Assistant Minister for Defence David Fawcett hosted Malaysia’s Deputy Defence Minister, Liew Chin Tong, to discuss Australia-Malaysia defence relations.
The Defence Cooperation Program with Malaysia is Australia’s oldest in south-east Asia, encompassing a wide range of engagement activities including training, attachments, senior visits, exercises and strategic dialogue.
The Malaysia-Australia defence relationship is underpinned by the Five Power Defence Arrangements between Malaysia, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand and the UK, which have been in place since 1971.
"I was delighted to meet with Minister Chin Tong to reinforce the strength of our relationship," Fawcett said.
The Australia-Malaysia relationship began with Malayan Campaign in World War II, followed shortly after by the Malayan Emergency and Confrontation between Indonesia, Malaysia and Commonwealth forces.
Since those conflicts, the defence relationship between Australia and Malaysia has continued to develop under the auspices of the Five Power Defence Arrangements and the Malaysia Australia Joint Defence Program. These historical links form the foundation of the continuing close defence co-operation between the two nations.
Fawcett said the meeting with Minister Chin Tong, on his first official visit to Australia, covered the priorities of Malaysia’s new government for defence and international engagement, as well as the strategic importance of a continuing close partnership between both nations.
"The Australia-Malaysia connection is long-standing, based on extensive people-to-people links, shared values and mutual regional interests," Fawcett said.