Both the bureaucratic dissonance and the political dismissiveness towards maritime security could perhaps be addressed by a national security strategy wargaming exercise. Such an exercise would take cues from President Eisenhower’s Project Solarium which produced NSC 162/2, a national security document outlining America’s national strategy to counter the Soviet Union.
On the 2nd December last year, the Pakatan Harapan government presented the Defense White Paper (DWP) in Parliament. The first of its kind, it is a publicly available policy document that provides guidance to policy makers on conducting national defense affairs, while also giving the members of the public an opportunity to engage in this previously opaque area of public policy. The current DWP is to last over a period of the next 10 years, starting from 2021.
The announcement by the Defence Minister cum Senior Minister in charge of security affairs Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to deploy the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) in support of the police has generated considerable consternation among the public. There is a lot of misunderstanding about what MAF is supposed to do, and how they fit in the bigger context of our national security.
If these problems are not addressed properly over the long term, the reputation of the Armed Forces as a professional organization will suffer. It may come to a point where future youths and families may altogether advocate against any form of service in the military, which in turn might deprive the Armed Forces a pool of dynamic recruits and cadets.