LANGKAWI • At the invitation of the Malaysian government, the Singapore Armed Forces is taking part in the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition.
Singapore's participation in the event since 2001 underscores "the long-standing defence relations between Singapore and Malaysia", Singapore's Defence Ministry (Mindef) said yesterday.
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, who attended yesterday's opening ceremony, met his Malaysian and Indonesian counterparts Mohamad Sabu and General (Rtd) Ryamizard Ryacudu, respectively.
He also interacted with SAF personnel participating in the exhibition. He was accompanied by Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral Lew Chuen Hong, Chief of Air Force Brigadier-General Kelvin Khong and other Mindef officials.
The SAF is displaying one of its F-15SG fighter aircraft, along with munitions like the AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile. In addition, the A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport performed a flypast as part of yesterday's aerial display programme.
In its statement, Mindef said: "The SAF and the Malaysian Armed Forces interact regularly through bilateral exercises, professional exchanges and cross-attendance of courses as well as multilateral activities under the ambit of the Five Power Defence Arrangements and the Asean Defence Ministers' Meeting. These interactions strengthen professional ties and mutual understanding."
The five-day event was opened by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who recalled launching the first edition in 1991, reported Bernama.
He said of the inaugural edition: "It was a bold move for some and baby steps for others. But looking at what we have before us - the development of the aerospace industry today - it was a necessary move to ensure that Malaysia kept up with the catalytic and rapidly growing defence industry."
The first edition involved 172 companies from 20 countries. The latest edition involves business delegations from 32 nations and 406 defence and commercial companies, according to Bernama.