“Defence is a serious matter, it’s do or die” such was tone set by our speaker, Mr Sahipulhijaiman, “it requires long term planning, bukannya order harini besok barang sampai“.
In our first #SafeguardOurFuture briefing session, we reflected on the commitments made for the security of our nation almost 2 years after the landmark Defence White Paper was passed by Parliament. In times of great geopolitical upheavals and emerging threats, the ability of the Malaysian people to contribute to shaping our national defence policy is paramount and enshrined within the guiding principles of the document.
Sharing his wealth of knowledge on defence planning, Mr Sahipulhijaiman bin Sulaiman of the Ministry of Defence guided participants through the values and aspirations of the Defence White Paper, which detailed our ten-year plan for defence reform and future force modernisation in Malaysia.
Written in December 2019, the Defence White Paper was passed by the Parliament in a bipartisan manner. Even though Malaysia has experienced change of government twice now, the recommendations of Defence White Paper remain relevant and will be implemented. Mr Sahipulhijaiman stressed that defence policy should be a bipartisan matter. Nonetheless, the Defence White Paper is a living document, and should be reviewed from time to time in order to keep up with current challenges.
Excitingly, the Minister of Defence has also started the drafting process and consultations on several defence documents that would serve as a follow-up from the Defence White Paper. This includes the Defence Capacity Action Plan (Rancangan Tindakan Kapasiti Pertahanan) which will detailed the human resources aspect of defence planning, Defence Industry Policy (Dasar Industri Pertahanan) and the revision of National Military Strategy (Strategi Ketenteraan Negara)
Mr Sahipulhijaiman also answered participants’ questions about future challenges in arms procurement; the role of the Malaysian people in helping our armed forces; and the South China Sea issue among many others, which provided some interesting points for us to reflect upon. Finally, he also opined that increasing awareness and interests about national defence is the first step of achieving “Comprehensive Defence” and applaud initiative such as this briefing session. As the Rakyat of Malaysia, there are many ways we can contribute to our national defence, whether to join the military, take part in the voluntary reserve forces, or simply, to ask the right questions about our defence planning and governance.
This briefing session was done in conjunction of the Malaysia Day Essays Collection. The Malaysia Day Essays Collection, organised by Projek Pertiwi, invites any individual between the ages of 16-30 to contribute to our defence conversation and engage with shaping the vision of the future of Malaysia’s defence. For more info, visit here (English) or here (BM).