Assalamu’alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh and Good Morning

Your Majesties,

ASEAN Heads of State and Government,


Ladies and gentlemen,

1. On behalf of the Government and the people of Malaysia, may I warmly welcome your Majesties, all ASEAN leaders and everyone present to Kuala Lumpur and to the Opening Ceremony of the 27th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits.

Honoured guests, colleagues and friends,

2. I was going to begin by talking to you about the momentous steps we in ASEAN are about to embark upon. But the events of recent days and weeks have cast a shadow over us all. 170 dead after the attacks in Paris and Beirut. 224 lives taken in the bombing of a Russian passenger jet over the Sinai desert. Just this week, an innocent Malaysian beheaded in the southern Philippines. And yesterday, hostages taken and lives lost in Bamako, Mali.

3. There cannot be a person in this hall who has not been shocked and shaken by the sickening disregard for human life and the devastation visited on families and communities. Our countries are in mourning. We all share in this grief.

4. The perpetrators of these cowardly and barbaric acts do not represent any race, religion or creed, nor should we allow them to claim to do so. They are terrorists and should be confronted as such, with the full force of the law.

5. Malaysia stands ready to provide any help and support that we can, and be assured that we stand with you against this new evil that blasphemes against the name of Islam.

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