I prioritised bilateral talks, says Tok Mat on Shangri-La Dialogue

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia held bilateral talks with 13 countries during the recent Shangri-La Dialogue defence summit on June 2, says Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

The Defence Minister was responding to former health minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who said in a recent podcast with former Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan that Malaysia missed a chance to speak about issues affecting the Indo-Pacific region after Mohamad did not give a speech during the event.

“I prioritised bilateral talks, which was held successfully with 13 countries, and their respective defence ministers, including the American defence secretary, China’s defence minister, and many other European countries that were interested in finding out Malaysia’s stand in the Indo-Pacific region, particularly on the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea.

“That (bilateral talks) is more effective and nothing beats meeting face to face,” said Mohamad when visiting the media at the Umno General Assembly at the World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur on Saturday (June 10).

Khairy said Mohamad only chose to participate in a closed-roundtable conference and a press conference with defence ministers from other countries.

The 20th Shangri-La Dialogue defence summit was held in Singapore for three days from June 2 to June 4.

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