KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 — The government needs to spend more to bolster the country’s defence against increasing cyber threats, said Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
During an interview in conjunction with the “Malaysia Prihatin” Achievements of the Defence Ministry recently, he said the country would be vulnerable to cyber attack if all information was compromised and irresponsible parties took advantage of the situation.
“I can honestly say that we still need a lot of money to improve our defence in dealing with cyber threats, but I cannot reveal the percentage of our defence capabilities, but we do need more (financially).
He said that to deal with cyber threats holistically and proactively, collaborations have been forged with strategic partners, such as the National Cyber Security Agency (NACSA), Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia’s Centre of Excellence For Cyber Security as well as with regional and international bodies.
Meanwhile, he said the ministry was adopting the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) approach, including the Private Financing Initiative and Land Swap methods, to resolve the issue of housing among Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) personnel, adding that a total of 35,000 homes are needed and the government has approved a RM500 million allocation to build 1,000 units this year.
He said that since it would take 35 years to build 35,000 homes, the ministry could not just wait for government funds but find other ways, such as forging collaborations with the private sector to build more houses for its military personnel.
“Through observation, I found that many military personnel do not own a house and have to rent. To overcome this problem, a total of 3,500 units of houses priced between RM150,000 and RM250,000 per unit have been built through the One Member One House (SASaR) programme last year,” he said.
Ismail Sabri said the ministry planned to build 7,374 units of houses priced between RM150,000 and RM400,000 under the second project of the SASaR programme in Setapak this year.
On the welfare of military veterans, he said the ministry would continue to protect them by providing financial and health assistance.
“They (veterans) are also given training through the Armed Forces Ex-Servicemen Affairs Corporation (PERHEBAT) for them to secure employment or conduct businesses after completing their 21-year of service in the force,” he said.