M’sia to join forces with Brunei for anti-terrorism, special forces training

Hishammuddin also welcomes them to join the trilateral pacts in safeguarding the Sulu and Sulawesi Seas

by ANIS HAZIM / pic by BERNAMA

MALAYSIA is planning to further explore its defence cooperation with Brunei, particularly in joint exercises on anti-terrorism and special forces training, according to Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (picture).

Hishammuddin said defence ministers in both countries came to the agreement after the bilateral meeting at the Defence Services Asia and National Security Asia 2022.

“We will also explore the possibility of increasing the number of Royal Brunei Armed Forces personnel under Malaysia’s United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon,” he told a press conference yesterday.

He also welcomes Brunei to join the trilateral between Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines to safeguard the waters of the Sulu and Sulawesi Seas, subject to approval by the Sultan of Brunei.

From the bilateral meeting with Indonesia, he said they agreed to convene the General Border Committee Malaysia-Indonesia meeting in July 2022 to discuss the progress of joint border posts.

“Malaysia will also study the Bandung model in developing our own domestic defence industry,” he said.

For the Philippines and Singapore, he said the bilateral meeting also reaffirmed the strong cooperation and long-standing relations between the two countries.

“We looked at the arrangements that Singapore and Malaysia have had in the past with regards to securing the security and the safety of the Malacca Strait,” he noted.

According to him, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand are considering creating another court for the Malacca Strait.

“The Malacca Strait patrol is ongoing and we have another initiative ‘eyes in the sky’. If we can institutionalise that into — like what we did with the trilateral — then I think we will incorporate what we already have to ensure strict security in this new structure,” he added.

From the bilateral meeting with Maldives, he noted that Malaysia will provide more training seats to the Maldives Armed Forces as well as discussing their proposal to have a memorandum of understanding on defence cooperation with Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Defence Ministry has not unveiled the highly anticipated Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) bid winner.

Notably, Hishammuddin said a decision will be made together with RMAF, Finance Ministry and the Economic Planning Unit.