Ucapan yang disampaikan oleh Ketua Pegawai Pegawai Eksekutif Malaysian Press Institute (MPI), Datuk Dr. Chamil Wariya pada majlis penutupan Workshop on role of media in counterting violent extremism (CVE) and radicalization leading to terrorism di Kota Baru, Kelantan pada 2 Oktober 2018 jam 11.30 pagi.
Majlis penutupan dan penyampaian sijil disempurnakan oleh Duta Besar Amerika Syarikat ke Malaysia, Her Excellency, Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir. Bengkel tiga hari ini dianjurkan bersama oleh Kedutaan Amerika Syarikat di Kuala Lumpur, South East Asia Regional Centre for Counter Terrorism (SEARCTT), Kementerian Luar Negeri Malaysia dan MPI. 27 orang wartawan mengambil bahagian.
Pertama-tama izinkan saya untuk mengucapkan selamat datang kepada Duta Besar Amerika Syarikat ke Malaysia, Her Excellency Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir ke majlis penutupan bengkel mengenai role of media in countering violent extremism (CVE) and radicalization leading to terrorism di Kota Baru, Kelantan.
Kehadiran Ambassador Kamala untuk secara rasmi menutup bengkel ini dan seterusnya menyampaikan sijil penyertaan kepada para peserta sebentar lagi adalah amat bermakna kepada para peserta bengkel yang terdiri daripada 27 orang wartawan, mewakili 10 media organisasi media dari Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Pulau Pinang, Kedah dan Kuala Lumpur.
Bengkel yang sama berlangsung di Melaka minggu lalu, dihadiri oleh 31 peserta, menjadikan jumlah keseluruhan yang mengikuti program ini sebanyak 58 orang. Bagi pihak MPI, saya ingin mengucapkan berbanyak-banyak terima kasih kepada Kedutaan Amerika Syarikat di Kuala Lumpur, khususnya kepada Her Excellency Kamala yang telah bermurah hati membiayai bengkel countering violent extremism and radicalization leading to terrorism ini. Dan hari ini pula meluangkan waktu kerja beliau yang sibuk untuk bersama-sama kita. Terima kasih sekali lagi.
Penghargaan juga saya ingin panjangkan kepada South East Asia Regional Centre for Counter Terrorism SEARCTT), yang diwakili oleh Timbalan Ketua Pengarah 1nya, Tuan Syazryll Zahirin serta pasukannya sepanjang bengkel ini berlangsung. SEARCTT dan Kedutaan Amerika Syarikat adalah rakan kongsi tiga pihak bersama MPI menjayakan bengkel ini.
Her Excellency Kamala, ladies and gentlemen,
After two and a half day here in Kota Baru, the participants have learned a great deal more about issues related to countering violent extremism and radicalization leading to terrorism. Efforts by authorities to make this world a safe place to live, either via de-radicalization programmes or preventive measures via a certain legal framework that has been put in place were also highlighted to them.
Thanks to SEARCTT and the US Embassy the workshop has assembled a number of experts in their respective areas to talk about the topics. Indeed they were credible and authoritative speakers from Malaysian government agencies, civil society and media practitioners themselves.
A docu- movie entitled Dirty War was also shown to them while fellow journalist and film maker, Zan Azlee shared his interview with a wife of a local terrorist, explaining how the husband went through a radicalisation process that led him to terrorism. A Pulitzer Prize winner journalist from The Pacific News Daily, Dana Williams also shared her experience in investigative and data journalism.
The briefing by ASP Kamaruzzaman Basri, head of Malaysia Bomb Data Centre, Bukit Aman Kuala Lumpur yesterday was indeed an eye opener to many of us. The bomb explosion demonstration that followed at Lapangan Sasar, an hour drive from Kota Baru was clear enough to tell us that explosive materials in the wrong hand can disastrous.
Unlike Indonesia, we in Malaysia are lucky that until now, there is only one terrorist attack against civilian target that is a night club in Puchong, near Kuala Lumpur. But the scene could change. Malaysia too can be targets for terrorist attacks in the future if we fail in to counter the narratives of the terrorists groups.
This is where your role as journalists came into the frame. As I have indicated on Sunday as journalists our duties vis-à-vis CVE and terrorism are three folds: first, to inform and caution the civil society and populace at large, second, evaluate the policies of the government, and third counter the terrorist’s narratives. But we have to perform those duties ethically and judiciously by providing context. Avoid over-simplification as terrorism does not happen in a vacuum. What we report should not jeopardize human life or serve and strengthen the terrorist’s propaganda machine.
With better understanding of issues at hand, media practitioners should be able to produce good and compelling news stories and analysis in educating and creating awareness among the public on the danger of radicalization, if left unchecked, will lead to terrorism. The use of appropriate terminologies to describe terrorism and terrorists are important. Terrorists are terrorists whatever their ideologies are.
I have no doubt that this workshop and the one we have in Malacca have given journalist a better understanding on what CVE, radicalization, de-radicalization and terrorism are all about. Threats from terrorist groups, using whatever political ideology, are real and cannot be taken lightly and right counter narratives to defeat them is not only the work of the government but also society on the whole.
Finally, once again I would like to thank the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur that has generously supported this workshop financially while SEARCTT has helped us in providing credible speakers to make this workshop a reality.
And of course I would like to thank the participants and their respective media organizations for taking part in this workshop as without your participation the workshop would not have taken place. I can assure you we at MPI will continue to work with the US Embassy and also SEARCTT to organise more programs of this nature in the future, if they are needed to journalists from Sabah and Sarawak.