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Malaysia, Indonesia to boost border patrols to curb militancy

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia and Indonesia would be adding five more joint command posts along the borders of Sabah, Sarawak and Kalimantan to curb any possible militant movement in the region.
Defence Minster Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (pic) said this is in addition to the four posts already set up along the borders of Sabah and Sarawak.
Fresh from talks with his Indonesian counterpart Ryamizard Ryacudu during the 40th Malaysia-Indonesia General Border Committee meeting held at Wisma Perwira here on Thursday, Hishammuddin said both countries agreed that more needed to be done to maintain security in the region.
"The five posts, along with the four located in Ba'Kelalan, Lubok Antu, Biawak and Seliku, will increase our presence and patrol frequencies to make sure movements of unwanted parties like militants can be stopped," he said to a press conference after the bilateral meeting.
Hishammuddin said that along with the setting up of more posts, the joint trilateral maritime patrols by Malaysia, Indonesia, and Philippines as well as Brunei and Singapore as observers, will be boosted to a three-pronged approach which includes land and air patrols.
The joint air patrols initiative will be launched on Oct 12 at the Subang Air Force Base. He said before the launch of the land patrols, there would be joint exercises between the countries' armies.
Speaking of the conflict situations at Marawi, Philippines, and Rakhine state in Myanmar, Hishammuddin said Malaysia and Indonesia were willing to help its neighbours if asked.
"We do not want to meddle in internal issues of another country but of course, we will help if asked," he said.
He added that the major concern is humanitarian issues like medical aid and the lack of basic supplies like water and food.
"However, another big concern we have is the thousands of displaced people fleeing these conflict zones and are vulnerable to militant and extremist teachings.
"We have to make sure that they are not easily targeted by the likes of IS," he said.
Hishammuddin said the issue would be among the main topics discussed at the 11th Asean Defence Ministers Meeting in Manila next month.
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