Singapore’s Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Monday, April 14th to attend the 14th Defence Services Asia and 3rd Putrajaya Forum.
Delivering the keynote address at the Putrajaya Forum themed “Strengthening Security and Regional Stability”, Dr Ng expressed Singapore’s support for the Malaysian Government’s handling of the MH370 incident, and reiterated the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ recent joint statement that acknowledged that Malaysia “has done its level best in its response to this unprecedented predicament given the sheer scale of the Search and Rescue operation”.
Dr Ng highlighted that it was justified that the military’s role be expanded to include non-traditional security challenges. He went on to discuss how militaries could improve their effectiveness for their expanded mission by leveraging on technology, enhancing civil-military cooperation, and strengthening regional cooperation. Dr Ng also reiterated Singapore’s offer to host a regional humanitarian and disaster relief coordination centre.
While in Kuala Lumpur, Dr Ng called on Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, Malaysian Home Affairs Minister Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid bin Hamidi and Malaysian Minister of Defence Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin bin Tun Hussein. The Ministers reaffirmed the strong bilateral defence ties and expressed commitment to deepen the bilateral defence relationship through more interactions at all levels.
Organised by the Malaysian Institute of Defence and Security, the Putrajaya Forum brings together Defence Ministers, officials and academics to discuss defence and security issues. It is held in conjunction with the Defence Services Asia Exhibition and Conference that takes place biennially. Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Ng Chee Meng and Chief of Army Brigadier-General Perry Lim were part of the Singapore delegation that attended the Putrajaya Forum.
Press Release, April 15, 2014, Image: Singapore’s MINDEF