KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 — Malaysia will launch the National Defence and Security Industry Policy as part of efforts to make the country a producer of military assets, said Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
He said the policy was in the development phase but he could not reveal the details yet.
“We have been cooperating with some countries and now the phase of technology transfer is in progress. When this is completed, we will be able to produce our own military assets.
“Now Malaysia has produced its own ammunition, armoured cars and some aircraft composite components, besides working with Turkey to produce the Gempita armoured vehicle,” he said in an interview on ‘Malaysia Prihatin’ Achievements of Defence Ministry here recently.
Ismail Sabri, who is also Defence Minister, said the matter was in line with his dream to place Malaysia in the league of defence asset-producing countries, like Indonesia and India which produce fighter jets and repair submarines.
He said to help realise this aspiration, the role of companies involved in defence activities would be enhanced this year by making them mentors and vendors, which would also serve as a catalyst to make the economy more competitive and sustainable.
Ismail Sabri said most of the country’s existing defence assets were purchased from China, the United States, Italy and Turkey, and this policy of sourcing from several countries was to avoid problems in asset maintenance.
In improving the country’s defence system, especially through air assets, the use of modern technology such as drones began in 2008 in operations in Sabah, and so far the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) has more than 55 drones in operation nationwide, he said.
Ismail Sabri said the MAF had used drones for monitoring during key operations, such as in “Ops Daulat”, “Ops Penawar” and “Ops Benteng”, especially for border patrols.
“Drones were used in Ops Penawar for Situational Awareness, Pattern Analysis, Surveillance as well as to disseminate information and messages through voice recorder (loud speaker operation) flown with the drones during implementation of the Movement Control Order,” he said.