KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia and Singapore’s defence ministers have signed a letter of intent to step up cooperation and encourage more military-to-military exchanges in the effort to boost regional security.

The letter was signed today by Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and his Singapore counterpart Dr Ng Eng Hen, as part of Hishammuddin’s two-day introductory visit to the city-state.

The agreement also includes encouraging intelligence exchanges to address common security concerns, such as the threat of the Islamic State (IS) militant group in the region.

“Both countries also affirmed the close cooperation between both militaries in non-traditional security areas, such as the recent flood efforts in Malaysia,” the ministers said in a joint statement following the conclusion of Hishammuddin’s visit today.

The statement said both ministers affirmed the value of the Malacca Strait Patrols (MSP) in enhancing the security of the Malacca Straits and Singapore, and discussed ways to take the MSP forward.

Dr Ng also reaffirmed Singapore’s support for Malaysia’s new initiative to enhance naval cooperation through coordinated maritime patrols within each country’s territorial waters.

Both ministers also reaffirmed their countries’ commitment to the Five Power Defence Arrangements, the Asean Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and the ADMM-Plus.