Friday, August 23

Malaysian, Indonesian armed forces to join hands in disaster relief

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Malaysian Armed Forces personnel and their Indonesian counterparts carrying 51 ‘flood victims’ to a safer place during the joint exercise. — Bernama photo

Malaysian Armed Forces personnel and their Indonesian counterparts carrying 51 ‘flood victims’ to a safer place during the joint exercise. — Bernama photo

KEMAMAN: The Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) and its Indonesian counterpart are ready to cooperate in helping victims of natural disasters, especially in Asean countries.

ATM chief of Staff Lt General Datuk Seri Sabri Adam said cooperation with foreign armed forces could reduce the burden and cost in such operations.

“We face natural disasters of various kinds like floods and typhoons in Thailand and the Philippines as well as the tsunami in Acheh, Indonesia.

“From the experience acquired in handling disasters, we are willing to assist and cooperate with the security forces from other nations,” he told reporters after closing the Malaysia-Indonesia land, sea and air joint exercise (LATGABMA MALINDO DARSASA), here, yesterday.

The exercise which began on July 21 and ends today, involves 1,844 participants from ATM (1,281), the Royal Malaysia Police (50) and the Indonesian National Army (TNI)(513).

Sabri said the joint exercise themed ‘Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief’ was organised at the right time looking at the regional situation, in which it required commitment in handling disasters and the affected victims.

He said the exercise which would be conducted every three years is a good platform for both countries to improve their level of professionalism and abilities for application in the field, besides sharing skills, expertise and information.

“This would all enhance the team’s skills and abilities to handle disaster at ground zero,” he said, adding that, such joint exercises would certainly strengthen the relations between both countries and prepare for a closer cooperation in the future.

Meanwhile, TNI chief of General Staff Vice Admiral Dr Didit Herdiawan said the exercises conducted could be used as the role model for other countries.

“If there are any huge disasters such as the tsunami in Acheh and typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, we could use the mechanism and knowledge obtained to help the victims.

“Through this cooperation, if the disasters happened and were out of control, the closest nation to the location could sent early assistance,” he added. — Bernama