India and Malaysia will deepen cooperation in security and defence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday as he emphasised that the recent attacks globally and the “ceaseless” terror attempts against India and Afghanistan were a reminder of the global nature of terrorism.
Mr. Modi also complimented his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak for providing leadership in combating extremism and radicalisation, rejecting any link between terrorism and religion and in highlighting the “real values of Islam.“
“I am particularly grateful to you for our security cooperation. It underlines our shared commitment to deal with our security challenges. We will continue to deepen our cooperation in this area,” he said in a joint press briefing after his talks with Mr. Najib at Putrajaya, the sprawling administrative capital on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.
Mr. Modi, who was here to attend the ASEAN and the East Asia Summits, said recent spate of attacks in different countries, “not to mention the ceaseless terrorist attempts against India and Afghanistan are a reminder of the global nature of this threat.”
Appreciating Mr. Najib’s leadership in combating extremism and radicalisation, Mr. Modi said this is a great contribution an important aspect of global efforts against this challenge.Warning that terrorism is the “biggest threat” to the world, Mr. Modi had yesterday said it should be delinked from religion.
Talking about security and defence cooperation, Mr. Modi said both countries will make it stronger, including for advancing maritime security and strengthening disaster response in the region.
“I am pleased that we have agreed to upgrade our joint exercises and set up the SU-30 Forum,” he said, adding that both sides will do more in terms of level and complexity of exercises and collaboration in training and defence equipment.
“Our agreement to cooperate in cyber security is very important. As our lives get more networked, this is emerging as one of the most serious concerns of our age,” Mr. Modi said.
The Prime Minister said he shares Mr. Najib’s belief that bilateral trade and investment relations can be scaled up significantly.
“We intend to exploit the full potential of our bilateral agreements and the India-ASEAN Agreements. We look forward to an early conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement,” he said.
Mr. Modi expressed confidence of taking the bilateral strategic partnership to a new level. India and Malaysia also signed MoUs on cyber security, culture and public administration.
Mr. Modi highlighted the cultural ties of India with Malaysia as he inaugurated a Torana gate, a traditional gateway to Hindu and Buddhist temples, here.
“This Torana is not merely a piece of art on stone. This is connecting the two nations and illustrates the two great cultures,” he said while jointly inaugurating the Torana gate with his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak at Brickfields, popularly known as Little India here. Mr.Modi said the gate was first made by emperor Ashoka in Madhya Pradesh and was dedicated to Lord Buddha. Mr. Razak described the gate as a symbol of India-Malaysia friendship.
“Torana Gate is a symbol of India-Malaysia friendship. It offers a gateway to one of the oldest civilisations,” he said. Stating that the message of Lord Buddha reverberated across Asia, Mr. Modi said the newly inaugurated Torana gate was a milestone in India’s relations with Malaysia. “I am sure ties between India and Malaysia will be stronger and deeper in the times to come,” he said. “The inauguration of the Torana gate shows India—Malaysia ties are not only economical but also cultural.”
The gate in Kuala Lumpur is inspired by the design of the Sanchi Stupa and the entire cost of its construction was borne by India. Of Malaysia’s total population of nearly 30 million, two million people are of Indian origin.