KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 — India Malaysia can collaborate on multiple fields in the defence industry, ranging from supply of complex defence platforms like aircraft, ships and others, to jointly working on emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Technology, said the High Commissioner of India to Malaysia B.N. Reddy.
He said New Delhi was also looking at intensifying its engagements with Malaysia including multilateral exercises, regular exchange of military personnel, Defence Research and Development, defence industrial collaboration as well as providing alternative sourcing for Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul (MRO) and spares.
Reddy explained similarities in the organisational structure, ethos and ease of communication rendering both countries to interact more meaningfully.
“India’s defence engagement is an integral part of our enhanced strategic partnership with Malaysia,” he told Bernama in an interview in conjunction with the 65th anniversary of India-Malaysia diplomatic ties recently.
Reddy said that the defence cooperation between India and Malaysia is guided by the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Defence Cooperation signed in 1993.
He pointed out that India has had robust defence engagements with Malaysia over the past six decades.
This includes Staff talks, training exchanges, subject-matter expert exchanges, bilateral exercises, ship visits, delegation visits and others.
Reddy further said that the Indian Airforce Training Team was posted in Malaysia for two years (2008-2010) to train the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) pilots on the Su-30 MKMs.
“Both sides also have a commonality of platforms and we look forward to working together on various defence-related fields. India and Malaysia are also members of various regional and international forums arrangements, thus sharing information and best practices,” he explained.
He said in May this year, the Indian Navy and the Royal Malaysian Navy conducted the bilateral Naval Exercise SAMUDRA LAKSAMANA off the coast of Kota Kinabalu; while in August, the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) and the Indian Air Force (IAF) conducted a four-day bilateral Air Exercise UDARA SHAKTI 2022 (EX US22) in Kuantan.
Indian naval ship INS SUMEDHA recently made a port call to Port Klang.
“The recent visits of the Defence Secretary of India to Malaysia and the Chief of Royal Malaysian Navy to India have further boosted the defence cooperation between the two countries,” Reddy said.
Reddy pointed out the military ‘connect’ between the two countries had been in existence since the pre-Independence era.
“The sacrifices of the Indian Army personnel as part of the British army in the Malaya Campaign and their role in the liberation of Malaya in 1945 (Amphibious Landings at Morib Beach, Banting) are noteworthy. Incidentally, the third Prime Minister of Malaysia Tun Hussein Onn was an alumnus of the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun, and he had served with the Indian Army during the Second World War,” he said.