Government should give full  details in Parliament  of the al Qaeda terrorist threat, including the two previous al Qaeda terrorist  plots in Malaysia which CNN special programme “Jihad in Asia?” yesterday said had been foiled, together with one each in Indonesia and Singapore

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang

(Penang, Thursday): CNN special programme “Jihad in Asia?” last night said that two previous  al Qaeda terrorist plots in Malaysia, together with one each in  Indonesia and Singapore, had been foiled. 

Members of Parliament, whether government or  opposition, must unite to demand that the government give full details in Parliament  of the terrorist threat posed by al-Qaeda, including  the two previous al Qaeda terrorist plots in Malaysia which CNN said had been foiled in the country.


Members of Parliament must also make clear  that it is totally unsatisfactory and unacceptable that Malaysians, including MPs, continue to be  denied crucial and critical information about the biggest pre-occupation of the people in the country, region and the world  post-911, viz the threat of terrorism, and that Malaysians  have  to glean whatever information relating to  the country from the international media.


Malaysians need such information to decide whether it is right and proper for the establishment of the US-proposed Malaysia-US regional anti-terrorism centre in South-East Asia.


Furthermore, in an  information age, the government should show greater respect for the fundamental  right to information of Malaysians, which must be accepted as an integral democratic and human right of Malaysians,  as information should not  be dished out to suit the partisan interests of the incumbent coalition, as for instance, bombarding the electorate with all sorts of unverified information about the al-Qaeda terrorist threat in the run-up to the next  general election to stampede the voters to vote for the ruling coalition purportedly to counter the terrorist threat.


The CNN special programme yesterday had given considerable new information from various intelligence sources, including Malaysian, about the al Qaeda terrorist threat to Malaysia and South-east Asia, and MPs and the Malaysian people are entitled to know the government’s position on these revelations.


Apart from the reference to the two previous al-Qaeda terrorist plots in Malaysia which had been foiled, other noteworthy information include:



One terrorism analyst (not Rohan Gunaratna) had written:


“For the past decade, Malaysia has allowed the use of and penetration of their country by international terrorist networks; as long as they did not plot against Malaysia, their presence was tolerated.”


Whether such criticism  is valid and whether it is one reason for the ready agreement of the Malaysian government for  the siting of the the US-proposed regional  anti-terrorism centre in the country, the time has come for the government to take the country and Parliament into its confidence and be more open and transparent about the al Qaeda threat to Malaysia and the region.


An all-party consultative council on terrorism and a parliamentary committee on terrorism should be set up to address and monitor this critical national, regional and international issue and send out the clear message that it transcends political party differences and interests.




*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman