KUALA LUMPUR - Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has given his assurance that security in the country is still very much under control against threats posed by the Islamic State (IS) terror group.
Addressing the 2nd South and South-East Asian Nations (Sasean) Chief of Defence Forces' Dialogue yesterday, Hishammuddin said the threats exposed the fault lines that were created by religious, racial and socio-economic differences.
Hishammuddin, however, maintained that the situation in the country was "not so critical".
"From reports we received, security is still under control, otherwise we would have not gone through with the 27th ASEAN Summit and related summits."
"It would have been impossible for me to invite 10 ASEAN Defence Ministers. I believe that we are not in a critical situation, but we must never be complacent," he said.
Asked about the involvement of Malaysian military personnel in IS, Hishammuddin said the size of involvement was not as big as "other armed forces out there" but it still needs to be "managed".
"We have to manage it because nobody is spared. We are not facing a typical terror cell," he added.
Hishammuddin said that incidents in the United States, Syria, Iraq and France showed that no region was spared from the threats posed by the terrorist group.
"By working together, we have a better chance in ASEAN; sharing intelligence and looking realistically where the areas of concern are," he added.
A Malaysian initiative, aimed at providing swift humanitarian assistance to ASEAN member states faced with disasters, has been collectively approved by 10 ASEAN wwDefence Ministers.
The initiative, termed the ASEAN Militaries Ready Group on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), was deliberated and approved by the leaders at the 9th ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) held in Langkawi in March.
"This Malaysian initiative would serve as a dedicated force comprising specialists in disaster relief and military medicine, grouped under a sole ASEAN banner."
"This force would be trained together, develop common procedures and interoperability under existing ADMM platforms," said Hishammuddin.
The Malaysian Armed Forces is hosting a dialogue themed "Regional Collaboration in Pursuit of Achieving Security and Stability" which commenced here yesterday.
The dialogue is attended by Defence Chiefs or representatives from Brunei, the Philippines, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Representatives from the United States, China and Russia also attended the dialogue as observers.