Malaysia as a Maritime Nation: Prospects and Way Forward

On November 3rd 2020, The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, together with the Malaysia Institute of Defence and Security (MiDAS) and supported by Ministry of Defence and The Netherlands Industries for Defence and Security (NIDV) organised a webinar titled: “Malaysia as a Maritime Nation: Prospects and Way Forward”. The webinar was also organised in collaboration with DSA Exhibition and Conference.

The webinar brought together numerous government and industry stakeholders in Malaysia and the Netherlands with over 350 relevant stakeholders attended the webinar from both countries.

His Excellency Aart Jacobi, the Ambassador of The Netherlands to Malaysia and Mr. Noorhisham Rosle, the Acting Executive Director of MiDAS delivered welcome remarks. Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob delivered the keynote address for the webinar, highlighting that Malaysia and the Netherlands are both maritime nations that can learn from each other’s experiences and collaborate in related areas. It is worth to note that the webinar was Minister Ismail’s first international engagement since he took office in February 2020.

The webinar was moderated by Datuk Dr. Sabirin Ja’afar, the Director General of Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA). For the first segment ‘Our Future as Maritime Nations’, excellent presentations were done by:

  • Mr. Ahmad Nadzri bin Mohd Hassan Deputy Secretary General (Policy) Policy and Strategic Planning Division, Ministry of Defence Malaysia
  • Associate Prof. Dr. Adam Leong Kok Wey Deputy Director (Research) Centre for Defence and International Security Studies National Defence University (Malaysia)
  • Vice Admiral A.J. de Waard (Ph.D., MSc) National Armaments Director, Netherlands

For the second segment ‘Building the Future Force’, our esteemed speakers were:

  • Brigadier General Dato’ Hj Saharuddin bin Mansor Assistant Chief of Staff (Defence Planning) Malaysian Armed Forces Headquarters (MAF HQ)
  • Dr. Kogila Balakrishnan Director (Client and Business Development), Warwick University Former Under Secretary, Department of Defence Industry, Ministry of Defence Malaysia
  • Commissioner Jan Christiaan Dicke Commissioner Military Production Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, Netherlands

All panelists contributed tremendously to the discussion and presented their ideas well. There are tremendous opportunities for a collaboration and engagement between Malaysia and the Netherlands in defence and security. The webinar certainly provided an avenue for such efforts to take place. We would like to thank each party involved in making this webinar a success!