Saw some­thing? Say some­thing then

The Star Malaysia - - Focus -

ARE you miss­ing the warn­ing signs? Is a col­league, a friend, a fam­ily mem­ber or some­one you know be­ing slowly in­flu­enced by ter­ror­ism and veer­ing towards it?

Should you say some­thing or mind your own busi­ness be­cause it is the job of the po­lice to keep you and the coun­try safe?

For se­cu­rity ex­pert Mu­nies Pil­lai, the po­lice have done an amaz­ing job in tack­ling the IS ter­ror threat in the coun­try.

But he ques­tions if the cit­i­zens are do­ing enough. “If you see the peo­ple around us, ev­ery­thing looks nor­mal but you don’t know what might be lurk­ing be­neath.

“Peo­ple shouldn’t let their guard down. They have to be con­stantly in a state of dis­com­fort and an­tic­i­pa­tion that some­thing un­to­ward can hap­pen. Just be­cause some­thing is un­prece­dented it doesn’t mean that it can­not hap­pen,” says Mu­nies, who is se­nior vice-pres­i­dent of Char­tered In­ter­na­tional In­sti­tute of Se­cu­rity and Cri­sis Man­age­ment in his talk on “Ter­ror­ism: Be­yond and Be­neath the Tip of the Ice­berg – Un­der­stand­ing and Mit­i­gat­ing the In­sider Threat” at a con­fer­ence on se­cu­rity in Kuala Lumpur re­cently.

Mu­nies says the po­lice have lim­ited re­sources and can­not be ev­ery­where.

“It is time for the rakyat to wake up and be vig­i­lant. If they see some­thing that makes them un­com­fort­able, they should call the po­lice hot­line. Never mind if they are wrong.

The po­lice will know what to do.” He says ter­ror at­tacks are ev­ery­where and the dan­ger is that they sneak in and spread silently.

In the case of Sin­ga­pore, he says the au­thor­i­ties there use both a top-down and bot­tom-up ap­proach where min­is­ters go around talk­ing and in­still­ing aware­ness about anti-ter­ror­ism while com­mu­nity cen­tres and the peo­ple’s as­so­ci­a­tions go around ed­u­cat­ing the peo­ple.

He be­lieves Malaysia should use a sim­i­lar ap­proach by get­ting the

ke­tua kam­pung and jawatankuasa ke­cil kam­pung (vil­lage com­mit­tees) on board to stamp out ter­ror­ism.

“We need to pre­pare and have the whole so­ci­ety in­volved. Hope is not a strat­egy.”

He says some get in­flu­enced by videos on so­cial me­dia posted by ter­ror­ists.

“When they ‘like’ a video and ‘like’ an­other video and then an­other, the ter­ror­ists are watch­ing these moves and will soon be­friend the per­son.”

“We don’t know who amongst us is a ter­ror­ist. You may know some­one as a friend or a col­league but do you know the real him?” Mu­nies says the se­cu­rity of the coun­try is ev­ery cit­i­zen’s re­spon­si­bil­ity and not just law en­force­ment agen­cies.

“Ter­ror­ists have to be lucky only once to bring the econ­omy, tourism and the coun­try to its knees. If you are wait­ing for a sign, this is it. It is time to be to­gether with the Gov­ern­ment in the fight against ter­ror­ism.”

Mu­nies: ‘ We don’t know who amongst us is a ter­ror­ist.’

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