Malaysia seeks to revive TCA with the Philippines and Indonesia

by BERNAMA / pic by TMR FILE

MALAYSIA will “revive” the Trilateral Cooperative Arrangement (TCA) through a ministerial meeting with the Philippines and Indonesia, Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (picture) said.

He said he would meet with his counterparts Indonesia Prabowo Subianto and the Philippines Delfin N Lorenzana on the sideline of the Defence Services Asia (DSA) exhibition and National Security Conference Asia (NATSEC) 2022 which begins today.

“This will be the first time all three defence ministers of the TCA will formally meet since September 2018 in Manila and will serve as an important avenue for shared security concerns in common maritime areas between our countries to be addressed at the ministerial level,” he told reporters after a walkabout to check the final preparations for the exhibitions at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre yesterday.

The TCA was created to address maritime security threats in the waters of the three countries.

Also present were Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin, Armed Forces Chief Gen Tan Sri Affendi Buang, IGP Tan Sri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani and Army Chief Gen Tan Sri Zamrose Mohd Zain.

Hishammuddin said the meeting would also involve Hamzah and his counterparts from the two countries.

“On the internal security, of course, the discussion will be with Hamzah and his counterparts in regards to kidnap for ransom, terrorism and the pursuit of those that use our waters which requires the cooperation of the three countries,” he said.

On the four-day DSA and NATSEC Asia 2022 exhibitions, Hishammuddin said the event would serve as a signal that Malaysia is ready and open for business, however, he admitted that it was not easy to arrange such an event during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“However, the preparations are already at the end and we are looking forward for the event. After successfully running for more than three decades since 1988, the long-awaited return of DSA and NATSEC this time will be the first and biggest international event hosted by Malaysia as we enter the transition into the endemic phase beginning April 1,” he added.

The exhibitions are open to high-level delegations, government employees, professionals and executives in the defence and security industry, as well as police and enforcement agencies.