HITS OUT AT CRITICS
Malaysia must not live in isolation.
“Give me proof. They (naysayers) raise questions about everything we do.
“When we signed the Littoral Mission Ship agreement with China, they said we were selling the country to China.
“When Saudi Arabia King Salman (Abdulaziz Al-Saud) came, they said we were selling our souls to them, and now, the same claims about any possible deal with France.
Give me facts. It is easy to point fingers. The world is borderless. We have friends and that is our strength. Unless they have any other option or solution, stop pointing fingers.”
Hishammuddin said this after hosting China Central Military Commission vicechairman General Xu Qiliang at the Defence Ministry headquarters yesterday.
He said a couple of letters were exchanged with France during the two-day state visit by President Francois Hollande.
“One is to review our defence agreement with them, which was signed in 1997. It will see a more robust exchange of information between both countries, especially in dealing with Islamic State threats.
“The other is a Letter of Intent to enhance defence cooperation with focus on military intelligence and cyber defence.”
On another matter, Hishammuddin said he had proposed the establishment of a high-level committee that would be chaired by him and Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan, aimed at institutionalising bilateral relations.
“The committee will discuss all aspects (of bilateral links), which could construct or strain our relationship.
“We hope this (agreement) will be signed in the near future.
“The draft is ready, it is just a matter of when and where.”
He said Xu was here to deal with geopolitical issues and regional security threats, including from North Korea and IS, in regard to the setting up of the committee.
“We will set up specific working groups, including (ones that will address) military cooperation (exchange of information and military-to-military exercises), the defence industry, education and training, as well as strategic affairs.”
Hishammuddin said Malaysian-Chinese bilateral relations were “at an all-time high” due to the relationship between “top leadership personalities”.
“However, we cannot rely on personalities alone as they come and go. If we institutionalise our relations, it does not matter who governs Malaysia or China.
“In the context of security, relations will continue as the template was built and developed as we lead today.”
Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein