Malaysia is preparing to launch a national defence industry policy to boost efforts towards self-reliance, the country’s defence minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has stated.
The new ‘National Defence and Security Industry Policy’ is currently being drawn up, he said, to position Malaysia as producer of military platforms, with the aim to reduce reliance on imports and spur the national economy.
However, the minister indicated that the plan is reliant on partnerships with foreign industry, who would be expected to transfer technologies and knowhow.
Ismail said that the new policy would look to support developments similar to those achieved by India and Indonesia, which have both advanced domestic industrial capability by leveraging partnerships with international defence firms.
Malaysia’s Deftech has produced the AV8 Gempita armoured fighting vehicle in collaboration with Turkey’s FNSS. The government has indicated that it wants to expand such projects, with the aim to support local capability development.
He added, “We have been co-operating with some countries and now the phase of technology transfer is in progress. When this is completed, we will be able to produce our own military assets.”
The minister was referencing Malaysian military production projects such as the programme to build the AV8 Gempita 8×8 wheeled armoured fighting vehicle (AFV) for the Malaysian Army through a partnership between DRB-HICOM Defence Technologies (Deftech) and Turkish company FNSS Savunma Sistemleri, a joint venture between Nurol Holding of Turkey and British group BAE Systems.
The requirement for a new national defence industry policy was outlined in Malaysia’s Defence White Paper, which was published in December 2019.
The White Paper said the industry policy should be focused on human capital development, technology development, industrial development, self-reliance, and global market penetration.
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