SINGAPORE and Malaysia's defence ministers inked a letter of intent yesterday to step up military cooperation between the two countries.
In a joint statement, Dr Ng Eng Hen and his counterpart, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, said they agreed to encourage more military-to-military exchanges, such as in the area of intelligence.
This will address security concerns such as the threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria to the region, they added.
Both militaries will also seek to work more closely in maritime security, the statement said.
This will be through a proposal by Malaysia to conduct coordinated patrols within each country's own territorial waters.
Mr Hishammuddin met Dr Ng yesterday, the second day of his two-day visit to Singapore, during which he also called on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana.
Dr Ng said in a Facebook posting: "We had good discussions on the common security challenges to our region.
This included maritime security to keep the Strait of Malacca and South China Sea free for navigation.
"Both of us felt strongly that ASEAN should take a common stand against extremist terrorism and collectively respond more effectively in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief work."
During their meeting, both ministers also reaffirmed the close cooperation between the countries' militaries in non-traditional security areas, such as the recent flood-relief efforts in Malaysia.
This article was first published on Mar 3, 2015.
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