Measures in place to ensure DSA, NATSEC adhere to all prevailing SOPs, says Hisham

KUALA LUMPUR:Adequate measures are in place to ensure that Defence Service Asia (DSA) and National Security Asia (NATSEC Asia) will adhere to all prevailing health protocols, says Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (pic).

The Senior Minister said in the days leading up to the event, he had been asked if it was wise to hold large-scale events such as these during a pandemic.

“While there are warranted concerns, rest assured, we have spared no expense in ensuring that the events will adhere to all prevailing health protocols and guidelines.

“The sheer size and magnitude of this year’s DSA and NATSEC is a sign of the era that we are about to enter – an era where we must learn to live with the virus.

“As Malaysia is about to enter the Transition to Endemic phase, we are showing to the world that Malaysia is now open for business,” he said in his speech to officiate the DSA and NATSEC at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on Sunday (March 27) night.

He said while countries all over the world continue to focus on recovering from the devastating impact that Covid-19 has wrought, those in the security business must remain ever vigilant in facing the threats to the countries and regions.

“Traditional and non-traditional threats, in various shapes and forms, must be effectively addressed before it escalates to pose clear, present and even catastrophic danger to countries all over the world.

“The theme for DSA and NATSEC Asia 2022 – Advancing Into a New Era of Defence and Security – could not be more apt to comprehensively portray the tremendous role these events play in setting the course for international defence, especially moving into the post-pandemic era,” he said adding that events such as DSA and NATSEC are vital as it brings together over 350 leaders and more than 25,000 visitors from over 45 countries.

He said of the many things he learnt during his previous tenure as the Foreign Minister was that there was no substitute for meaningful, face-to-face meetings.

“Technology, through video conferencing, can only take us so far. It is my sincere belief that your presence here certainly makes this iteration of DSA and NATSEC more meaningful and will go a long way in contributing towards its success.

“Today, the Asean region faces a more diverse range of serious threats than at any point in our history. Protecting our countries from these threats should be one of the top priorities of federal governments, which require preparedness and competency of our nations at all levels, in handling these issues,” he said adding that the Defence Ministry (Mindef) last year had initiated the Mindef Strategic Plan 2021 to 2025, which outlined strategies and initiatives to be carried out within a five-year period to reach its desired output and outcomes.

Hishammuddin said the Strategic Plan was also aligned and coordinated with other policies within Mindef and the Malaysian Armed Forces, including the Defence White Paper, National Military Strategy, 4th Dimension Malaysian Armed Forced (4DMAF), as well as three supporting papers under them, namely the National Defence and Security Industry Policy, Defence Capacity Blueprint and National Defence Investment Plan.

“Evidently, these are high profile and ambitious aspirations, which we are confident of achieving. However, the outcome would be greater with a bigger impact when done in collaboration with other countries, especially within the region, as many of the issues facing us are transnational and transboundary in nature.

“Therefore, solid collaboration and cooperation with our regional and global allies are extremely crucial in achieving these goals,” he said, adding that this was why events such as DSA and NATSEC are highly instrumental in facilitating the successful implementation of these policies and action plans.