Toh (left) and Subiyanto salute their men during the opening ceremony of the Kekar Malindo training exercise.

KUCHING: More than 700 army personnel from Malaysian and Indonesia are taking part in an annual bilateral training exercise aimed at increasing the readiness of the armed forces of both countries.

The ‘Keris Kartika Malaysia and Indonesia Exercise’ or Kekar Malindo is being held here and in Serian over the next two weeks until Sept 22, and involves personnel from the Third Infantry Brigade and Indonesia National Armed Forces (TNI-AD).

“The exercise will provide a platform for us to share and examine our doctrines, standard operating procedures and guideline between both countries,” said First Infantry Division commander Major General Dato Toh Choon Siang in his speech during the opening ceremony at Muara Tuang Army Camp here yesterday.

He added that the Malaysian soldiers would make full use of the exercise to exchange skills, knowledge and experiences with their Indonesian counterparts.

Also in attendance at the opening ceremony was Kodam VI/Mulawarman commander Major General TNI Subiyanto, Indonesian Consul-General in Kuching Yonny Tri Prayitno, and Third Infantry Brigade commander Brigadier General Mohd Bustaman Mat Zin.

The Kekar Malindo exercise started in 1976 following the Malaysia-Indonesia Joint Border Committee conference in 1972 in Indonesia. Both countries take turns to host the exercise, with last year’s series held in Tarakan, North Kalimantan.