A focus on cyber security, along with joint exercises and 5th generation assets should be key focus areas in the future planning of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA), said Malaysia Defence Mininster Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, according to a report by TheStar.
“I believe the stock-take conducted by FPDA member nations is not only based on our successes in the last 50 years but hopefully outlined the way forward for the next five decades,” he told a press conference after attending the 11th FPDA Defence Ministers’ meeting (FDMM) and the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the FPDA. The Defence Minister said nations are facing a new global landscape with their own set of challenges post Covid-19 pandemic.
Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein pointed out that the challenges faced today should be viewed as opportunities. “It is an opportunity for FPDA member nations to forge closer ties, to be more resilient, more proactive as well as agile and flexible in tune with the changing landscape as it unfolds,” said Hishammuddin Hussein.
He added that cyber security remains a key priority that has to be introduced in future planning of the FPDA along with current 5th generation assets as well as joint exercises that have been successful in the past. Minister Hishammuddin said Malaysia has successfully hosted the 11th FPDA Defence Ministers’ Meeting with the Minister of Defence Singapore, Dr Ng Eng Hen; Minister for Defence Australia, Peter Dutton; Minister of Defence New Zealand, Peeni Henare, and Minister for Armed Forces United Kingdom, James Heappey, which was held virtually.
“The convening of the meeting is an affirmation of continued commitment by all five nations to the FPDA. Guided by the 3R principles of Remit, Relevant and Reassurance, the 50th FPDA Stock-Take provides future direction on the FPDA’s strategic priorities, organisational processes and structure, and activity plans, Minister Hishammuddin said. “Today, the Defence Ministers agreed for the FPDA to focus on continuing high-end warfighting serials with the introduction of 5th generation assets; enhancing the mission of counter-terrorism and maritime security of non-traditional domains; introducing cyber security progressively into FPDA exercises; and continuing the observership programme as a way to enhance transparency and reassurance with regional partners.
Hishammuddin said FPDA Defence Ministers also had the opportunity to call upon Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.