Malaysia and Australia to pool resources against IS

Malaysia and Australia will pool resources and strengthen their military defences in combating a common enemy - the Islamic State group.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said he and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop have agreed to empower the Five Power Defence Arrangement (FDPA), involving Australia, Britain, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia, on this.

"The focus is also on our relations with Australia on joint exercises between our militaries, and sharing of intelligence relating to new threats we face.

"Foreign and military diplomacy is of the essence, we need to know how to overcome these threats by co-operation," he said after meeting Bishop at Parlia­ment yesterday.

Both ministers also agreed not to resort to very rigid methods in managing the IS threat.

"For instance, what we did to combat the Abu Sayyaf piracy and kidnapping activities by working with Indonesia and the Philippines shows an outside-the-box approach, as we did not involve all 10 ASEAN members but just the nations involved.," he said.