Mindef prepares 1st Defence White Paper

by RAHIMI YUNUS / pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN

THE Ministry of Defence (Mindef) is currently preparing its first Defence White Paper, aimed at informing the public on its priorities and future plans to bolster the defence and security of the country.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the document, which sets out the government’s expectations for defence in the coming decades, also represents a strategic outlook on defence.

He said it is also a preview of the core elements of the country’s defence strategy which list the strategic interests of national defence and security — the framework within which defence and security issues exist.

It also has the provisions on various tools and approaches used to bridge many interests and conceptualising the ideal roles of the military, as well as various government agencies.

“The Paper reiterates the need to develop an indigenous knowledge, research and technology-based

defence industry to support the Malaysian Armed Forces,” Dr Mahathir said during the opening ceremony of the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2019 yesterday.

He said the Paper will set out key defence policy attributes that would, among others, develop and enhance the local defence industrial capabilities to achieve self-reliance in defence technology, while preparing for global competition in selected niche areas strategy.

“As a spin-off to other sectors of the economy, a strong and credible defence industry further reinforces the two main pillars of national security — economic wellbeing and political stability.

“We will continue to encourage local defence firms to collaborate strategically and manufacture hardware locally,” Dr Mahathir added.

Media reports previously stated that the National Defence White Paper would be tabled in Parliament in July.