ASEAN defence ministers: ISIS poses security threat regionally and globally

ASEAN defence ministers: ISIS poses security threat regionally and globally
Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen (fourth from right) taking part in the ASEAN Wave at the opening of the 9th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting.

During the 9th ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM), all 10 defence ministers of ASEAN were unanimous that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) posed a security threat to the region and globally.

Singapore's Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen, who is in Langkawi, Malaysia for the meeting, said "We must deny ISIS a stronghold in Iraq and Syria or any other country from which to radicalise our people here. We must counter their false ideology with the pure and virtuous tenets of Islam. What ISIS is preaching or doing has nothing to do with Islam."

Dr Ng highlighted that Singapore would be hosting a symposium in April for East Asia Summit countries to share best practices on de-radicalisation and religious rehabilitation.

ASEAN member countries signed the 9th ADMM Joint Declaration that underscores the ADMM's commitment in addressing common security challenges. The ministers also discussed regional security issues of mutual interest, and in particular, the growing threat of extremist organisations to the region.

The member countries pledged to respond collectively to the threat of extremist organisations to the region.

The ministers commended the good progress in practical co-operation under the ambit of the ADMM and the ADMM-plus. In addition, they discussed proposals to improve the region's response to non-traditional security challenges on the basis of flexible, voluntary and non-binding participation by ASEAN member states.

While in Langkawi, Dr Ng also held a bilateral meeting with Brunei Minister of Energy Yasmin Umar. Dr Ng is accompanied by Permanent Secretary for Defence Mr Chan Yeng Kit and other MINDEF officials.

spanaech@sph.com.sg

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