PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia is considering buying the French multi-role combat aircraft Rafale, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Najib said the possibility of getting the aircraft was discussed with French President Francois Hollande.
“We are looking into the possibilities. We are not ready yet to make a decision but will take note of your (the aircraft) success in several countries,” he said at a joint press conference with Hollande, after they held talks at Perdana Putra.
Malaysia has been looking to replace its combat aircraft and the Rafale reportedly was among the top contenders.
Hollande said the “Rafale is the best jet in its category” and his government would provide all necessary support.
Hollande also pointed out that Malaysia had chosen France to build a submarine force and it quickly got access to build this force.
He also said that Malaysia had purchased the A400M transport plane from France and was the first non-Nato member to acquire the aircraft.
Najib added both leaders also talked about the need to work closely to fight militancy, extremism and global terrorism.
“I shared with President Hollande our experience in Malaysia, some of the challenges we faced and we agreed we should work together,” said Najib.
Hollande was also presented with a copy of Malaysia’s deradicalisation module which, Najib said, had a success ratio of about 95%.
Najib added Malaysia believed moderation is the answer to the growing influence of militancy and extremism.
Hollande, who is on a two-day state visit to Malaysia, said he came to celebrate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between both countries and “also because it’s been 14 years since a French president came to Malaysia and I wanted to be the one to come back”.
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