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Malaysia Defence Minister Comments On Singapore's Defence
(26 May 2003)

Malaysia Defence Minister Najib Tun Razak has categorised Singapore as difficult to defend. He said that the defence of an island is known as point defence and that the island is regarded as vulnerable to external attacks.

According to war doctrine, point defence is hard to carry out as the area is small and is susceptible to outside attacks. However, Defence Minister Najob Tun Razak commented that Singapore might have a stronger defence system than Malaysia because Singapore sets aside a higher budget for their defence.

Singapore spends 6 per cent of their gross domestic product for defence compared to only 2.5 to 3 per cent for Malaysia.

He stated that the region should continue to be an area of peace and free from the power play of the big powers. He added that Malaysia would not agree if US forces were to have a permanent base in any Asean country.
Regarding future plans of the military's purchases; he said that the government is considering an airborne early warning radar system. Malaysia's military has recently decided to acquire 18 Russian-made Sukhoi fighter jets for US$900 million (S$1.55 billion) to add to its fleet of 18 MiGs, eight F-18s and 28 Hawks. It is also adding 48 main battle tanks from Poland for RM1.4 billion (S$635 million) and will pay 1.035 billion euros (S$2.1 billion) for three French submarines.