• Talks focus on ways to further expand bilateral defence ties, including strengthening industrial cooperation

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 11 June 2023. To further boost India’s ‘Act East Policy’ and strengthen bilateral ties with Malaysia, Defence Minister  Rajnath Singh held extensive discussions with his Malaysian counterpart Dato’ Seri Mohamad Hasan in Kuala Lumpur on July 10, 2023. He also called on Prime Minister Mr YB Dato’ Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim, besides meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia Dato’ Seri Diraja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir.

After touching down in Kuala Lumpur late on July 09, 2023, Mr. Rajnath Singh began his official engagements with a ceremonial Guard of Honour at Ministry of Defence, Malaysia. It was followed by bilateral talks between the Defence Minister & his Malaysian counterpart  Dato’ Seri Mohamad Hasan.

Both sides discussed initiatives to further expand bilateral defence ties, with particular focus on identifying ways to strengthen industrial cooperation. They reaffirmed their commitment to fully implement the Enhanced Strategic Partnership based on mutual trust and understanding, common interests and shared values of democracy and rule of law.

The two Ministers agreed to the next Malaysia-India Defence Cooperation Committee (MIDCOM) meeting which is being planned in India later this year.  Rajnath Singh highlighted the potential of the Indian defence industry with capacity and capability to cooperate with Malaysian Armed Forces in its inventory modernisation and maintenance plans.

Both Ministers approved amendment in the Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation between India and Malaysia signed in 1993, through ‘Exchange of Letters’ (EoL). This amendment will act as an enabler to expand bilateral defence cooperation in the areas of mutual interest.

Later, the Defence Minister called on the Prime Minister of Malaysia  YB Dato’ Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim and conveyed warm greetings of Prime Minister  Narendra Modi. Recalling his successful visit to India in 2019, the Malaysian Prime Minister reciprocated the greetings by highlighting that he has great love for people of India and that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is his personal friend.

The Malaysian Prime Minister expressed appreciation of the strong cultural bonds between both nations.  Rajnath Singh briefed the Malaysian Prime Minister about the fruitful and productive defence dialogue held earlier in the day. The meeting focused on measures to realise the full potential of Enhanced Strategic Partnership.

Rajnath Singh also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia Dato’ Seri Diraja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir, during which they exchanged views on matters of bilateral importance and cooperation in international fora. India’s recognition of ASEAN centrality and importance of peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo Pacific region were discussed. The meeting concluded with India’s assurance to partner Malaysia in its efforts to accelerate self-reliance of the Malaysian Defence Industry.

Later, the Defence Minister felicitated Second Lieutenant Sundaram, a 99-year old INA veteran, who fought alongside Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at Burma border.

This is the first bilateral visit after the establishment of Enhanced Strategic Partnership, which was announced during the visit of Hon’ble Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi to Malaysia in 2015.