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12th Malaysia Plan – What are the defence and security items mentioned?

The Prime Minister has just launched the 12th Malaysia Plan (2021-2025) entitled “A Prosperous, Inclusive and Sustainable Malaysia”. Here’s some snippets.

The 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) has 3 key themes: i) Resetting the Economy ii) Strengthening Security, Well Being & Inclusivity iii) Advancing sustainability.

Source: 12th Malaysia Plan https://rmke12.epu.gov.my/en

Most defence & security related items can be found under theme ii). The document vowed to give emphasis to i) safeguarding national sovereignty, ii) crime prevention and iii) strengthening security governance.

Source: 12th Malaysia Plan https://rmke12.epu.gov.my/en

The 12MP reaffirmed the government’s commitment towards implementing the Defence White Paper in order to enhance defence capability. Particularly, ISTAR capability & maritime security will be strengthened. We also have the Defence & Security Industry Policy to look forward to.

Source: 12th Malaysia Plan https://rmke12.epu.gov.my/en

Much emphasis was given to curbing illegal immigrants and strengthening border controls with Ops Benteng. A plan is said to be developed to details enforcement strategies.

Source: 12th Malaysia Plan https://rmke12.epu.gov.my/en

On crime prevention, the government vowed to improve community policing and police response time and enhance prison management with expanded options for alternatives to imprisonment. An integrated platform between agencies will be created for cybercrime investigations.

Source: 12th Malaysia Plan https://rmke12.epu.gov.my/en

The role of National Security Council as the lead security agency will be strengthened, with focus on “cybersecurity, cross border crimes, disease outbreak, natural disasters and economic and social crises”. A security and public order consultative council will be established.

Source: 12th Malaysia Plan https://rmke12.epu.gov.my/en

Projects are not listed in the document, but the PM’s speech offered some teasers. Among the projects that will be Marine Police Sea Monitoring System, RMAF Bare Base at Bintulu, Sarawak, military hospital at Melaka.

Source: 12th Malaysia Plan Presentation Speech https://rmke12.epu.gov.my/en

Overall, the direction taken is positive. It is however intriguing that little on geopolitical tensions was discussed, while threats of immigrants seems to be overly emphasised.

As 12MP is only a broad stroke policy document, it is hard for us to conduct any impact evaluation. In the spirit of data transparency, government should consider publishing the individual project items, as well as the money spent last Malaysia Plan. For now, we’ll have to stay tuned for Budget 2022 for specific details.

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