PETALING JAYA: Members of the Five Power Defence Arrangement (FPDA) regional security institution have agreed to share intelligence to deal with terrorist threats against Malaysia and Singapore.
The countries comprise Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
The FPDA concurred that terrorism posed a clear and present threat to the region and beyond and required enhanced measures to strengthen counter-terrorism activities.
In a statement Friday following their triennial meeting in Singapore, the ministers affirmed that the FPDA was a constructive multilateral agreement and remained an integral part of the region’s security architecture.
The ministers, including Malaysia’s Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, also reaffirmed their nations’ continued commitment to the FPDA and commended its achievements over the 46 years since being founded in 1971.
“The FPDA has built trust and enhanced interoperability among the militaries of member-nations, promoted respect for international law, and contributed to peace and security in the region,” they said.
They commended the successful conduct of the recent Exercise Bersama Lima in November 2016 and Exercise Bersama Shield in May 2017.
They noted that the scope and complexity of FPDA exercises have grown over the decades.
The ministers are committed to continually enhance the operational value of the exercises including incorporating newer capabilities for the mutual benefit of all member-nations.
They welcomed initiatives to enhance the FPDA’s transparency and expressed support to enhance the observer programme, where non-FPDA countries in the region could observe FPDA exercises.
With the FPDA’s 50th anniversary in 2021 in mind, the ministers charged officials to work together to ensure that FPDA continued to remain relevant in the region’s security architecture.
As part of the FPDA defence ministers’ meeting proceedings, the ministers would call on Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak via video-teleconference and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong at his residence, the Istana.