Malaysia steps up anti-terror fight

Updated 02 February 2019
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Malaysia steps up anti-terror fight

  • Defense blueprint to counter rising extremist, cybersecurity threat
  • The defense plan is expected to be tabled in Parliament in July.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is preparing to bolster its national security and counter-terrorism policies under a defense “white paper” unveiled by the government.

The 10-year program will provide a blueprint for Malaysia’s overall defense and security planning, Defense Minister Mohamad Sabu said this week.

The white paper — Malaysia’s first major defense policy shift since 2010 — follows a rise in militant terror attacks in the region and a growing cybersecurity threat.

Farlina Said, a senior analyst at Malaysia’s Institute of Strategic and International Studies, told Arab News the defense white paper will “serve as a confidence-building measure, particularly among Malaysia’s partners.”

Announcing the white paper, Sabu said: “We have to be strategic in terms of what is needed.” 

The defense plan is expected to be tabled in Parliament in July. 

Prof. James Chin, a political expert on Malaysia based in Australia, said the white paper is part of the Pakatan Harapan government’s promise to promote transparency.

The previous Barisan National government tarnished the Defense Ministry’s reputation with allegations of massive spending and corruption, he said.

“There are big problems with transparency.” 

On Tuesday, the defense minister chaired a high-level meeting to discuss the white paper with 75 ministers and high-level officers, including Home Affairs Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali, and Communication and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo.

Terrorism, cybersecurity threats, and defense acquisition and budgets were among high-priority subjects discussed at the meeting.

Said warned that terrorism, cybersecurity threats, and defense acquisition and budgets were among high-priority subjects discussed at the meeting.

Threats of terrorism are not only domestic but also widespread throughout the region via extremist networks, she said.

“Addressing both these issues goes beyond the military.”


FlyDubai ends 2018 with $43.5m loss

Updated 7 min 48 sec ago
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FlyDubai ends 2018 with $43.5m loss

  • FlyDubai CEO Ghaith Al-Ghaith: In line with expectations, 2018 was a challenging year, however we have continued to invest in our capacity and increased revenue
  • The carrier flew 11 million passengers last year, slightly up from the 10.9 million it flew in 2017

DUBAI: The Dubai government-owned budget carrier FlyDubai said on Wednesday that its revenues increased to $1.7 billion in 2018, though the airline ended the year with a loss of $43.5 million.
The airline that flies out of both Dubai International Airport and Dubai World Central’s Al Maktoum International Airport blamed fuel costs, rising interest rates and “unfavorable currency exchange movements” for the loss. It had made $1.5 billion in revenue in 2017, earning a narrow profit of $10 million that year. “In line with expectations, 2018 was a challenging year, however we have continued to invest in our capacity and increased revenue,” FlyDubai CEO Ghaith Al-Ghaith said.
FlyDubai, which now has a code-share deal and tighter relationship with Dubai’s long-haul carrier Emirates, offers bargain flights to locations both served and not by its well-known elder sibling. FlyDubai began operations nearly 10 years ago and its 4,000 staff now serve over 90 destinations.
The carrier flew 11 million passengers last year, slightly up from the 10.9 million it flew in 2017.