MIN­ISTRY SIGNS OFF­SET DEAL WITH UK

Mil­i­tary co­op­er­a­tion with Bri­tain will help Malaysia pur­sue its na­tional in­ter­est

New Straits Times - - News / Nation -

THE De­fence Min­istry yes­ter­day signed a tri­par­tite agree­ment be­tween the Malaysian govern­ment, DRB-HICOM De­fence Tech­nolo­gies Sdn Bhd (Deftech) and Thales for the off­set re­lated to the ac­qui­si­tion of AV8 wheeled ar­moured ve­hi­cles.

TDA Arme­ments, a sub­sidiary of Thales Group, is the sup­plier of 2R2M 120mm mor­tar to Deftech.

The agree­ment was signed at the De­fence and Se­cu­rity Equip­ment In­ter­na­tional (DSEI) at Ex­CeL here, one of the biggest de­fence ex­hi­bi­tions in the world.

Sign­ing on be­half of the min­istry and the Malaysian govern­ment was the min­istry’s deputy sec­re­tary-gen­eral (pol­icy), Datuk Ju­naidah Ka­mar­rud­din, while Thales was rep­re­sented by its vice-pres­i­dent (ve­hi­cles and tac­ti­cal sys­tems) Pierre Bernard.

The sign­ing was wit­nessed by Armed Forces chief Gen­eral Tan Sri Raja Mo­hamed Af­fandi Raja Mo­hamed Noor and Thales coun­try di­rec­tor for Malaysia, Thomas Pistre.

Ju­naidah said the off­set pro­gramme was the obli­ga­tion by orig­i­nal equip­ment manufacturers.

“Once the Malaysian govern­ment pro­cures equip­ment or sys­tems from an in­dus­try, they have to ful­fil this obli­ga­tion to give us what we need for mil­i­tary and staff mem­bers at the De­fence Min­istry, as well as those in the in­dus­trial sec­tor,” said Ju­naidah af­ter the sign­ing cer­e­mony.

“In this con­text, Thales is the for­eign in­dus­try that col­lab­o­rates with our lo­cal in­dus­try, that is Deftech. What we ac­quire would be in the form of equip­ment and sys­tems for the armed forces or the Fi­nance Min­istry. It could also be in the form of build­ing hu­man re­sources, train­ing skills and pro­vid­ing post­grad­u­ate pro­grammes for our staff at the min­istry.”

On Mon­day, at the House of Lords, the De­fence Min­istry signed a con­tract with Thales, West­star and the Na­tional De­fence Univer­sity of Malaysia (UPNM).

“We pro­vide plans for the build­ing of hu­man cap­i­tal in the form of Masters pro­grammes re­lated to de­fence,” said Ju­naidah, adding that un­der Thales, UPNM would be work­ing with the Univer­sity of War­wick in the United King­dom.

Speak­ing on the co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries, Raja Af­fandi said there were many ar­eas of co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Malaysia and Bri­tain.

“Th­ese are not only mil­i­tary co­op­er­a­tion but also ex­changes of in­tel­li­gence that we should have in the present sit­u­a­tion. I be­lieve that this op­por­tu­nity given to us will as­sist us in pur­su­ing our in­ter­est.

“When we talk about ex­changes, we talk about ex­changes of in­tel­li­gence, train­ing, doc­trines, lessons learnt that will help de­velop a force that will be able to per­form when the time comes and, on the same note, be able to col­lab­o­rate, in­ter­op­er­ate to­gether.

“This is the way we would like to pur­sue and I be­lieve, the Bri­tish govern­ment would also like to pur­sue (along the same lines),” said Raja Af­fandi at the de­fence ex­hi­bi­tion.

Rep­re­sent­ing Malaysia as a par­tic­i­pant at DSEI was DSA Ex­hi­bi­tion and Con­fer­ence Sdn Bhd, the or­gan­iser of renowned in­ter­na­tional ex­hi­bi­tion, De­fence Ser­vices Asia, which will be held at the Malaysia In­ter­na­tional Trade and Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre, Kuala Lumpur, from Apr 16 to 19 next year.

Armed Forces chief Gen­eral Tan Sri Raja Mo­hamed Af­fandi Raja Mo­hamed Noor (cen­tre) at the sign­ing of a tri­par­tite agree­ment be­tween the Malaysian govern­ment, DRB-HICOM De­fence Tech­nolo­gies Sdn Bhd and Thales in Lon­don yes­ter­day. With him are Thales vice-pres­i­dent (ve­hi­cles and tac­ti­cal sys­tems) Pierre Bernard (right) and its coun­try di­rec­tor for Malaysia, Thomas Pistre (third from left).

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