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MINDEF Explores Establishing New MAF Service, Focuses on Cyber and Electromagnetic Domains

KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 – The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) is currently studying the suitability and necessity of establishing a fourth service under the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) specifically focusing on cyber defence and electromagnetic domains.

Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, stated that the development of this fourth service is in preparation for the Future Force (AMH) to counter non-traditional threats and cyber intrusions into government cyberspace.

According to him, the ministry will focus on developing capabilities or expertise in the cyber and electromagnetic domains, which are crucial for technology-based comprehensive defence.

“This includes strengthening the defence intelligence of the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF); developing Cyber Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA) capabilities,

“Enhancing intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities,

“Developing Network Centric Operation (NCO), developing Satellite Communication (SATCOM) to enhance Command and Control capabilities,” he explained in the Senate today.

He said this in response to questions raised by Datuk Noraini Idris regarding the expertise that forms the backbone of the Future Force and the ministry’s readiness to counter non-traditional threats and government cyber intrusions.

He added that during the Mid-Term Defence White Paper Study (KPP), the ministry is examining several crucial aspects of AMH development, including strengthening the capabilities and expertise of MINDEF and MAF.

“This means that it is not impossible for the Ministry to be more proactive in recruiting hackers and the best talents in digital technology out there to join our national defence forces,

“Examples of expertise and human resources needed are in fields such as computer engineering; cyber technology; pentesters (testing the integrity and resilience of technology); artificial intelligence; cryptography (encryption); Big Data, and satellites,” he further elaborated.

Furthermore, he said, the ministry is in the process of empowering aspects and technologies to ensure the formidable capabilities of the MAF.

“The ministry is identifying and listing the necessary aspects, including providing strength up to at least one squadron,

“This is a current requirement and trend that has been given attention by many other countries. In fact, there are countries that already have specialized services related to Digital and Intelligence Services (DIS),” he clarified.

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