‘Unite to ben­e­fit from de­fence in­dus­try’

New Straits Times - - Entertainment -

LANGKAWI: Asean coun­tries must work to­gether to get a big­ger slice of the de­fence in­dus­try’s “pie”, Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi said yes­ter­day.

He said it was im­por­tant for the re­gion to do this.

“We should have an Asean stan­dard (of prod­ucts) as we have a big­ger market.

“I urge Asean na­tions to unite in trans­lat­ing the Asean De­fence In­dus­try Col­lab­o­ra­tion be­cause the to­tal rev­enue of this in­dus­try will amount to about US$100 bil­lion (RM442 bil­lion) by 2030. Malaysia (and other Asean na­tions) have to take the op­por­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in the in­dus­try col­lab­o­ra­tion.”

He said this af­ter the launch­ing of the Langkawi In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime and Aerospace Ex­hi­bi­tion 2017 (Lima) by Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak.

With col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Asean na­tions, Zahid said, there would be op­por­tu­ni­ties that would ben­e­fit mem­ber coun­tries and “upgrade” them.

“Asean should not be re­garded as end users, but should be up­graded to ‘friendly col­lab­o­ra­tors’ when it comes to the de­fence in­dus­try. Malaysia pro­duces the M4 (car­bines for Colt) and we are pro­duc­ing some com­po­nents for air­craft... We have been shar­ing the trans­fer of tech­nol­ogy and knowl­edge.

“We (Home Min­istry) are col­lab­o­rat­ing with Min­def (De­fence Min­istry) as we do not want to and should not be left be­hind in the de­fence and se­cu­rity in­dus­tries... We want to par­tic­i­pate and grow with th­ese in­dus­tries.”

On this year’s Lima, Zahid said the ex­hi­bi­tion had come a long way from its first in 1991. There were only 99 ex­hibitors then as com­pared with more than 500 this year.

PIC BY SHAHRIZAL MD NOOR

Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi at the launch of the Langkawi In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime and Aerospace Ex­hi­bi­tion 2017 yes­ter­day.

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