Friday, 29 January 2016

Singapore to keep contributing to global anti-terrorism effort: Ng Eng Hen

SINGAPORE: The Republic’s military will carry on deploying resources to the international effort against terrorism as it directly contributes to Singapore’s safety, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Thursday (Jan 28).

Dr Ng was responding in Parliament to questions from MP Alex Yam for updates on the nation’s involvement in the global anti-ISIS coalition.

The House was first informed in November 2014 that the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) would support the multi-national coalition against the extremist threat posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Dr Ng recalled. Since then, there have been attacks in Paris, Istanbul and recently Jakarta. Along with the arrest of the 27 radicalised Bangladeshis in Singapore, these are “unfortunate but stark examples that underscore a truth”, he said.

Taiwan president visits island in disputed South China Sea

TAIPEI: Taiwan’s president, defying criticism from key ally the United States, visited to an island holding in the disputed South China Sea on Thursday and called for peaceful development in the increasingly tense region. 

Accompanied by about 30 staff members, Ma Ying-jeou (MAH YEENG JOH) left the capital Taipei early in the morning aboard an air force C-130 cargo plane bound for Taiping Island, also known as Itu Aba. Taiping lies in the Spratly island group, an area where Taiwan shares overlapping claims with China, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. The city state of Brunei also claims a part of the South China Sea. 

Taiping is the largest naturally occurring island in the area, but has recently been eclipsed in size by man-made islands created by China out of reefs and shoals. 

Thursday, 28 January 2016

The admiral in charge of US Navy intelligence has not been allowed to see military secrets for years

For more than two years, the Navy's intelligence chief has been stuck with a major handicap: He's not allowed to know any secrets.

Vice Adm. Ted "Twig" Branch has been barred from reading, seeing or hearing classified information since November 2013, when the Navy learned from the Justice Department that his name had surfaced in a giant corruption investigation involving a foreign defense contractor and scores of Navy personnel.

Worried that Branch was on the verge of being indicted, Navy leaders suspended his access to classified materials. They did the same to one of his deputies, Rear Adm. Bruce F. Loveless, the Navy's director of intelligence operations.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

MILF forms task force to fight off recruitment for ISIS

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said it has formed a task force to counter the recruitment activities being conducted in the name of the Islamic State in Central Mindanao and nearby areas.

Mohagher Iqbal, MILF chief negotiator, said the formation of the task force came in the wake of confirmed reports that some personalities, claiming to have links with IS, have been convincing people in such areas as Cotabato, Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur to support and join their cause for the establishment of the Islamic caliphate.

“The recruitment activities as well the video of their training that came out were authentic,” Iqbal said.

Navy boat keeps many illegals at bay: Chief

Sandakan: The number of foreign boats detected or attempted influx by illegals into the State's waters has seen a significant reduction since the auxiliary naval vessel, Tun Azizan, arrived at the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (Esszone) here in June last year.

Navy Chief Admiral Datuk Seri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin said he was happy with the performance of the vessel as a base for frontline operations.

"Numerous entry attempts by illegal foreigners have been stopped since the vessel took base in waters off here," he said during his visit to the vessel docked in Berhala waters, on Saturday.

Thousands of Indonesian elite soldiers sent to hunt for Santoso in the forest

Thousands of Indonesian Military (TNI) special forces officers have been deployed to Poso, Central Sulawesi, to join the manhunt for East Indonesia Mujahidin (MIT) leader Santoso.

The elite troops joined police units, such as the Mobile Brigade and counterterrorism unit Densus 88, that had earlier joined Operation Tinombala.

The soldiers arrived in Palu and Poso from Jakarta on board Indonesian Air Force planes and then continued their journey to Poso by car, while others arrived on naval ships directly from Surabaya to Poso.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

MISC delivers new auxiliary vessel to the Royal Malaysian Navy

MISC Berhad (MISC) last Friday handed over to the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) the Naval Auxiliary Vessel BUNGA MAS LIMA (BM5), joining the RMN’s current fleet that will be deployed to safeguard the safety of Malaysian waters and strengthen the RMN’s future maritime defense strategy, MISC said in a press release.

A ceremony to commemorate the handing over of the vessel was held recently at the RMN Kota Kinabalu Navy Base, Sabah and attended by representatives from MISC and the RMN. The event was graced by the presence of YBhg. Admiral Dato’ Seri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin, Chief of Navy and Mr. Yee Yang Chien, President/CEO of MISC.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Tun Razak's Legacy extends to nation's defence and security

IT was a great honour and privilege for me to have been invited to attend The Legacy of Leadership Special Commemorative Seminar on Tun Abdul Razak Hussein on Jan 14. It was most refreshing to hear Tun Razak’s great achievements during his tenure as Malaysia’s second prime minister. 

I do not intend to repeat what was said at the seminar, but suffice for me to add that every one should know and understand his legacy. Speakers extolled various aspects of his nation-building strategy that earned him the title Bapa Pembagunan (Father of Development). 

Friday, 22 January 2016

Security agencies urged to improve intelligence gathering

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19: While co-operation with all security agencies patrolling Malaysian waters is ongoing, there is a need to improve on intelligence gathering, said Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) Laksamana Datuk Seri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Badaruddin.

“Information sharing and patrols must also be done effectively,” he told reporters during a courtesy call from the Pakistan Navy chief of Naval Staff Adm Muhammad Zakaullah at Wisma Pertahanan recently.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Developing the Rooivalk Mk2 would tick many vital boxes

THE South African Department of Defence is considering whether to restart the Rooivalk project, to develop an upgraded version of the strike helicopter for the South African Air Force and perhaps for export.

That will trigger noise, particularly from those who believe the Rooivalk was an unmitigated disaster. 

Objective analysis suggests otherwise, as has become clear from a recent study of the project commissioned by the Department of Public Enterprises to draw lessons for future major projects.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Jakarta attacks could mark start of ISIS campaign in Southeast Asia

Last week's deadly attacks in Jakarta could mark the start of a violent campaign by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in South-east Asia unless more is done to counter the group, experts have warned.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the gun and bomb attacks that ripped through a busy commercial district of the Indonesian capital, leaving four civilians dead and more than 20 injured.

It could have been a lot bloodier, said Dr Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research in Singapore, if Indonesian security forces had not arrested more than a dozen militants over the past two months, dismantling two terror cells in the process.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Najib: More police, army patrols to assure security

PUTRAJAYA: There will be increased police and military presence in public and tourist areas to assure the people of their safety.

This is among the decisions made by the National Security Council, which met on Tuesday to discuss the country's security following the terror attacks which took place around major cities around the world.

Closer to home, a terror attack by the Islamic State occured in Jakarta last week, killing at least eight people.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Hisham: Armed forces ready to be deployed in fight against terrorism

GENTING HIGHLANDS: The military is ready to deploy its assets to specific locations in the country to deal with threats by the Daesh militant group, if required by the National Security Council (NSC), said Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.

The Defence Minister said the issue of Daesh-led terrorist attacks required careful discussions, and the need to involve military personnel should be decided by the NSC chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

South China Sea? For Beijing, Taiwan is the No. 1 security issue

TAIPEI (Reuters) - For China, whose President Xi Jinping is already taking an increasingly muscular approach to claims in the East and South China Sea, the question of Taiwan trumps any other of its territorial assertions in terms of sensitivity and importance.

After eight years of calm in what had been one of Asia's powder kegs, the landslide election of an independence-leaning opposition leader, President-elect Tsai Ing-wen, has thrust Taiwan back into the spotlight as one of the region's most sensitive security issues.

Friday, 15 January 2016

RMAF to take delivery of two more Airbus A400M this year

PETALING JAYA, January 13: The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) will be taking delivery of two more Airbus A400M transport aircraft this year, in April and November.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said RMAF now was already in possession of two Airbus A400M.

"Today RMAF took delivery of the second A400M to meet the country's defence needs.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

China given second warning by Vietnam

HANOI: Vietnam has issued its second rebuke in a week to Beijing, accusing its northern neighbour of “threatening peace” after more Chinese aircraft landed on a contested reef in the South China Sea.

Chinese state media on Wednesday said two civilian planes landed on one of the islands in the Fiery Cross reef in the disputed Spratly Islands, which are claimed by Hanoi but controlled by Beijing.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Philippines Congress proposes retail bond to fund military modernisation

Congress on Monday asked the Philippine government to study a proposal to issue a P150 billion ($3.2 billion) retail bond to fund a long-term military modernization plan to secure its strategic reserves in the South China Sea.

Arnel Ty, deputy minority leader at the lower house of Congress, said Congress will ask the Treasury to consider a bond issue to enable Filipinos to save and at the same time help secure the Philippines’ maritime borders against China’s rapid expansion in the South China Sea.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Current regulations leave RI airspace unprotected - TNI AU Spokesperson

The Indonesian Air Force has argued that the government should pass new regulations to protect the nation’s skies, claiming that foreign planes often entered Indonesian airspace without permission.

“Their is an idea that Indonesia’s airspace is open and not exclusive at all, as many non-scheduled foreign aircraft enter our airspace freely,” Air Force spokesperson Rear Marshal Dwi Badarmanto said in Jakarta recently.

The continuing surge of piracy in South East Asia

The surge of piracy in South-East Asia waters continues as ships passing the Straits of Malacca and Singapore are falling victim to acts of piracy.

Whilst Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia operate anti-piracy patrols in the area, it has limited resources. The sheltered coast and islands also makes it easier for robbers to operate. As piracy rampages on, Indonesia and Malaysia has taken efforts to jointly increase security.

By far, the most significant incident suggests activities going beyond the usual act of armed robbery or theft on board ship.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Arms buried at invasion site

Lahad Datu: A cache of rusted weapons and ammunitions was found buried under a former residential area in Kampung Tanduo here, Monday, raising eyebrows among security forces as to its origins.

According to State Police Commissioner Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun, all the weapons were badly damaged and unusable. Judging by their condition, it is believed that they have been kept underground for more than two years.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

China lands 1st civilian plane on disputed islands, sparks neighbors' military fears

A test flight by a civilian plane landed on an island in the South China Sea, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said. It’s the first time the country has done so in the disputed Spratly Islands. Tensions are now high with neighboring Vietnam and the Philippines.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at the weekend the test flight of a non-military aircraft was intended to check if the runway meets civilian aviation standards and fell “completely within China's sovereignty,” according to Reuters.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

China restructures army aimed at efficiency

China has introduced major changes to the structure of its military as part of efforts to reinforce its armed forces and maximize their efficiency vis-à-vis potential threats.

President Xi Jinping said three new units were created “to realize the Chinese dream of a strong military, and a strategic step to establish a modern military system with Chinese characteristics.”

He said the Chinese army needs to optimize its structure and composition, expedite its transformation from a regional defense force to an international combat one.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Our national security illusions - Nurul Izzah

THE world is witnessing unprecedented rising violence although formal declarations of war are few. Terrorism continues to claim an ever-greater number of lives. It seems to be spreading, irrespective of religious, national or cultural identity.

Customarily, our immediate response to threats and incidents of terrorist violence is to enhance "security" measures with the hope of containing violent extremism. Unfortunately, terrorism continues to morph into newer niches, rendering many counter-measures largely ineffective.

This failure reminds us that perhaps we have not fully grasped the multiple dimensions of the "security" challenge.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Malaysia’s last line of defence - History of the Unit Tindakhas (UTK)

ON Jan 1, 1975, some 100 men from the police force were grouped to form the elite Special Action Unit (Unit Tindakan Khas, or UTK, in Malay).

They were the best of the best – the strongest, toughest and bravest – specially hand-picked to carry out covert operations, take part in dangerous missions, and tackle any hostile situation.

The brainchild of then Inspector-General of Police Tun Hanif Omar, the UTK was formed to equip the Royal Malaysian Police with an elite squad should Malaysia fall victim to terror attacks.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Amid maritime disputes, China confirms building second carrier

BEIJING (Dec 31): After months of speculation, China confirmed on Thursday that it is building a second aircraft carrier to go with an existing one bought second-hand, as neighbours worry about Beijing's new assertiveness to claims in the South China Sea.

Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said the carrier had been designed in China and was being built in the port of Dalian. Foreign military analysts and Chinese media have for months published satellite images, photographs and news stories purporting to show the second carrier's development.
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