Malaysia should not be branded or perceived as a breeding ground for terrorists just because of the involvement of one or two people, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has said following the reported killing of Malaysia-born militant Noordin M Top in Indonesia.
Yassin was reacting Sunday to the reports that Top, a leader of the Jemaah Islamiah (JI)'s splinter group, was believed to have been shot dead in Temanggung, Central Java Friday. Noordin was believed to have masterminded many of Indonesia's major terrorist attacks, including the 2002 Bali bombings that claimed 202 lives.
Malaysia was a democratic and peaceful country for a long time, Yassin was quoted as saying by Star Online.
"(Everywhere) there are good and bad people. Just because (of) one or two... it is not fair to brand us as a breeding ground for terrorists.
"Terrorism is also happening in the US and Europe. Is that a breeding ground (for terrorists)?," he asked reporters at the end of his five-day working visit to Australia.
"We have been very effective in taking preventive measures," he added.
Muhyiddin said Kuala Lumpur had always worked closely with Jakarta in tackling the terrorism menace.
On concerns by Canberra that Malaysia was being used as a transit point to smuggle people from other countries into Australia, Muhyiddin said the problem was being addressed.
"We are (also) concerned. We don't want to be labelled as a transit point. We will take stern measures to manage the situation," Bernama, the official news agency, quoted him as saying.