Malaysia to pay rapt attention to needs of aviation industry

Malaysia to pay rapt attention to needs of aviation industry

KUALA LUMPUR - With changes in the worldwide civil aviation landscape and emerging threats, Malaysia pledges to secure, strengthen and enhance its aviation industry.

It would be more vigilant to evolving and emerging issues, and adopt the latest technologies shared by the Transport Security Administration (TSA), the United States and aviation community in ASEAN.

"The threat in civil aviation, especially terrorism to aviation security continues to evolve and it is far from disappearing," Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Aziz Kaprawi said at the Southeast Asia Regional Aviation Security Workshop here yesterday.

Civil aviation, he said, was still one of the main targets and perhaps the "target of choice" of international terrorism.

"As the present and future threats to aviation security are becoming more and more complex, this opportunity of knowledge and information sharing is timely," he said.

The workshop, the first of its kind in the country, was held between TSA experts, representatives from the US Embassy, the Aviation Security Organisation from 10 ASEAN countries, including Malaysia, and representatives from Australia.

Aziz said there was a pressing need for information sharing among the aviation security community such as intelligence in combating threats concerning terrorism and smuggling.

"This can be achieved through a robust regional partnership.

"In 2010, there were attempts to circumvent air cargo security where explosive devices were concealed in packages and shipped as cargo," Aziz said.

"This has made us realise that even air cargo remains vulnerable in today's global threat environment."

Malaysia, he added, has adopted new and more stringent security standards for its air cargo.

"We are in the midst of implementing the secure freight programme to set up a safer and secure security process - right from the manufacturer until the aircraft," Aziz said.

Speaking to reporters later, Aziz condemned Monday's hacking of the Malaysia Airlines website on Monday, by the "Lizard Squad", stating that it was an irresponsible act.

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