Langkawi : A modern efficient air force which works in close cooperation with its nation’s allies is a powerful tool in the arsenal for peace and security, said Malaysia`s Minister of Defence, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein in his opening speech today at the Air Chiefs Conference – Air Force Capability-Based Acquisition Reform.
The growing threats and tensions in the South China Sea, and the aftermath of the 2013 Lahad Datu standoff, as well as the tragic disappearance of MAS flight MH370 have reminded us of the need for a stronger air power regime, he said.
Malaysia is determined to have the best trained armed forces, but air force is not cheap, especially with the on-going economic uncertainty as such the weaker global commodity prices as well as a fall in the value of the ringgit, he added.
As for that the Minister of defence Malaysia, Hishammuddin suggests, the best strategy is to solve dispute through diplomacy, via multilateral forums like ASEAN.
“Military diplomacy has always been a core priority of mine as Malaysia’s Minister of Defence and it is something I have sought to encourage. Most recently for example, kidnapping incidents Sulu Sea led me to bring my colleagues from Indonesia and the Philippines together to form the Trilateral Cooperative Arrangement (TCA) that encompasses Sea Patrol, Air Surveillance, Intelligence Sharing and the establishment of Maritime Command Centres within the waters concern,” he said.
We can only guarantee a future worth living for our children and their children if we are willing to put aside our differences and work for the cause of peace and dignity for all humanity, he added.
Malaysia needs also to adopt a “capability-based acquisition” strategy, Hishammuddin urges, because “too many of our weapon systems cost too much, take too long to develop, and by the time they are fielded, incorporate obsolete technology.”
“The challenge is for us to look at each requirement through the lens of the defence lines of development. This includes doctrine, training, equipment, information, organisation, infrastructure, logistics and most importantly personnel.”
“For one thing, I strongly believe that building partnership capacity, in the region and in the world is a must. The good that this will do cannot be overstated. On the one hand, it means that costs and responsibilities for global security can be shared.”
The Defence Minister of Malaysia also believes that LIMA and its related events as crucial platforms for the militaries of our region and beyond to enable peace, security and stability. I hope that it will evolve into something more than just a mere defence show but also a cutting-edge forum for the best defence and security minds to exchange knowledge.”
- Malaysia World News