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A Balance is Needed between MAF’s Primary Role and its Role in CIMIC – Gen Tan Sri Affendi Buang

2022_Putrajaya Forum

KUALA LUMPUR: There must be a balance between the primary task of the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) to defend the country from external threats and its role in Civil and Military Cooperation (CIMIC), said Armed Forces Chief Gen Tan Sri Affendi Buang.

He said while the MAF was streamlining its primary task, due consideration was also given to performing its secondary role in addressing non-traditional security challenges facing the country.

According to Affendi, non-traditional security challenges include fighting terrorism and extremism, cross-border crime, piracy and robbery at sea, humanitarian and disaster relief, human trafficking, smuggling and cybercrime.

CIMIC, which was first introduced to address the communist terrorist uprising in 1950 under the Briggs Plan, works within a multi-level framework at the Federal, state and district levels to examine the development of both security and development, he said during a panel at the Putrajaya 2020 Forum entitled Evolution of Civil-Military Cooperation: Adapting to New Securities Realities here on Tuesday.

“The MAF needs to continue to employ experts in CIMIC related to modern security threats. In addition, we also need to not only be prepared for CIMIC locally but also externally,beyond the reach of the agencies involved,” he said.

Other panel members at the forum were South African Armed Forces Commander Gen Rudzani Maphwanya and HELP University Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Prof Datuk Zakaria Ahmad.

Affendi said it was fortunate that the government through the National Security Council was aware of the issue and was actively addressing it.

He said with non-traditional security challenges becoming increasingly complex and diverse, the modus operandi of MAF’s CIMIC needed to be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

Affendi said the MAF had embraced the principles of Civil Control Over the Army since its inception and the success in dealing with various non-traditional security threats could be attributed to CIMIC’s dynamic, holistic framework and tested by professional and competent staff. “Our success has earned the respect of the people and provided a strong platform in building confidence among the people,” he said.

However, he cautioned not to be overwhelmed by past successes, while emphasizing the conflicts and disasters happening in the world proved once again that non-traditional security threats and emergencies are complex and dynamic.

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