Jangan jadi alat propaganda laporkan keganasan

Ucapan alu-aluan Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif Malaysian Press Institute (MPI), Datuk Dr. Chamil Wariya di Workshop on role of the media in covering violent extremism (CVE) and radicalization leading to terrorism di Hotel Double Tree, Melaka Bandaraya Bersejarah pada 25 Oktober 2018, jam 9 pagi.

Assalamualaikum, a very good morning and welcome to this Workshop on role of the media in covering violent extremism (CVE) and radicalization leading to terrorism, organised jointly by Malaysian Press Institute (MPI); the United States Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and South East Asia Regional Centre for Terrorism (SEARCCT) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia.

In particular, MPI’s appreciation goes to the US Embassy for its generous financial support and advice to make this workshop a reality here in Malacca and also in Kota Bharu, Kelantan next week; and to SEARCCT especially its director general, YBhg Datuk Azmil Mohd Zabidi and his team for helping MPI in designing the module for this workshop and also in providing and naming credible speakers on specific topics for this programme from within SEARCCT and also elsewhere.  Shortly YBhg Datuk Azmil will be making his key note address to this workshop and I am sure he will enlighten to all of us about the work done by SEARCCT to combat terrorism, not only in this region, but globally. Thank you Datuk Azmil.

I am happy to report that 32 media practitioners are participating in the three days programme here in Melaka Bandaraya Bersejarah and another 27 will attend the workshop in Kota Bharu on Sunday.  Today’s participants are mainly journalists working in Johor, Malacca, Negeri Sembilan,  Selangor and Perak while next week in Kota Bharu, we will assemble journalists from Penang, Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang. We hope we can organise a similar programme for media practitioners from Sabah and Sarawak in the near future, may be next year.

As you know the media have a vital role in helping combat terrorism. In order to do so, this workshop, among other thing, will discuss the challenges the media face in reporting on violent extremism and terrorism; will train them how to prepare articles, conduct interviews, drafts special report and not to dabble in propaganda in their reporting as far as terrorism and counter terrorism are concerned. The media can credibly report on consequences of terrorism, the underlying aim and motivation of terrorists, be it political or religious, and address awareness deficits  and initiate debate within society regarding problems that may lead to violent radicalization as well as their solution. It is also necessary for media practitioners to differentiate between various conditions of violence and to distinguish between diverse modes of conflict, whatever we name them, if we want to gain better understanding of their origins, the factors that affect them, and how to cope with them. This role of media in combating violent terrorism is especially important in this age of digital as the spreading of radical ideas can easily be done via the various media social platforms on line.

Thus, this workshop aims to create a platform for discussing mechanism for cooperation between media, the civil society and government agencies in countering violent extremism leading to terrorism. Hence we have speakers from the Ministry of Home Affairs, SEARCCT of Wismaputra, the Malaysian Royal Police, the Prison Department of Malaysia, prominent journalists and a number of other speakers to enlighten the participants of this workshop on the various related issues to violent terrorism and counter terrorism.

Mention the word terrorism and I know it has different meaning for different people. As an illustration three weeks ago, I watched this movie entitled Mission Impossible 3 – Fallout, featuring, among others, Tom Cruise as its hero – John Matthews Ethan and Sean Harris as the villain, Solomon Lane. In one scene of the movie, there was an exchange between Ethan and Lane touching upon the use of violent extremism leading to terrorism somewhere in Paris on the part of the terrorist group. Ethan, referring to Lane, a former British MI6 spy who turned a terrorist, said that anarchists out there wanted to change the existing world order via means of terror and violence, even using nuclear bombs; and Lane replied that terrorists are merely school kids that want attention.

But surely in real life, terrorists and anarchists are not merely school kids that seek attention. For some terrorism means violent acts of groups such Al-Qaeda, Daesh, Jemaah Islamiah and many more, against states; for others a state’s oppression of its own citizens and for still others, warlike acts of states against other states. I am sure all these various definitions of what constitute terrorism will be touch upon by the various speakers. And for those who are interested to delve further on this topic of terrorism, a book entitled History of Terrorism From Antiquity to Al Qaeda edited by Gerrard Chaliand and Arnaud Blin is a good read.

With that I will end my short speech here and to everybody selamat berbengkel. Terima kasih.