Malaysian Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.
Kota Kinibalu, Malaysia, MINA – Indonesia and the Philippines are expanding the joint maritime patrols to include aerial surveillance operations as well, said Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, thestar.com reported.
The Defence Minister said plans were also underway to invite Brunei and Singapore security patrols as part of measur es to stem the threat from Islamic State (IS) in the region.
“If possible, we would want to get all 10 ASEAN nations involved as well,” he said after a Battle of Honour ceremony to pay tribute to servicemen involved in the operations against Sulu gunmen in Lahad Datu in 2013.
He said it was imperative for ASEAN countries to prevent the IS from expanding in the region.
“The IS flag is being flown for the first time is this region,” he said referring to the IS militant insurgency in the southern Philippines city of Marawi that has stretched into its third month.
Hishamuddin said Malaysia was considering acquiring the P8 Orion surveillance aircraft from Japan for the purpose of air patrols.
He said the Philippines government is expected to call for a meeting with defence ministers from the three countries to discuss further joint patrols. (T/RS5/RS1)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)