MINISTRY SIGNS OFFSET DEAL WITH UK
Military cooperation with Britain will help Malaysia pursue its national interest
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).