Mon, 23 May 2011

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said the Malaysian defense industry’s offer to cooperate would be adjusted to local demand.

The ASEAN defense ministers’ meeting last week agreed upon defense industry cooperation between ASEAN countries. The proposal was initiated by Malaysia and was agreed upon by ASEAN nations.

Malaysian Defense Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid bin Hamidi said the cooperation could begin with Indonesia and Malaysia. His government has asked Indonesia to be involved in manufacturing M4 guns.

So far, Indonesia has not agreed to the collaboration. According to Purnomo, it was merely an offer from Malaysia. “We are collaborating with Korea,” he said.

The plan was based on the budget ASEAN countries spend on their weaponry systems, which totals Rp25 billion. “It’s a shame to import weaponry. It’s better to use those from ASEAN,” said Purnomo.

Purnomo said ASEAN only had four countries that were considered to be in TIER-1, or fit to lead the development of the defense industry. They are Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.