KUALA LUMPUR, April 27 — The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Malaysia and South Korea today will be a legal instrument in further strengthening defence cooperation between the two countries, says Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

He said the MoU signed with South Korean National Defence Minister Suh Wook would be the main reference document in interactions, programmes and joint activities between the Malaysian Armed Forces and the Republic of Korea Armed Forces.

“This bilateral meeting is very meaningful and brings important benefits to both countries, especially in the context of defence diplomacy.

“Efforts towards realising this MoU have been implemented for the past three years and finally, it was signed today,” he told reporters after attending a virtual bilateral meeting with Suh Wook and signing the MoU between Malaysia and South Korea in a hybrid manner at Wisma Pertahanan here today.

Hishammuddin said to ensure that the planning under the MoU could be implemented well and run smoothly, a Working Committee between the defence ministries of both countries would be established.

Apart from that, he said both countries were working towards an MoU on the defence industry which was also closely related to the National Defence and Security Industry Policy which was being drafted by the Ministry of Defence.

Hishammuddin said Malaysia had previously cooperated with several countries such as Italy, France and the United States and was now working to further expand cooperation with more countries such as Turkey, India and South Korea.

On the meeting with Suh Wook, Hishammuddin said he took the opportunity to discuss multilateral cooperation, especially with regards to the Asean Defence Ministers’ Meeting and security threats in the cyber security domain.

“I also express confidence that with the support of the Republic of (South) Korea, the Ministry of Defence’s initiative on the Asean Cyber ​​Defence Network can be implemented more effectively,” he said.

In another development, Hishammuddin advised the public not to take for granted the flexibility of Covid-19 control and prevention measures in the country announced today by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin in line with the Transition to Endemic Phase.

“In the process of transitioning to the endemic phase what we (the government) are doing in stages is the right thing to do, and I hope the announcement by Khairy is well received. The announcement has the blessing from the Cabinet,” he said.

Khairy today announced several relaxations including making it optional to wear face masks outdoors and open areas effective May 1. However, the masks would still be required in indoor settings and while using public transport. — Bernama