Defence Ministry to prepare white paper on its plans to boost security

Adib Povera and Hasbi Sidek

KUALA LUMPUR: The Defence Ministry will soon begin the process of preparing a white paper aimed at informing the public on its priorities and future plans to bolster security in the country. The decision to produce the white paper was announced by Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu in his policy speech during an internal event at Wisma Pertahanan here this morning. His deputy, Liew Chin Tong, said the preparation of the white paper is new to the country although the commissioning of the authoritative document have been a common practice in many democratic nations. “Defence and security is not confined to only the ministry but it is an effort, which include involvement from the society at large. “This is our effort to train Malaysia and the region to understand our priorities in the future. “We appreciate the input when it comes to the process of drafting defence white paper for Malaysia,” he said in his speech during the closing ceremony of the International Association for Counter-terrorism and Security Professionals (IACSP) second annual ASEAN Security Symposium here today. Speaking to reporters after the closing ceremony, Liew said the white paper was expected to outline the ministry’s capacity and capabilities, as well as the assets required for the country to face future challenges and counter perceived threats. “Why do we need white paper (for the defence ministry)? You need to bring the people along the understand the need and roles of defence within society,” he said. Asked if there was any deadline on the preparation of the white paper, Liew said the ministry had yet to fix any timeframe. “The ministry has just announced our intention to produce the white paper this morning. We are just starting,” he said. Earlier during his speech, Liew said effort to combating terrorism and radicalisation requires a collective effort at all level involving the government, security agencies, businesses and civil society. “We need a multi-prong approach including the formulation of a comprehensive policy to deal with the questions at hand. We cannot see terrorism in isolation,” he said. Malaysia, he said, has been a shining beacon of democracy through the peaceful change of government following the outcome of the 14th General Election (GE14) on May 9, which saw Pakatan Harapan coming into power ending Barisan Nasional’s more the six decades reign. “We hope that Malaysia’s new experience with democracy would also help shape our future responses to our work in many fields including security and safety as well as efforts to combat terrorism,” he said. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd