Minister for Defence Makes Introductory Visit to Malaysia
Ministry of DefenceOct 04, 2011 15:25 SGT
Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen met with his Malaysian counterpart Dato' Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid bin Hamidi as part of Dr Ng's introductory visit to Malaysia earlier today.
During the meeting, the Ministers reaffirmed the good cooperation between the Singapore Armed Forces and the Malaysian Armed Forces, and noted the increasing exchanges and exercises between the two armed forces. Dr Ng cited the stopovers and refuelling of fighter aircraft from the two air forces at each other's air bases under the ambit of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) in May this year as one such example. The Ministers also discussed the regional security situation and the importance of enhancing bilateral ties. In addition, Dr Ng expressed appreciation for Malaysia's search and rescue (SAR) operations in response to a maritime incident off Mersing, Johor and reiterated Singapore's offer of assistance for the SAR operations.
In Malaysia, Dr Ng also visited the National Defence University of Malaysia this afternoon, where he was briefed on its programmes and activities before interacting with its faculty staff and students. Dr Ng also held separate bilateral meetings with Minister of Home Affairs Dato' Seri Hishammuddin bin Tun Hussein and Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.
Dr Ng's visit to Malaysia underscores the long-standing defence ties between Singapore and Malaysia. Both armed forces interact regularly through bilateral exercises such as Exercise Semangat Bersatu and Exercise Malapura, and under multilateral frameworks such as the FPDA, the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) and the ADMM-Plus. The two armed forces have also been working closely to enhance maritime security through the Malacca Strait Patrols.