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Hisham: Defence Cooperation Vital

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KUALA LUMPUR - It is crucial for regional defence leaders to sit down and come up with an action plan to fight terror, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said.

“A united multi-state front would shatter any dreams of a utopian Islamic caliphate in the region.

“Together with my Indonesian and Philippine counterparts, we have addressed the growing threat of the Islamic State,” he said during his session at the Putrajaya Forum 2018 at Matrade here yesterday.

The event is held in conjunction with the Defence Services Asia and National Security Asia exhibition.

He said the Trilateral Cooperative Arrangement initiative would see Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines cooperating to provide coordinated naval and air patrols in the waters near the eastern coast of Malaysia.

“We must realise that militant groups in the area have internationalised their operations across boundaries.

“The threat of the Islamic State can only be addressed via closer cooperation between and within nations,” he said.

Hishammuddin said there were also lessons to be learnt from the recapture of Marawi from the Maute group and its followers.

“In assessing implications on stability, there are a few things we must learn about how the group adapted to our region.

“It is important to note that terrorists like the Maute have different concepts of victory from professional militaries,” he added.

He noted that they aimed to turn vulnerable populations against the military, government and countrymen, expose the state’s inability to protect its citizens and slowly weaken the state’s resolve to secure its territories.

He said that to achieve these objectives, the group strives to ensure the military is ensnared in a prolonged battle and create a humanitarian crisis.

-THE STAR

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