KUALA LUMPUR, 11 Nov 2009: The Internal Security Act (ISA) is an effective way to curb terrorism in Malaysia, Australian ambassador for Counter-Terrorism William Paterson said today.
“Malaysia chooses to use the preventive detention approach under the ISA … has it been effective? Without doubt, yes, it’s been very effective,” he told reporters after a roundtable discussion on Australia’s Perspective on Regional Counter-Terrorism Issues here.
The one-day discussion was organised by the Foreign Ministry’s Southeast Asia Regional Centre for Counter-Terrorism (SEARCCT), in collaboration with the Australian High Commission in Malaysia. The discussion was chaired by SEARCTT Director-General Ahmad Shahizan Abdul Samad.
Paterson said every country had to come out with its own decision in dealing with terrorism. “Indonesia took a very different approach; it decided to embark on criminal investigation, prosecution, [and the] courts system … that also has proven very effective, and that’s the approach we take in Australia,” he said.
Paterson said censorship of the internet, which was often used as a tool by terrorists to build and co-ordinate their activities such as recruitment and fundraising, was not the best solution to curb the problem.
“If we start censorship of the internet, we will be the big losers … there’s no support from our society [because] people want a free and open internet.
“There is no solution at the moment and [terrorist sites] are very hard to take down. You can get professional hackers to disrupt an extremist website, but after you take that down, it will pop up somewhere else … it’s a very difficult problem in the counter-terrorism world,” he said.
Paterson also expressed high regard for Malaysia’s capabilities and willingness to work with other countries in addressing terrorism. — Bernama