LANGKAWI: The country’s cyber defence system will be fully operational this October, said Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
The Defence Minister said the facilities and the expertise were all in place. The system has been set up for the past two years.
“We have never announced this before. There is no need for us to. This matter is in the context of national defence and we take it very seriously.
“We don’t want those who might be trying to spy on us to know our developments,” he told a press conference after a 2050 National Transformation (TN50) dialogue on the future of national defence with youths at Resorts World Langkawi here in conjunction with the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (Lima) exhibition 2017.
“With the realisation that the cyber threat is real, the Cabinet gave me the mandate two years ago to start it and the system is in place right now.
“If we only think about politics, there would be no dividends but we are doing what is right.
“I know that this is what’s good for the country,” he said, adding that cyber attacks can bring governments and economies down and even target banks.
Hishammuddin stressed that the threat was not unique to Malaysia as similar threats were also heard of in the United States.
He also confirmed there were a few cyber attack attempts on Malay-sia but they were fended off.
On another matter, he said that there would be a new initiative on the security in Sabah and the Sulu Sea, possibly in the next three weeks.
Hishammuddin said he and the defence ministers from the Philip-pines and Indonesia would be in Sabah for a trilateral agreement ceremony with regards to the security of the Sulu Sea.
“This is not an initiative that we merely dream of as it has now entered the operational level.
“There will be joint patrolling, eyes in the sky and the commitments from the highest leadership of the three countries.
“Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte have given us (the three defence ministers) the mandate to come up with new initiatives,” he said.
Hishammuddin added that the joint forces of the three nations would be formidable in facing militants in that region as the Abu Sayyaf and certain militant groups have been supporting the Islamic State (IS).
He stressed that if the offence against the IS in Aleppo, Mosul and Raqqa was successful, the militants would return to the region and if they were to set up the IS militant group here, there was no way a single country would be able to deal with them.
The dialogue was attended by some 600 youths from the Reserve Officers Training Unit, university students, youth leaders, National Service Volunteer Brigade and young personnel from the Malay-sian Armed Forces.