Malaysia no to US troops

Agence France Presse

Singapore, June 6:

The use of US forces in Southeast Asia to fight terrorism would fuel Islamic fanaticism in the region and potentially generate social and political instability, Malaysian Defence Minister Najib Razak said today. Najib told the Asia Security Conference that Southeast Asia should expand anti-terrorism efforts with the United States in areas such as intelligence sharing and choking terrorists’ financial and logistical networks.

“However, what we should avoid is the presence of foreign forces in Southeast Asia to help us deal with this threat, not because we distrust those outside the region, but because foreign military presence will set us back in our idealogical battle against extremism and militancy,” Najib said. Najib told reporters that he believed the US did not intend to bring a military presence into the strait. He said Malaysia would support a plan in which it, Singapore and Indonesia shared military and other intelligence with the United States and others about the Strait of Malacca. Malaysia would even hold joint anti-piracy and anti-terrorism exercises with its neighbours and other countries.