AS Ready to Assist Malaysia in Combating Terrorism

AS Ready to Assist Malaysia in Combating Terrorism

ISKANDAR PUTERI: The United States (US) is ready to provide assistance to the Malaysian authorities regarding the attack on the Ulu Tiram Police Station in Johor, said the US Ambassador to Malaysia, Edgard D Kagan.

Kagan, who conveyed condolences to the families of two police officers who were killed in the incident on May 17, stated that this tragedy serves as a reminder that the US and Malaysia share interests in combating terrorism and should not feel too comfortable.

“This incident is something that could potentially happen in many places around the world. We (the US) remain vigilant and cautious about those entering our country, and we will continue to do so.

In the incident on May 17, two police officers—Constable Ahmad Azza Fahmi Azhar, 22, and Constable Muhamad Syafiq Ahmad Said, 24—were killed by a lone attacker, who was later shot dead. Another police officer was injured in the incident.

“However, this incident has not deterred investors or caused significant changes for Malaysians to travel to the US,” he told Bernama in an interview during his visit to the Iskandar Regional Development Authority headquarters recently.

Instead, the US has aimed to further strengthen its strong security, economic, and educational relations with Malaysia since long ago.

In efforts to enhance maritime security and maintain regional peace and stability, Washington, for example, can collaborate with the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), said Kagan during his first visit to Johor since his official appointment as the US Ambassador to Malaysia on March 20.

During his visit to Johor, the ambassador also met with the Crown Prince of Johor, Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, at the Istana Bukit Serene, Johor Bahru.

Kagan said both countries also have strong people-to-people ties, with over 5,000 Malaysian students currently studying at US universities.

He said about 700 Malaysians have also studied in US high schools, and over 1,000 Malaysians have studied under the US Fulbright program aimed at enhancing cultural relations, cultural diplomacy, and cross-cultural competency between US citizens and other countries.

“I think we are also enthusiastic about supporting more educational exchanges, and I would like to see, besides Malaysians continuing to study in the US, more Americans coming here.

I think there is real potential to encourage young Americans and university students to consider studying abroad, such as in Malaysia,” he said.

Meanwhile, regarding the conflict in Gaza, Kagan said the US acknowledges the strong sentiments of the Malaysian people regarding what is happening in Gaza.

Washington also shares similar concerns and perspectives, emphasizing the urgent need for a ceasefire to ensure security and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid.

He said the United States recently prepared a floating jetty that now facilitates the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza. This has allowed truckloads of aid to be sent.

“It’s not enough, but we believe this is a clear step in the right direction to support the people of Gaza at this time. At the same time, we have conveyed to the Government of Israel and other governments in the region the importance of taking steps to protect civilians and achieve a ceasefire,” he said.

Asked about the boycott campaign by Malaysians against US brands supporting Israel, Kagan said the US recognizes the right to peaceful protest as part of the democratic process, but he feels that more effective actions can be taken to defend the fate of the Palestinian people.

“In our view, it needs to be about effectiveness. How do you advance the struggle of the Palestinian people? How do you support their well-being?” he said.

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