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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        22  February 2011

Defence industry investors urged to pick Malaysia

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Defence and security industry players should consider Malaysia as their base for regional activities, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Addressing the Malaysia Defence Investment Dinner here Sunday night, he said the country should be on the radar of potential investors seeking to establish strategic alliances whether in manufacturing, co-manufacturing, outsourcing or research and development.

The minister stressed the government's commitment towards enhancing the local defence industry as evidenced in the soon-to-be established Malaysia Defence and Security Technology Park (MDSTP) in Sungkai, Perak.

"The first of its kind in Southeast Asia, the park aims to provide investors with the means to capture tremendous opportunities and potential of the global defence industry and, at the same time, boosting their presence in the worldwide market," said Ahmad Zahid who hosted the dinner.

Among those present were British Minister for International Security Strategy Gerald Howarth as well as potential investors and representatives from leading defence and security companies.

Jointly organised by DSA Exhibition and Conference Sdn Bhd and Masterplan Consulting Sdn Bhd, the dinner was held in conjunction with Malaysia's participation at the five-day International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) 2011 which opened here Sunday.

Masterplan Consulting is the developer of MDSTP.

Ahmad Zahid shared with his audience that the Malaysian government continued to be committed to modernising and strengthening the Malaysian Armed Forces and the capabilities of other security agencies.

He said Malaysia's defence capabilities were put to the test recently but came through with flying colors in the rescue of 23 crew members of an oil tanker by Somali pirates on Jan 20, 2011, in an operation involving Malaysian commandos.

"This goes to prove that today's defence capability must take into consideration traditional and non-traditional factors, and procurement activities must address these challenges," said the minister.

Ahmad Zahid also invited defence and security players to take part in the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) 2011 exhibition on Dec 6-10 and Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2012 Exhibition and Conference taking place in Kuala Lumpur on April 16-19, 2012.

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