Ismail Sabri says will stick to defence White Paper as guide for ministry moving forward

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob clocks in on his first day as defence minister in Putrajaya March 12, 2020. — Bernama pic
Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob clocks in on his first day as defence minister in Putrajaya March 12, 2020. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 12 — The Defence White Paper (DWP) will continue to be the Defence Ministry’s main guide in the planning and implementing of short, medium and long-term plans, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said the government would remain committed in ensuring the country's defense continued to be strengthened for the next 10 years as outlined in the DWP.

“This is proof that this newly formed government is mature and always practices democracy. The country’s defence  is a national agenda that cannot be compromised and every policy that has been agreed in Parliament will be implemented as best as possible by the government,” he said in a statement.

The statement was issued in conjunction with Ismail Sabri, who is also Senior Minister, beginning work as Defence Minister today. A ceremony was held earlier to welcome him to the ministry.

The DWP was approved by Parliament on Dec 2 last year. It sets out the strategic direction of the country's defence for 10 years to protect Malaysia's sovereignty and territorial integrity from all forms of external threats and security challenges.

The DWP, involving eight key messages,  was tabled to update the National Defence Policy (NDP) so that the strategies and capabilities are consistent and relevant to the changing global security environment.

Ismail Sabri said the ministry would focus on developing the capabilities of the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) capabilities and comprehensive defense strengthening.

“This is through an approach involving the government and the society, as well as enhancing credible partnerships with neighbouring countries and others to ensure national security, regional stability and universal peace," he added.

The ministry, he said, would also continue to give attention to the welfare of ATM members and veterans, as well as staff at the ministry.

“Welfare is one of the key elements that should not be taken lightly and should be given priority by the government," he said.

Ismail Sabri said he and his deputy, Datuk Seri Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz , hoped to get full cooperation and support from the ministry’s staff in handling the country's defence.

“I would like to thank the past leaders in the Defence Ministry for bringing the national defence agenda to this level,” he added.

Earlier, Ismail and Ikmal Hisham were welcomed to the ministry by its secretary-general Datuk Muez Abd Aziz, ATM Chief Tan Sri Affendi Buang and commanders of its three. — Bernama

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