LUNDU, Feb 12 (Bernama) — The Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) /Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) Joint-Post at Jangkar Village near here is a fine example to the world on cooperation against transborder crimes and international terrorism, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.
He said the threat of terrorism from groups like Daesh could not be treated lightly and required close cooperation at the international level to tackle it.
He noted that the terror attacks by Daesh in Jakarta on Jan 14 and in other countries should serve as a lesson for forging closer cooperation as was being done by ATM and TNI.
“Malaysia must strengthen its defence and security capabilities to face transborder cirmes and the threat of terrorism, especially from Daesh,” he told reporters after visiting the Joint-Post, which is located about 103km from the state capital Kuching, today.
According to Hishammuddin, all 10 ASEAN member states had unanimously agreed to cooperate with each other to tackle the Daesh threat.
To tighten border and national security, Hishammuddin also announced the setting up of the Army’s five-battalion strong 31st Border Brigade which will be based in Bintulu, Sarawak.
It will complement the responsibilities of infantry brigades in Sabah and Sarawak in looking after the security of Malaysia’s 2,019.5km border between Sabah and Sarawak and Kalimantan, Indonesia.
“The setting up of the 31st Border Brigade is another step to tighten Malaysia’s border security by the Defence Ministry,” Hishammuddin said, adding that the brigade would also assist the Royal Malaysia Police, local authorities and other agencies to look after public safety and order during security incidents or disasters .
According to Hishammuddin, the brigade will handle its own staffing needs once it gets the go ahead from the Public Service Department and that the move would give 1,021 members of the Territorial Army to be absorbed as regulars.
The brigade will have a staff-strength of 5, 626 personnel when fully commissioned with a big number from Sarawak for their “local knowledge”.