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Police chiefs of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gathered in Malaysia on Tuesday to kick off a four-day conference with anti-terror high on the agenda, weeks after the host country suffered its first attack linked to the Islamic State.
When addressing the opening ceremony of the 36th Conference of the ASEAN Chiefs of Police (ASEANAPOL), Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said terror-related incidents around the world is proof that terrorism is an even greater threat than it has been in the past.
A grenade attack at a night pub near Kuala Lumpur, the country' s capital, on June 28 was carried out on the orders of a Malaysian Islamic State fighter in Syria, Malaysian police has said.
Citing the Jakarta attacks in early 2016, Najib said Malaysia is "far from immune to this danger," also urging the attendees to enhance cooperation and to share and analyze the best practices from various initiatives in combatting violent extremism.
Malaysian authorities have announced plans to increase security at airports across Malaysia following recent terrorist events such as attacks at Turkey's Istanbul Ataturk Airport and Belgium's Brussels Airport in Zaventem.
The conference also brought together police representatives from dialogue partner countries -- China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and those from INTERPOL Secretariat.
Liao Jinrong, director-general of the international cooperation department at China's ministry of public security, said China will further enhance its cooperation with ASEAN police agencies to combat transnational crimes, including terrorism-related activities and telecom fraud.
"Not a single country can deal with such kind of criminal activities alone," he added.
The conference will also talk about issues affecting the region including human trafficking, fire arms control and wildlife smuggling.