Oust extremists from Asia, says Malaysian PM

Friday, December 3, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR - Calling for “a movement of moderates” in Asia, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has urged political parties of the region to effectively marginalise the “extremist groups that spread hatred”.

“The forces of globalisation and the emergence of China and India as economic juggernauts have changed the way the world views Asia, and indeed how Asia views itself,” he said.

“I have said repeatedly that the real issue is not between Muslims and non-Muslims, but rather between extremists and moderates of all faiths - be it Islam, Christianity, Judaism or Hinduism,” he said at the 6th General Assembly of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday.

He called upon moderate leaders of all communities to marginalise the extremists who had “held the world hostage with their bigotry and bias”, Bernama news agency reported.

“In some places, cells of extremist groups continued to exist to spread their message of hate,” Najib said.

Asia, as a burgeoning economic zone, could not afford any disruption or destruction caused by extremism or terror, the prime minister said.

Asian political parties have an important role to play towards this end, he said. As members of the Asian family, they have a vested interest in ensuring this region remained free and safe from ideologies espousing conflict, destruction, disunity and hostility in the name of their unholy cause, according to The Star newspaper.

The two-day ICAPP meeting was attened by more than 300 leaders of 317 Asian political parties from 51 countries.

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