(File pic) Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu. (NSTP/ASYRAF HAMZAH)

JAKARTA: Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu today said there was no problem to use the Malay ‘pantun’ (verses) at his ministry’s events, but it should suit the occasion.

“No problem, come to our events, celebrating the veterans, dinners, entertain them with ‘pantun’.

“However, there are places and times when ‘pantun’ is unsuitable, you can’t possibly do the ‘pantun’ while marching in parade,” he said.

Mohamad, who is better known as Mat Sabu said this in response to a statement by former socio-cultural adviser to the government Tan Sri Rais Yatim who questioned the ban on the use of ‘pantun’ in official events organised by the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF).

Rais via his Twitter account had also shared an internal memo to all MAF service branches dated Nov 2, stating a ban on the use of ‘pantun’ in scripts by emcees at official military events.

The memo said MAF official events were regimental in nature and its execution must be conducted with protocol and military ethics.

Mohamad also stressed that the memo should not be politicised by any party.

Earlier, in a separate event, Mohamad paid a courtesy call to Indonesian Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu, in conjunction with the Indo Defence 2018 Exhibition here.

When asked about his meeting with Ryamizard, Mohamad said they discussed efforts to further strengthen the defence relations of both countries, such as to enhance security in the border especially in Kalimantan and Sulu Sea which involved the Philippines.

Mohamad arrived in Jakarta yesterday for the Indo Defence 2018 exhibition, as well as promoting the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2019 (LIMA '19) to be held from March 26 to 30, next year.

Yesterday, Mohamad officiated the Malaysian Pavilion exhibition, a collaboration between Defence Ministry and Malaysian Industry Council for Defence Enforcement and Security (MIDES), EN Projects, DSA Exhibition & Conference, Deftech, Sapura, Westar, Systematic Aviation, Aerospace Technology Systems Corporation and Advanced Defence Systems. -- BERNAMA