Mat Sabu: Defence White Paper to serve as roadmap for Malaysia’s defence industry for the next 10 years

Mohamad Sabu said the Defence White Paper is the roadmap and strategic action plan for Malaysia’s defence and security industry in addressing the increasingly challenging and sophisticated threats for the next 10 years. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Mohamad Sabu said the Defence White Paper is the roadmap and strategic action plan for Malaysia’s defence and security industry in addressing the increasingly challenging and sophisticated threats for the next 10 years. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 9 — The Defence White Paper (DWP) is the roadmap and strategic action plan for Malaysia’s defence and security industry in addressing the increasingly challenging and sophisticated threats for the next 10 years.

The DWP is the first to be formulated after the country obtained Independence 62 years ago.

“The implementation of the DWP, however, requires a sufficient allocation of at least 6.5 per cent of the Ministry of Defence’s annual budget,” Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu told Bernama in a special interview at his office here today.

As such, he said the ministry would seek to obtain additional allocations under the 12th and 13th Malaysia Plans in order to meet the requirements proposed in the DWP.

“National defence is not what it used to be because the country is now facing new threats, cyber threats.

“To win this new war (against cyber threats), there is a need for drones, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), radar and other relevant equipment and they need to be constantly upgraded for national security,” he said.

Mohamad said Malaysia is a country surrounded by a vast ocean from the East Coast, West Malaysia to Sabah and Sarawak as well as high-value marine resources which are exposed to outside threats.

“Therefore, we need to monitor the sea now with vessels equipped with modern and sophisticated equipment, especially in facing pirates and smugglers, but I believe Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is very responsive to this development,” he said.

Mohamad cited wars in the Middle East that used drones or UAVs as their primary means of defending their countries.

“However, financial constraint is a factor. If the country’s economy recovers in the future, everything that is outlined in the DWP can be implemented,” he said.

The DWP was tabled and passed by the Dewan Rakyat on Dec 2, setting out the strategic direction of the country’s defence for a period of 2020 to 2030 to protect Malaysia’s interests and defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The DWP outlines the country’s need for new defence policy in terms of strategies and capacity in line with the changing global security landscape which has become more challenging and uncertain.

It also stresses the government’s emphasis on good governance, transparency, being inclusive and progressive, professionalism and accountability.

Mohamad, who holds the Ministry of Defence’s portfolio in May 2018, said the preparation of the KPP took almost a year by consulting various agencies and experts of public universities, including Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).

“Discussions on the DWP were also held with foreign countries that had introduced a similar policy such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Germany and several other countries, as well as having dialogues with Malaysian Armed Forces, defence industry players,” he added. — Bernama

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