Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen and Malaysian Senior Minister (Security Cluster) and Minister of Defence Ismail Sabri Yaakob held a bilateral video conference today.
The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to maintain and strengthen bilateral defence ties between the Singapore Armed Forces and the Malaysian Armed Forces. In this regard, both militaries will work towards the resumption of bilateral and multilateral engagements and exercises when the COVID-19 situation improves. They also discussed common security challenges, in particular terrorism, cybersecurity and maritime security. These transnational threats would need to be dealt with in cooperation with other countries in regional multilateral platforms such as the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) and the ADMM-Plus. The Counter-Terrorism Information Facility based in Singapore was also an important regional initiative to provide timely and actionable intelligence to all countries involved.
Both Ministers affirmed their strong support for the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA), which is commemorating its milestone 50th anniversary this year. While the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to preclude the conduct of a full-scale Exercise Bersama Lima, a scaled down multilateral exercise would still be conducted this year to signal the strong commitment of all five countries to this security arrangement.
Dr Ng welcomed Minister Ismail Sabri to attend the 19th Shangri-La Dialogue in June and to also conduct his introductory visit to Singapore as Defence Minister then.
Singapore and Malaysia's defence establishments interact regularly across a wide range of activities, such as visits and exchanges, exercises and cross-attendance of courses. These interactions strengthen mutual understanding and professional ties among the personnel of both defence establishments.