By : Gen. Tan Sri (Dr) Hashim Mohd Ali (Retired)
Malaysia’s first Defence Minister was very explicit when he elaborated the need for the emerging nation to establish an identity of its own yet recognising the presence of the vast spectrum of challenges it faces, be it in economics, politics, culture, and defence and security, to name a few sectors.
Desirous to harness the aspirations of the people, it was imperative that the government moved in tandem with the changes in the security environment. Our nation-building initiatives could not ignore the three major episodes that will remain in our history since Merdeka – the Communist Threat, Konfrontasi with Indonesia, and the 13th May racial clash.
Today, national integration, economic development and national security remain uppermost in our plans to ensure that the people enjoy peace and harmony. Security and development go hand in hand as both are interlinked.
The demography of the nation has changed tremendously since Merdeka and so has the geopolitical environment of the region. This requires that we formulate a new outlook and framework for national defence and security.
The Defence White Paper now being formulated will define the strategy of the Government to have a nation that is self sufficient and self reliant within the framework of total defence. A proper framework that fits the context of Malaysia Incorporated is essential, and this must include matters related to the defence and security of the nation.