‘Force of the Future’ among strategic considerations to boost security, says Khaled Nordin

KUALA LUMPUR: The formation of a “Force of the Future”, specialising on non-traditional threats such as cyber attacks will be among the strategic considerations when deliberating on the Defence White Paper mid-term review, says Datuk Seri Dr Khaled Nordin.

The Defence Minister said that the preparation and development of the force must be the major objective with the Defence White Paper as the foundation alongside policies and strategic plans that support it.

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“However, the definition of the 'Force of the Future' must be understood in a wider context and more strategically.

“The development of this force must be seen as a process that requires us to explore the need for other strategies,” he said on Tuesday (Feb 13).

Khaled said this during his speech at the Defence White Paper Mid-term Review Launch at Dewan Perkasa, Wisma ATM here.

He also said that the need for the force will highlight digital threats and electromagnetic defence, adding this has been practiced by other countries.

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“A lot of world frontiers in defence have started to give serious attention to this aspect openly and more innovatively,” he added, citing Singapore’s Digital and Intelligence Services (DIS) that was established under its Armed Forces in 2022.

He said the mid-term review is also recommended to be looking into Defence Ministry and Armed Forces’ adaptation of Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data and digitalisation.

Defence industry development and growth will also be a central part of the review with focus on the empowerment of local talents, strategic partnerships with experienced leaders among others.

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Khaled also said that the review will dive deeper into ways to recruit more personnels into the defence sector.

“The Defence White Paper has clearly explained the roles of reserve officers within our defence ecosystem.

“However, we acknowledge that the main challenge is to attract more people to serve with the Armed Forces.

“With that, I encourage that we place a clear target in recruiting, training and having optimum reserve members in a particular period,” he said.

Khaled said Malaysia will also continue to position itself as a nation with soft defence power that is outstanding and effective.

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“We must highlight Malaysia as an open stage that can discuss defence against non-traditional threats,” he said, citing Malaysia’s Asean Summit Chairmanship next year as a perfect platform.

The Defence White Paper is a public document on national defence policies.

Passed in Parliament on Dec 2, 2019, it aims to outline the country’s defence policies over a 10-year period beginning 2021 to 2030.

As the nation’s first defence white paper, the document explains the government’s stance on national defence, and explains strategic perspectives that influence Malaysia’s safety and outlines a National Defence Framework to ensure Malaysia is safe, sovereign and prosperous.

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