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Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu tables the Defence White Paper at Dewan Rakyat in Kuala Lumpur. - NSTP/Muhd Zaaba Zakeria.
Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu tables the Defence White Paper at Dewan Rakyat in Kuala Lumpur. - NSTP/Muhd Zaaba Zakeria.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s first Defence White Paper was tabled at the Dewan Rakyat today.

Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu said it was imperative that the national defence policy was reviewed so the country’s defence capacity and capabilities were in line with the ever-challenging and uncertain global security environment.

He said the document, prepared based on the national defence policy, leverages the people’s power by adopting the concept of openness, transparency, inclusive and progressiveness.

He called on all Malaysians to join forces in ensuring a secure, sovereign and prosperous nation, adding that the White Paper reflects the government’s aspirations to inculcate good governance apart from accentuating professionalism and accountability.

He said the White Paper, which would outline strategic directions for the national defence between the year 2021 and 2030, among others aimed to address the trans-boundary non-traditional security threats.

“Terror threats and extremism are on the rise. The magnitude and forms of threats are in line with the current development in neighbouring countries and Western Asia. Returning fighters came to Southeast Asia and forged ties with local terrorists and manipulate social media to spread Daesh (terrorists) narratives which had influenced ‘lone wolves’.

“Cyber space is a new domain for security and the country’s geopolitics has the potential to impose threats to national security without having to resort to physical force.

“The advancement of technology like Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Deep Learning, 5G technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) had exposed the military operations to cyber threats.

“Piracy and robberies in Malaysia’s maritime zone poses security threats to waterways,” said Mohamad in tabling the White Paper.

He said while such threats had seen a decline, non-traditional threats linked to kidnapping, illegal fishing, drug smuggling, human trafficking and other illegal activities have also posed challenges to Malaysia.

The 90-page document comprises of eight chapters, namely introduction, strategic perspective, defence strategy, armed forces of the future, defence international relations, science, technology and defence industry; and reformation, governance and allocation.

It will be made available on the ministry’s website.

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