Syed Hamid: Do not doubt our ability to fight

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 05 Jan 2003


KOTA TINGGI: Malaysia’s ability to go to war should not be questioned or undermined, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said. 

Reminding parties who want to put Malaysia to the test that they would pay a heavy price, he said while it was not the Government's policy to show off its military might, it did not mean it lacked the strength and capability to defend or be on the offensive during war. 

“Our military power will prevail if put to the test but one will have to bear the consequences (of initiating a war with Malaysia). 

“Our state of preparedness should not be questioned. It is insulting that there are parties questioning our readiness and ability. While the country does not want to enter into a war, it is always prepared,” he said. 

Speaking to reporters at an open house for his Kota Tinggi constituents yesterday, Syed Hamid said opinions penned by a British military expert that Singapore could cripple Malaysia within hours of attack were provocative in nature. 

He said Tim Huxley's book, Defending the Lion City: The Armed Forces of Singapore, came at a dangerous time and has negative repercussions as it could destabilise peace in the region. 

“The book was written with ill-intent to create an explosive situation in the region, especially between Malaysia and Singapore. 

“The author's intention is to provoke an open conflict between the two countries. We are not interested to go to war but we will protect our sovereignty and integrity at all costs,” he said. 

Syed Hamid said Huxley's assumption that Malaysia was ill-prepared to go to war with Singapore merely because its military facilities were smaller had no basis. 

He said there were many parties who wanted to use Malaysia as a “theatre of conflict,” merely because they were unhappy with the Government's ability to withstand crisis.  

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