was politically motivated and aimed at neutralising the growing influence of PAS. The Islamic party made substantial gains at the expense of the ruling National Front coalition in the 1999 general elections.

"We need to stop the activities of the militants as it would ultimately affect the country's political and economic stability," said Mr Badawi.

PAS deputy president Abdul Hadi Awang said the Government wanted to tie PAS with alleged Muslim extremists to scare the non-Muslim Malaysians, who make up about 40 per cent of the 23 million population. The son of PAS's spiritual leader, Abdul Aziz Mat, has been detained in the sweep on groups linked to training bases in Afghanistan.

The Islamic nature of PAS politics has also brought it into conflict with a fellow party in the opposition coalition. The ethnic Chinese-dominated Democratic Action Party (DAP) is evenly split over whether to quit the Alternative Front coalition or stay put in the face of the PAS insistence on forming an Islamic state once the opposition wins power.

The opposition alliance, formed in 1999 after Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad sacked his deputy Anwar Ibrahim, is dominated by the PAS although it is nominally led by the National Justice Party headed by Anwar's wife Wan Azizah Ismail.

PAS did well in the 1999 general elections, unlike the DAP which lost some Chinese support. Chinese voters seemingly feared the DAP's alliance with PAS and stayed with the ruling coalition led by Dr Mahathir.

"We want PAS to state clearly that a vote for the opposition is not a vote for an Islamic state," said DAP chairman Lim Kit Siang at a party congress yesterday.

The DAP is against a PAS decision to ban alcohol, gambling and other forms of "un-Islamic" entertainment. The PAS is also planning Islamic laws allowing stoning and amputation of limbs for crimes such as theft and adultery.

"Voters are at a crossroads, whether they should support the opposition front with the unresolved Islamic state controversy or to tolerate rule by the National Front," Mr Lim said, adding that the issue would figure prominently in the 2004 general election.

Mr Lim admitted the party was deeply divided over the issue as delegates voted to defer a decision to later in the year. 1&010&&afpnews.cgi&cat=malaysia&story= 010819043525.ddm216da.txt

Malaysia regarded as new terrorism hub

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19 (AFP) - Malaysia is seen as the new centre for Islamic terrorism and the international community is concerned about rising militant activities in the country, deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has warned.

"Foreign visitors who called on me recently had brought up the issue. They are not interested to know about the economy or the country's growth rate," Abdullah told the Sunday Star newspaper.

"What they want to find out is how serious are militant activities here as they fear it would affect their investments and interests," Malaysian police said Friday that local groups were collecting firearms from the southern Philippines for Islamic fighters waging a "holy war" in Indonesia's Ambon island.

Two Malaysians and 13 Indonesians were arrested on July 26 off the coast of Tawau in Sabah state with a cache of weapons including two M16 rifles, six pistols and ammunition, police inspector general Norian Mai said.

The Malaysians were detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) which allows indefinite detention without trial.

Abdullah's acknowledgment of the problem comes amid revelations that four Muslim Malaysians are suspected of involvement in a series of bombings in Indonesia.

Malaysian newspapers have said that police have launched an investigation to establish whether the four had links to the so-called "Malaysian Mujahideen Group".

The group is accused of waging a "holy war" and is blamed for a spate of crimes including robbery, murder and bombing a church and an Indian temple.

Abdullah, who is also the home (interior) minister, said the government had to act to stop militant activities to allay investor fears.

"That is why we need to put a stop to the activities by the militant groups as it would ultimately affect the country's political and economic stability," he said.

"It would also have an impact on individuals who would lose their jobs when investors pull out of the country."

Ten alleged members of the Malaysian Mujahideen Group, including seven members of the opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), were detained last month under the ISA.

Malays, who are mostly Muslim, make up more than half of Malaysia's 23 million population, while ethnic Chinese account for 25 percent and Indians about seven percent.