Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Retreat set to discuss Aukus impact on SEA security



Retreat set to discuss Aukus impact on SEA security

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Malaysian defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein speaks during Ministerial Question Time in Parliament on Tuesday. BERNAMA

Retreat set to discuss Aukus impact on SEA security

The Malaysian government’s stand on Aukus is clear as it views the regional security pact between Australia, the UK and US as having the potential to undermine peace and stability in Southeast Asia, according to defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein.

“It could also provoke other powers to act more aggressively in this region, particularly the South China Sea,” the Senior Minister (Security) said during Ministerial Question Time in Parliament on October 12.

He was responding to Mohammad Nizar Zakaria, a Barisan Nasional member of parliament for Parit constituency, who asked about the stance of the defence ministry towards the controversial Aukus pact.

Hishammuddin said he had recently met with Australia’s special envoy Vice-Admiral David Johnston and defence minister Peter Dutton.

“In both discussions, I stressed that Malaysia does not want to be dragged into the geopolitics of superpowers,” he said.

Hishammuddin said that during his meetings with Johnston and Dutton, he informed his foreign counterparts that special approval must be obtained from the Malaysian government if Australia intends to enter Malaysian waters, dock at Malaysian ports, or conduct joint-military exercises.

“A special agreement must first be obtained and it will be considered on a case-by-case basis,” he said.

The minister said the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) retreat next month would be an important platform to strengthen regional defence cooperation in light of the Aukus pact.

The ADMM retreat, which will be held in Brunei, will be deliberating on the stance of ASEAN countries towards Aukus.

“In fact, I’m sure this issue will also be discussed there, which will help to strengthen understanding among ASEAN countries over the Aukus pact,” he added.

Hishammuddin said he would also be calling Cambodian Minister of National Defence Tea Banh and his Philippine counterpart Delfin Lorenzana.

“I hope what was bilaterally formed between Malaysia with Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States will help us find ways to balance global superpowers in the region,” he said, adding that the Aukus pact must be collectively addressed by ASEAN countries as a 10-country bloc.

Aukus is a trilateral security agreement for the Indo-Pacific region that was announced on September 15.

THE STAR (MALAYSIA)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Hun Sen: Manet to be candidate for prime minister

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has reaffirmed that his oldest son Hun Manet will be his successor as Prime Minister if he is elected. Speaking during the inauguration of a new sewage treatment facility in Preah Sihanouk province on December 2, Hun Sen said Manet will be