KUALA LUMPUR OCT.21: Malaysia being the host of the 11th Five Power Defence Arrangement (FPDA) Defence Ministers’Meeting (FDMM) today is an affirmation of continued commitment by all five nations to the FPDA.
The meeting held virtually was attended by three other Defence Ministers, including from Singapore Dr. Ng Eng Hen; Peter Dutton from Australia, Peeni Henare from New Zealand and James Heappey as Minister for Armed Forces from United Kingdom.
Meanwhile the High Commissioners and Defence Attaches from the respective partner nations attended the meeting physically.
Senior Minister of Defence, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said, during the meeting all leaders expressed satisfaction with the outcomes which included an exchange of views on emerging security challenges in the context of regional defence cooperation, discussion on FPDA exercises and activities.
Hishammuddin said, the FPDA is a 10 year plan for exercises from 2022 to 2031 while the adoption of the 50th FPDA Anniversary Stock-Take was also achieved in the meeting.
“Guided by the 3R principles of Remit, Relevant and Reassurance, the 50th FPDA Stock-Take provides future direction on the FPDA’s strategic priorities, organisational processes and structure and activity plans.
“The Defence Ministers agreed for FPDA to focus on continuing high-end war fighting serials with the introduction of 5th generation assets; enhancing the mission of counter-terrorism and maritime security of non-traditional domains, introducing cyber security progressively into FPDA exercises and continuing the observer ship programme as a way to enhance transparency and reassurance with regional partners.
“The meeting also commended partner-nations’ commitment for the successful conduct of the exercises, namely “Bersama Shield” in April 2021, Suman Warrior in July 2021 and Bersama Gold in October 2021.
“The recently concluded Bersama Gold 2021 held this month was exclusively designed to mark the 50th FPDA Anniversary, and is the first contactless FPDA Field Training Exercise (FTX) executed in a COVID-19 safe environment.
“The continuation of the exercise even during a pandemic is a proof that the FPDA remains resilient and is able to adapt and overcome any challenges,” Hishammuddin reiterated.
Hishammuddin said, the Defence Ministers had the opportunity to call upon the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and the Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr. Lee Hsien Loong. The joint courtesy call was the first ever done in the history of FPDA.
“To reaffirm the partner-nations commitment towards the Arrangement, the FPDA Defence Ministers also signed the 11th FDMM Joint Declaration to symbolise and commemorate our enduring partnership within constructive regional security architecture,” Hishammuddin said.-Malaysia World News