Asean countries to meet next month over Aukus, says Hisham

13-Oct-2021 Intellasia | FreeMalaysiaToday | 5:02 AM Print This Post

Defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein hopes to strengthen Asean cooperation and understanding during a defence meeting among member nations in November over the new security partnership among Australia, the UK and the US (Aukus).

Stating that the meeting would be an important platform to have a clearer picture of the stand of each member state, he hoped communications among Asean countries over the issue could be established.

He was replying to a supplementary question by Nisar Zakaria (BN-Parit) on ways to strengthen defence cooperation among Asean countries over the Aukus arrangement.

He said he had contacted Singapore and Indonesia, and would contact Brunei, Cambodia and the Philippines, among others to discuss the issue.

Saifuddin Nasution (PH-Bandar Baru Kulim) asked the minister about the “end game” from Malaysia’s communications with other Asean countries, saying: “Aukus was set up as the three countries feel China is trying to intimidate them. So that is their reaction.”

To this, Hishammuddin said the end game was to ensure stability in the region.

“It does not matter if the powers behind are China or the USA. We are in a strategic position and that is why an understanding among Asean countries will help us face the big powers,” he said.

He said that Malaysia’s military may not be at the same level as the US’, “but with 10 countries in this region that seems strategic for the US and China, it is crucial to face them with solidarity”.

Hishammuddin also said that Malaysia could play a role bilaterally or multilaterally, adding that Putrajaya could use the Five-Power Defence Arrangement with New Zealand, Britain, Australia and Singapore to handle the issue.


Category: Malaysia

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