Delivered the Keynote Address at the Statesman Seminar 2019 this morning on 18 Dec 2019, a forum organized by the the National Resilience College (NRC) of the National Defence Education Center (PUSPAHANAS). The National Resilience College only opened recently this year, and sees to the further education of senior MAF officers ranked Colonel or Brigadier-General, or their service equivalents.
With me were the Chief of the Air Force, General Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Panglima Haji Affendi bin Buang, the Senior Adviser to the Asia-Europe Institute, Tan Sri Mohamad Jawhar Hassan, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of UKM, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Panglima Abdul Wahid Omar, and the CEO of Pan Axel Consultancy, Dato’ Rani Ismail Hadi bin Ali.
The purpose of the NRC is to help bridge the gap in understanding between civilians and the military when it comes to national defence and security. Its opening is the cornerstone of a new era in Malaysian civil-military relations, one where there is less adversity and more collaboration between the civil service and the Armed Forces.
This year’s seminar is about the employment of the elements of national power – Diplomacy, Information, Military, and Economics (DIME). In my address, I spoke about the importance of employing these tools of statecraft carefully and appropriately in our new strategic environment. A whole of government approach is absolutely essential if these tools are to be effectively employed towards achieving the aspirations of the country.
In the future, the NRC will include senior civil servants and foreign military officers to further bolster its network. In the long run, their inclusion will eventually create a greater awareness and understanding for the need to incorporate security and defence thinking more thoroughly in policy.