Malaysia’s proposal for ASEAN co-operation for humanitarian aid, disaster and relief (HDAR) involving all the members’ military agencies and forces would be an agenda to be discused and expected to be adopted at tomorrow’s 6th ASEAN Defence Minister Meeting.
It is an initiative where armed forces adhere to agreed standard operation procedure, protocol and limitations in any first response to any relief operations in the region.
Defence Minister Dato Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is in Phnom Penh for the 6 ADMM.
Another initiative Malaysia is propelling is the ASEAN Defence Industry Council, where defence corporations between the South East Asian nations work closely to develop common military products and services.
A bilatteral meeting with the Defence Minister of Cambodia earlier, Zahid reitirated Malaysian commitment to foster good military relations despite multiple claims of areas between ASEAN nations. One specific area is Spratly’s in the South China Sea, where China also stake their claims to the oil enrich atolls. Malaysia is very consistent on the diplomatic solution to resolve the dispute.
Zahid is expected to convey this message tomorrow during the bilatteral meeting with China Defence Minister Gen. Liang Guang Li, who is present as part of the ‘ADMM Plus’ forum.
Malaysia strongly support of loose military co-operation between ASEAN nations, to foster stronger understanding, better co-operation and comradeship between neighbours. For instance, Malaysia is very satisfied with current defence co-operation and would continue separate joint military exercises between its neighbors. “We are not like blocs like NATO”.