Is It Defence White Paper Needed In Malaysia? - By Mohammad Danniel Iqmal Bin Hamzah

4th May 2021

The Defence White Paper (DWP) is a testament to the government’s commitment to empowering defense and national resilience to protect national interests and maintain sovereignty and territorial integrity. As Malaysia's first DWP, this paper explains the stance government related national defense, presents strategic perspectives and outlines National Defence Framework to ensure national security, regional stability and peace universal. At the most basic level, the DWP formulates a comprehensive long -term plan to protect the interests and two territories of the country from any form of threat from within or outside the country as well as determine the direction of government especially in the defense sector.

Why does Malaysia need a DWP? Given the new found political will that has come with the stated desire for good governance in the form of transparency and accountability by the new government, a DWP would serve the defence establishment, the government itself, the nation as a whole and all its citizens a multitude of benefits. As a open document, the DWP will inevitably have to explain what roles the armed forces play and why these role are important to citizens. With the DWP’s disclosure, it will build community support for continued funding of the defense budget. To further extend an in -depth approach through the “whole community” to defense policy, this DWP is distributed openly and for general reading and general knowledge.

As an open document, DWP will channel instructions as well as government dreams specific to the line of defense, such as the armed forces, on the purpose of the existence of the DWP and government expectations of their role. This will also provide strong grounds for any funds and financial resources to meet the government's intention to implement a specific DWP to further strengthen the national defense system. In other words, DWP can act as a tool for the justification of fund resources over a multi-year timeframe. The peace of mind of predictable funding, if with success obtained, can enhance and stabilize defence coming up with processes.

Despite various speculations and prejudices against the DWP, this open nature can make sure that Malaysia’s intentions don't seem to be misinterpreted. All the contents recorded in the DWP related to all national defense activities in the country, have a great opportunity to further expand national strength and influence to regional countries such as neighboring countries, and even have the potential to penetrate larger territories. The DWP is one of the effective efforts to create national peace as the commitments of regional countries such as bilateral and multilateral have expressed readiness to achieve common goals and interests. With the implementation of this DWP, traditional and non -traditional threats faced by national territories can be assessed in more detail and depth through appropriate mediums such as talk or dialogue. At the same time be able to discuss the current changes in the security environment in the region.

DWP has 8 chapters that describe the research planned by ministry of defense in protecting the interests of state. Chapter 1 introduces the KPP by answering the question what is the Defense White Paper? Chapter 2 analyzes the global and regional strategic perspectives that have changed and become increasingly complex than it was a decade ago. Chapter 3 outlines the National Defense Strategy through a divided National Defense Framework into three parts namely (1) National Defense Vision (2) National Defense Interests and (3) National Defense Objectives. Chapter 4 explains the Government’s plans to develop the Forces of the Future for realizing the Integrated Barrier Prevention strategy. Chapter 5 outlines the role of the Defenders which consists of citizens and employees defense in implementing a Comprehensive Defense strategy.

Chapter 6 focuses on the international defense relations that form the basis of the strategy Authoritative Partnership. Chapter 7 discusses science, technology and the defense industry as important components of achieve self -reliance in supporting the national defense ecosystem in addition has the potential to be a catalyst for Malaysia's economic growth. Last but not least, Chapter 8 identifies three building blocks for the implementation of DWP, namely (1) achieving transformation defense (2) institutionalizing best governance, and (3) the determination of financial allocations stable and sustainable defense.

In an effort to strengthen this Defense White Paper, the Government is committed to reviewing existing policies related to human resource management for the preparation of the Defense Capacity Blueprint (Rangka Tindakan Kapasiti Pertahanan RTKP). This can be seen in chapter 8 through the Defense Capacity Reform. As a prove and effort can be seen through the collaboration between MiDAS and the Human Resource Management Division (Bahagian Pengurusan Sumber Manusia BPSM) in an effort to further maximize effectiveness defense personnel namely members of the Regular and Volunteer Forces as well as staff civilians serving in the defense and security sector.

The commitment shown by government in implementing KPP is through Workshop on PLKN 3.0. This PLKN is one of the government's initiatives in forming a community and young people with a patriotic spirit and a deep love for the country. This program, which involves various races as well, can strengthen national integration. Through this program, youths from various races, cultures and religions can be gathered in one container to nurture the spirit of racial unity. Also, the programs implemented in PLKN cover certain modules, namely physical training, spirit building courses, character building courses and community service. PLKN's physical training does not involve the use of firearms or military training is emphasized in this program. Based on chapter 5 about People in Defence, it addresses the role of the rakyat in Malaysia’s defence both the people in the defence workforce and the rakyat, as a whole. It also describes in what ways both groups play their roles as the core elements of Comprehensive Defence, the second pillar of the national defence strategy.

The defense industry is constantly moving in tandem with progress. Chief’s Circle Talk 2021 is among the programs conducted by the Malaysian Institute of Defense and Security to discuss the direction of defense. The government always strives to the best of its ability and exerts energy to advance and sustain progress especially in science and technology. This shows that the government is committed to ensuring that defense and security are always secure from any physical or cyber threats. In chapter 7, it explains that science, technology and the defense industry are strategic components in an ecosystem national defense to support the three pillars of the national defense strategy. The Government will continue to strengthen existing initiatives by enacting the DIPN that will be a guideline for the development of this sector. The DIPN will provide the necessary incentives and coherent policy guidelines to enhance the capacity of the local science, technology and defense industry. Next, DIPN will contribute to economic growth in the long term.

In conclusion, the main role of the Malaysian Armed Forces is to maintain the peace we have and always be ready to defend the nation's interests and sovereignty. With the establishment of DWP, it can give defence industry a new image. With the guided by DWP's strategic thinking, the community is also to expected to better understand the overall security (HANRUH), that is the responsibility for security lies with all parties. In fact, the defense industry can also be self -sufficient to produce the assets needed locally. It is hoped that the focus will be on expanding the capabilities of the Armed Forces, strengthening our defenses and working with neighboring and other countries to ensure national security and peace in the region can be successfully implemented.


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