Saw something? Say something then
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.’