THE Malaysian Armed Forces is the highest symbol of our sovereignty and independence for risking their life for the people and the country. As the former Defense Minister from April 9, 2009 until May 16, 2013, I personally salute them.
Like other armed forces, TDM plays an important role in protecting the sovereign territories of Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak. They started off with the Royal Malay Regiment who fought against the Japanese invasion until the day we achieved Independence.
They were also against the communists, involvement in the 1969 Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation and combating cross-border crime.
TDM’s ability in the modern era was tested again when the country faced the threat of terrorist aggression in Lahad Datu on 11 February 2013. Together with members of VAT69, TDM devoted endlessly to expel the intruders.
Their involvement in the military aspect is not only domestic but also took part in the United Nations mission in war-torn countries. For that, we can conclude that TDM is a strategic perspective of the country that must continue to be strengthened.
And for that very reason, I have created a comprehensive National Defense Policy as the minister in-charge then in 2010. The BN government at that time knew that defending the country was a matter of paramount responsibility.
We shouldn’t’ be complacent and at comfort as conflicts or chaos can break out anytime. We enjoy peace and freedom because of the existence of peace contributed by security forces, especially the armed forces.
To ensure that military skills are enhanced, TDM forges military ties with world powers and Asia Pacific to add value to the country’s defense aspects.
TDM protects the country by strengthening its own resources and capabilities to preserve the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.
On this occasion, I wish them Happy 88th Army Day and may they continue to advance for our beloved country.
AHMAD ZAHID HAMIDI