Four-day show championed international bilateral cooperation with a clear message – Malaysia is open for business!

The highly anticipated Defence Services Asia (DSA) and National Security (NATSEC) Asia 2022, which are globally recognised as one of the top five and most efficiently organized defence and national security exhibitions in the world, concluded successfully on 31 March at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) – just a day before Malaysia officially reopened its borders in its transition towards the endemic phase of its Covid-19 management.

Senior Minister of Defence, Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin bin Tun Hussein, described the show as a resounding success, which signalled that Malaysia was truly open for business.

“DSA & NATSEC Asia 2022, jointly organised, hosted and supported by the Defence and Home Affairs ministries, as well as the Malaysian Armed Forces, was the biggest event of its kind to be held in Malaysia in recent times. Even though it was not open to public, a total of 35,567 trade visitors were recorded, exceeding the initially targeted 25,000 trade  visitors. Meanwhile, the events also witnessed 380 VIP delegations (foreign and local) as well as 1,096 participating companies and 20 international pavilions,” he said.

Promotion of bilateral cooperation

Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin also added that he met with five of his counterparts from Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Brunei and Maldives, while having bilateral meetings with these nations, which promoted the strengthening of regional and bilateral cooperation between our nations.

Prime examples of this include the agreement to convene the General Border Committee MALINDO meeting in July 2022 between Malaysia and Indonesia to discuss the progress of joint border posts.

The events at DSA and NATSEC Asia 2022 also saw the exploration of defence cooperation between Malaysia and Brunei, particularly in joint counter-terrorism exercises, including the possibility of increasing the number of Royal Brunei Armed Forces personnel under Malaysia’s United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

Meanwhile, talks were also held for Malaysia to provide more training seats to the Maldives Armed Forces with proposals to have an MoU on defence cooperation with Malaysia.

Advancing Malaysia and the region into a new era of defence and security

The show – which saw signings of Memoranda of Understanding, Letters of Agreement and contracts worth over RM7 billion by the Ministries of Defence and Home Affairs – also marked the second edition of NATSEC Asia, further cementing DSA & NATSEC Asia’s status as being the only show of its kind anywhere in the world to feature both defence and national security-related issues side by side, on the same platform.

“The MoU and Contract signing ceremony by the Ministry of Home Affairs is also symbolic of the Government’s efforts to ensure national security is protected from all threats by prioritizing the acquisition of strategic assets, in addition to supporting the theme of the DSA and NATSEC Asia 2022 exhibition which is “Advancing into a New Era of Defence and Security”. Hopefully, this effort will augment our commitment to preserving Malaysia’s national security, said Minister of Home Affairs, Dato’ Seri Hamzah bin Zainudin.

Aside from the obvious economic and geopolitical benefits, DSA & NATSEC Asia have also contributed to Malaysia’s improved ranking in several global indices.

For instance, as of last year, Malaysia ranked 23rd out of 163 countries in the Global Peace Index, and 25th in the World Competitiveness Index. Malaysia’s national crime index also dropped to 148 cases per 100,000 population, which contributed to the increase in the security level of Malaysians to 64.67 per cent, as of last year.

The biggest event in Malaysia since the pandemic

DSA & NATSEC Asia 2022 was the biggest event of its kind to be held since the pandemic, occupying more than 38,000 square metres at MITEC. Among the key highlights of DSA and NATSEC Asia, 2022 was a Cyber Defence and Security Conference which highlighted the need for nations to come together to formulate a cohesive plan of action to defend against cyber-related attacks and threats.

Meanwhile, the Putrajaya Forum saw the coming together of policymakers, defence and security agencies, think tanks and academicians to discuss and share knowledge to promote understanding on Regional and International defence and security issues. Themed “Shared Regional Responsibility”, YB Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin delivered the keynote followed by 1st sessions topic on “Broadening Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific” the Senior Minister of Defence along with H.E. Dr Ng Eng Hen, Minister of Defence Singapore and HE Delfin Negrillo Lorenzana, Secretary of Defence The Philippines answered questions from the participants.

Since the start of the series more than three decades ago, DSA, and lately NATSEC Asia, has been highly heralded as among the best displays of the most sophisticated hardware and electronics of land, air and sea, featuring cutting-edge technology in the areas of cyber domains, border protection, citizen identification, artificial intelligence, battlefield healthcare, training and simulation systems, police and homeland security peripherals, as well as protection systems of critical assets.

Like preceding events, the success of DSA and NATSEC Asia 2022 has set a number of benchmarks in global defence and national security, as the region moves into a post-pandemic era.

In summing up the success of the 17th edition of the DSA series – now in its 34th year – DSA Exhibition and Conference Chairman Tan Sri Asmat Kamaludin said that organising this year’s show posed the biggest challenge in its entire history.

“Having postponed what was to be DSA and NATSEC Asia 2020 two years ago, makes this year’s show all the more meaningful and crucial, especially in these times. The success of DSA and NATSEC Asia 2022 bears tremendous testament to the years of preparation and planning that has gone into organising this show.”

Preparations for the next edition of the show – DSA and NATSEC Asia 2024, scheduled for 6-9 May 2024 at MITEC – are already underway.


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