DE­FENCE MIN­IS­TERS TO MEET MID-APRIL

Malaysia, In­done­sia and the Philip­pines to dis­cuss mar­itime se­cu­rity, says Hisham

New Straits Times - - News -

LES­LIE AN­DRES AND HANI SHAMIRA LANGKAWI news@nst.com.my

THE de­fence min­is­ters of Malaysia, In­done­sia and the Philip­pines will hold a tri­lat­eral meet­ing in Sabah next month to dis­cuss mar­itime se­cu­rity and the launch of the Sulu Sea Ini­tia­tive.

De­fence Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Hisham­mud­din Hus­sein said: “The meet­ing will take place in three weeks’ time and we are tak­ing into ac­count the ques­tion of Sulu Sea’s se­cu­rity, es­pe­cially through co­op­er­a­tion taken by all three na­tions. This will in­clude joint pa­trols, ‘eye in the sky’ and oth­ers.”

Hisham­mud­din said it was im­por­tant for the three coun­tries to co­op­er­ate to mon­i­tor the Sulu Sea.

“Just imag­ine if Abu Sayyaf and other mil­i­tants give their sup­port to the Is­lamic State.

“We are wor­ried if the mil­i­tant move­ments in Iraq and Syria are suc­cess­ful, and they re­turn to their home coun­tries, which in­clude Malaysia.

“If this hap­pens, I do not think any coun­try can move freely. But, just imag­ine the ‘power’ in the Sulu Sea if assets from Malaysia, In­done­sia and the Philip­pines can be de­ployed at the same time.”

Speak­ing af­ter at­tend­ing the Na­tional Trans­for­ma­tion 2050 (TN50) di­a­logue with youths at Re­sorts World Langkawi here, he did not want to touch on de­tails of the meet­ing, but the New Sun­day Times has learnt that it would take place in San­dakan on April 10.

Dur­ing the di­a­logue, Hisham­mud­din touched on the ques­tion of se­cu­rity, es­pe­cially in the Sulu Sea, and he and Youth and Sport Min­is­ter Khairy Ja­malud­din ad­dressed the ques­tions and as­pi­ra­tions of more than 500 youths from var­i­ous Re­serve Of­fi­cer Train­ing Units and the Na­tional Ser­vice Vol­un­teer Bri­gade.

On mat­ters per­tain­ing to com­bat­ing cy­ber threats, he told par­tic­i­pants that the min­istry’s Cy­ber De­fence Op­er­a­tions Cen­tre, which falls un­der Mil­i­tary In­tel­li­gence, was ex­pected to be fully op­er­a­tional in Oc­to­ber.

He said cy­ber threats were wor­ry­ing and it was a new threat, which the min­istry had to look into.

PIC BY MO­HAMAD SHAHRIL BADRI SAALI

De­fence Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Hisham­mud­din Hus­sein speak­ing at the Na­tional Trans­for­ma­tion 2050 di­a­logue with youths at Re­sorts World Langkawi in Langkawi.

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