News & Events

20 March 2019 - MiDAS Executive Dialogue Serial 2 in 2019 titled “A Holistic Approach to Assessing Security in the Indo Pacific” was successfully organised by the Malaysian Institute of Defence and Security (MiDAS) on 20th March 2019 at Auditorium Aman, MiDAS. The presentation was delivered by Ms Asyura Salleh from United State (US) based think tank One Earth Future (OEF).

Indo Pacific is a term that has become a root of confusion and contention in the Southeast Asia region. There has not been to date any real or clear definition on what Indo Pacific Strategy that was introduced by United States really mean and what affect it may have on this region. A report launched in February 2019 by OEF under its Stable Sea Program interpreted Indo Pacific in term of geographical concept and focused its study on the Sulu – Celebes Sea security challenges.  The study was conducted in collaboration with Malaysia Institute of Malaysia, Mindanao State University, and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Ms Salleh in her presentation shared on how assessing Indo Pacific can be done using the Stable Sea holistic approach. According to Ms Salleh typically most policy makers tend to perceive maritime security development through the perspective of major power competition. The perception of maritime security that is attributed due to the increase tension in South China between US and China especially in respect to freedom of navigation is a narrow understanding of maritime security as there are many other tangible reasons that may affect its security.

She highlighted the nine key drivers that Stable Seas have found to have impact maritime security. The drivers consist of the causes, enablers and mitigating factors. Weak rule of law and coastal welfare has been found to be the root causes of range of illicit activities. The four illicit activities studied consist of illicit trades, fisheries, maritime mixed migration and piracy and robbery. In order to break the cycle study has shown that maritime enforcement, blue economy and international cooperation are the three successful mitigating factors. However despite having had identified the root cause and its enables, Ms Salleh did not deny that political will does play a role and the lack of streamlining of policy and procedures at federal and states does also contribute to maritime security.


by Nor Aini Mohd Nordin

9 April 2019 - MiDAS Executive Dialogue Serial 3 in 2019 titled “Indo-Pacific Construct: A Security Strategy Or An Opportunity For Regional Coherence” was successfully organised by the Malaysian Institute of Defence and Security (MiDAS) on 9th April 2019 at Auditorium Aman, MiDAS. The presentation was delivered by Prof Ruhanas Harun and Dr Tharishini Krishnan from National Defence University of Malaysia (NDUM). It generated a healthy discussion with participants posing numerous questions that require in-depth and detailed information from the speakers.



28 Feb 2019 - A roundtable discussion with delegate from IDSS, RSIS headed by Mr Adrian Tan, Deputy Head of Coordinator of Malaysia Programme was held in MiDAS  on 28 February 2019. A discussion was carried out on contemporary issues of mutual interest including counter violent extremism and terrorism as well as exchange of best practices in addressing such issues by both countries.



26 Feb 2019 | Nor Aini Mohd Nordin

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Kuala Lumpur on 18th February 2019 organised for H.E. Dr Merve Safa Kavakci, the Ambassador of Republic of Turkey to Malaysia to give a lecture titled “ Paradigm Shift in Foreign Policy: Humanitarian Approach”. MiDAS was represented by Assistant Director of Non-Traditional Military Affair, Ms Nor Aini binti Mohd Nordin. The lecture title and its speaker have garnered interest among those in the foreign affair fora including the Ambassador of Egypt, Ukraine and Qatar as well as diplomatic officers from the embassies of France, Kenya, Indonesia, Italy and Iraq. Before her appointment as an ambassador HE Dr Kavakci is already internationally recognised for her work on humanitarian work and her legendary entrance into Turkish political fora.

Therefore it was apt that the lecture given focussed on Turkey Foreign Policy post-cold war to this date. According to Dr Kavakci the word shift may seem simple and speedy to some but in the world of international relation and foreign policy it means a work in progress and does not happen overnight. The lecture started with a statement that Turkey is now trying to move from a realist perspective towards humanitarian approach. During its realist perspective Turkey used Westernisation through power approach meaning that whatever is good or produced by Europe is accepted without question and replicated. Through this approach and being a secular country it has allowed Turkey to receive special treatment by the western world such as being a member of NATO. Not only that every action it has ever taken in order to maximise its power. Despite its realist perspective the Turkish militaries have been presence in Turkey politics, not only that every 20 years the militaries would intervene in its political sphere. These are among the reasons Turkish decided to move from realism to idealism and therefore humanitarian approach.

According to Dr Kavakci it is not to say that realism approach has not been effective for Turkey, in fact one example that the Turkish is proud of is being successful in democratising the Turkish minds. Through their existing approach and prudent policies in a world that has become a global village that is supported by multilateralism Turkey has now been ranked the 13th largest economic in the world. Obviously such achievement did not come without its own challenges, H.E. shared that back in 2002 when the Islamic Party won the election and came into power the secular sect becomes very jittery and there was even an intellectual discourse discussing on whether Turkey would eventually become Malaysia as at that point of time Tun Mahathir was one of the most influential figure on economic reform among the Moslem world.

Nevertheless Turkey has managed to pave its own way forward and today it has its own defence industry and established 70% of its own defence product with 5th generation aircraft manufactured. Healthcare system is also something that the Turkish people take pride in as it is rank first in Europe and third in the world. Dr Kavakci expressed that they are looking forward to work with Malaysia in this sector. She also informed the lecture that Turkey has been ranked as the top humanitarian donor in the world in 2017 with fund up to USD 8.07 billion, followed by the USA 6.5 billion, and Germany 3 billion in the Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2018. She remarked that the Turks have been, for the past centuries, emulating and upholding the familial relationships between Ansar-Mujahirun in the Islamic tradition, in which humanitarian victims are treated as ‘guests’ rather than as ‘refugees’. She ends her lecture by quoting the Turkey President "To recognise problem you have to contextualise the problem and understand that in this world each one of us matter. Therefore in international realms this world matters more than the five”. The five in which the President was referring to are the members of UN Security Council.

The entire lecture has provided information to create opportunity for Malaysia to think of a way in which cooperation in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief can be establish between Turkey Armed Forces and Malaysia Armed Forces. Not only that we should extend it beyond the military fora as the situation Malaysia currently facing is oddly similar to that faced by Turkey especially in the context of refugees as well as other issues such as Palestine. These steps will support what our Prime Minister has said in his speech during the United Nation General Assembly 2018 and Malaysia Foreign Policy.

13 Feb 2019 - MiDAS Executive Dialogue Serial 1 in 2019 titled “Realising Malaysia's Defence White Paper : Sharing of Australia's Experience” was successfully organised by the Malaysian Institute of Defence and Security (MiDAS) on 13rd Feb 2019 at MiDAS Auditorium, Ministry of Defence, Kuala Lumpur. The presentation was delivered by Mr Peter Jennings PSM, Executive Director, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Australia. It generated a healthy discussion with participants posing numerous questions that require in-depth and detailed information from the speakers.

22 Jan 19 - A series of Perwira Dialogues was inaugurated by the Deputy Defence Minister on the 22nd January 2019. This dialogue was held in conjunction with the government intent to produce a Defence White Paper. Three session of discussions was held in this one day event. The Chief Executive of MiDAS, Vice Admiral Dato' Ganesh Navaratnam was involved in the third or final session for the day titled "Malaysia's Relations With The Major Powers: Next Steps". He gave his perspective and point of view in realizing the the Defence White Paper.

17 Jan 2019- First Admiral (M) Christopher Ravindran and First Admiral (M) Mohd Sabri bin Mohamed, Senior Principal Assistant Director from Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) made a courtesy call to MiDAS.  The delegation were received by Vice Admiral Dato' Ganesh Navaratnam, Chief Executive of MiDAS.  The delegation were given an insight into MiDAS organization, activities and its function as a think tank for MinDef.

9 Jan 2019 -  The handing over ceremony of MiDAS Chief Executive was held at Dewan Perkasa, Wisma Perwira ATM. The ceremony took place between the outgoing MiDAS Chief Executive, Lt Gen Dato' Suhaimi bin Mohd Zuki who is handing over duty to the new MiDAS Chief Executive, Vice Admiral Dato' Ganesh Navaratnam. The handing over of duty ceremony attended by Chief of Armed Forces, General Tan Sri Dato' Seri Panglima Haji Zulkifli bin Haji Zainal Abidin, Secretary General Ministry Of Defence, Dato' Halimi bin Abd Manaf, the army and civil senior Officers.