KUALA LUMPUR OCT.12: Malaysia is with the opinion that the worries on the cooperation of AUKUS involving Australia, United Kingdom and United States of America should be faced as a block with 10 countries in ASEAN.
Senior Minister of Defence, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said, he has communicated with Defence Minister of Singapore, Indonesia and Second Defence Minister of Brunei, Awang Halbi Mohd. Yusof regarding the AUKUS issue.
“Tomorrow I will communicate with the Defence Minister who is also the Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia, Tea Banh and shortly I will be communicating with the Defence Secretary of Philippines Delfin Lorenzana.
“I hope what has been formed through the bilateral between Malaysia and the concerned countries will help assist us in studying the ways to balance the big powers in this region,” Hishammuddin said at the Dewan Rakyat here today.
Hishammuddin was responding to the additional question raised by the Parit Member of Parliament (MP) who raised the issue of whether the Ministry proposed to have defence cooperation at ASEAN level to voice up the worries on AUKUS cooperation.
The Senior Minister also mentioned that the ASEAN Defence Minister Meeting (ADMM) Retreat will be held on November 2021 in Brunei Darussalam. This will be a very important platform to discuss the efforts toward strengthening defence cooperation at the regional level.
Hishammuddin also elaborated that last week the Special Australian Mission had explained that AUKUS is not a military collaboration but cooperation for sharing submarine technology that is nuclear powered and explained that the programme does not involve nuclear weapons and is in line with Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT) 1968.
“However, I have advised the Defence Minister of Australia and the special mission that all parties have to avoid any military action that is regarded as provocative and with potentialities to increase tension and conflicts.
“We have also stressed on Malaysia’s stand and will not move and in any problem, differences and conflicts will be handled, consistent and will be dealt via dialogues and negotiations,” Hishammuddin said.
The Senior Defence Minister also said, he had told the special mission that if a warship or nuclear powered submarine enters the water territories of Malaysia, intend to enter the Malaysian ports or wants to implement military training with Malaysia, a special agreement from the government of Malaysia should be made and it will be considered on case by case basis.
Hishammuddin said that in answering the question from Parit MP of what is Malaysia’s stand on the AUKUS that is the collaboration formed by the three countries following the special mission of Australia’s Minister of Defence meeting the Senior Minister of Defence recently –Malaysia World News