In the peace-loving, moderate and progressive country of Muslim-dominated Malaysia, violence generally is alien to the culture. Terrorism initially took shape during the post-independence, communist era by jungle recalcitrant actions. In recent years, this has been superceded by a more internationally related trend of violence. Only very few incidents were based locally, while the majority were linked to international groups or organizations abroad, including the Kumpulan Mujahidin Malaysia (KMM), Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), and the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
Kidnapping with ransom seemed to have been the most commone modus operandi, while killing and robbery accounted for very few of these incidents. The number of victims in each event so far has been small, and smaller for those physically harmed or killed. This pattern of terrorist attacks suggests that the current level of provision of emergency medical services is sufficient to handle such incidents. Recent advances in local emergency medicine also have witnessed the establishment of various teaching and training modules, a pivotal role played by university hospitals and supported by the Ministry of Health.
However, the spate of ongoing events of mass destruction such as the conflict in Israel/Palestine, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the World Trade Center and Pentagon tragedies of 11 September 2001, and the Bali bombing in Indonesia, remain as great concerns to Malaysians. Both the government and the people of Malaysia abhor such unjustified uses of terror, and take every measure to curtail them. The National Security Council policies of Arahan No. 18 and Arahan No. 20 detail specific roles and responsibilities of various agencies in managing terrorism and disasters respectively, while the use of the stern Internal Security Act that allows indefinite detention without trial, evidently has been an efficient intelligence and security apparatus.
With more recent developments of terrorist events regionally and globally, Malaysia continues to face an ongoing threat from such activities. Various measures have been and will be actively undertaken both by government and non-governmental agencies in facing these challenges.