Najib asks West to stop 'lecturing' as Malaysia embraces China
Out of China comes news from Reuters that Malaysia's PM Najib has formed a new defence alliance with China and in the process warned "the West" and in particular former "colonial masters", to stop interfering in the affairs of their former client states.
Najib is reported to have said:
“More generally, we believe it is incumbent upon larger countries to treat smaller ones fairly. And this includes former colonial powers. It is not for them to lecture countries they once exploited on how to conduct their own internal affairs today.
“Malaysia and China are united in agreeing on the need to defend the sovereignty of the nation state and in the belief that the individual histories, values and governance systems of different countries must be respected,”This statement is at odds with reports from just six months ago about efforts by the Malaysian Defence Minister,Hishamuddin Onn (Najib's cousin) to "push back" China's intrusion into the South China Sea, with Australia's assistance:
"If the reports we've received from various sources regarding the build-up and placement of military assets in the Spratlys are true – this forces us in a pushback against China"
Australia is a natural military ally,given the 1971 Five Power Defence Arrangement (FPDA) between Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, the UK (Malaysia's former colonial master) and New Zealand .
In June 2015 the UK Parliament was told:
Under the Five Powers Defence Arrangements, the five powers (Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore and the UK) are to consult each other "immediately" in the event or threat of an armed attack on Malaysia or Singapore for the purpose of deciding what measures should be taken jointly or separately in response. There is no specific commitment to intervene militarily. The Five Powers Defence Arrangements do not refer to exclusive economic zones (EEZ) and the enforcement of a state's EEZ rights is a matter for that state; a state may request the assistance of other states in so doing.
Najib has effectively told the other parties to the FPDA that he will from here on go it alone with China .The Arrangements under the FPDA described below are rendered meaningless when one party to the Arrangement, in this case Malaysia, agrees to submit and succumb to China's intrusion into its and adjoining international waters, in defiance of international law. The FPDA is dead
In the process Najib has made Malaysia a strategically irrelevant state.Other parties will have to be relied on by the international community to secure passage via the Strait of Malacca and the South China Sea.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) are a series of defence relationships established by a series of multi-lateral agreements between the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore (all Commonwealthmembers) signed in 1971, whereby the five powers are to consult each other "immediately" in the event or threat of an armed attack on Malaysia or Singapore for the purpose of deciding what measures should be taken jointly or separately in response. There is no specific commitment to intervene militarily. The Five Powers Defence Arrangements do not refer to exclusive economic zones (EEZ) and the enforcement of a state's EEZ rights is a matter for that state; a state may request the assistance of other states in so doing.
The FPDA was set up following the termination of the United Kingdom's defence guarantees of Malaysia and Singapore under the Anglo-Malayan Defence Agreement, as a result of the UK's decision in 1967 to withdraw its armed forces east of Suez. Under the Five Powers Defence Arrangements, the five powers (Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore and the UK) are to consult each other "immediately" in the event or threat of an armed attack on Malaysia or Singapore for the purpose of deciding what measures should be taken jointly or separately in response. There is no specific commitment to intervene militarily." The FPDA provides defence co-operation between the countries, establishing an Integrated Air Defence System (IADS) for Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore based at RMAF Butterworth under the command of an Australian Air Vice-Marshal (2-star). RMAF Butterworth, was under the control of the Royal Australian Air Force until 1988, and is now run by the Royal Malaysian Air Force but hosts rotating detachments of aircraft and personnel from all five countries.
In 1981, the five powers organised the first annual land and naval exercises. Since 1997, the naval and air exercises have been combined. In 2001, HQ IADS was redesignated Headquarters Integrated "Area" Defence System. It now has personnel from all three branches of the armed services, and co-ordinates the annual five-power naval and air exercises, while moving towards the fuller integration of land elements. An annual FPDA Defence Chiefs' Conference (FDCC) is hosted by either Malaysia or Singapore, and is the highest military professional forum of the FPDA and serves as an important platform for dialogue and exchange of views among the Defence Chiefs. There is also a Five Powers Defence Arrangements Ministerial Meeting (FDMM).
John Moore, then Minister of Defence of Australia said, "As an established multilateral security framework, the FPDA has a unique role in Asia. It is of strategic benefit to all member nations and, in Australia's view, to the wider Asia-Pacific region." Malaysia's CDF, former General (GEN) Tan Sri Dato' Sri Zulkifeli Bin Mohd Zin concurred: "We can help each other... and cooperate with one another."
In the latest New Zealand defence White Paper released in June 2016, it was outlined that given New Zealand was a longstanding member of the Five Power Defence Arrangements, it would, "meet its commitments should Malaysia or Singapore be subject to a military attack."
On 1 November 2011, Singapore hosted FPDA's 40th anniversary celebrations, with the defence ministers, aircraft and servicemen from all five signatory countries converging on Changi Air Base (East) to participate in the event. Later, a gala dinner was hosted by Singapore's defence minister - Dr Ng Eng Hen at Singapore's Istana whereupon they called on the Prime Minister of Singapore - Mr Lee Hsien Loong to discuss a multitude of issues. Codenamed Exercise Bersama Lima, the three days joint exercise is tested the readiness and co-operation between all participating countries and concluded on 4 November 2011.
Personnel and facilities
The UK has the following personnel and facilities based in Malaysia and Singapore in support of the FPDA: a small Naval facility at Sembawang in Singapore operated by Joint Forces Command and staff in the Integrated Area Defence System Headquarters (HQ IADS) at RMAF Butterworth in Penang, Malaysia. Staff at Sembawang total three Ministry of Defence civil servants, one Royal Engineer Warrant Officer , one Chief Petty Officer and one Petty officer (RN). The present UK Defence Adviser to Singapore as of 2015 is a Royal Navy Commander. In HQ IADS, it is one Wing Commander, one Squadron Leader, one Lieutenant Commander, one Major and one other rank.
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