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Malaysia Ministry of Defence

The Ministry of Defence is led by the Defence Minister and assisted by the Deputy Minister. The Ministry of Defence organization contains two main services: civilian and Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF). The ministry is responsible towards the implementation of National Defence Policy and resources provided to the armed forces to defend the country.

Command of the armed forces is vested by the Constitution in the supreme head of the federation, also known as the paramount ruler. All activities of the defense establishment are carried out under his authority, as ex officio supreme commander of the Malaysian armed forces. The Constitution further specifies that all officers hold the paramount ruler's commission and that he has the prerogative of granting mercy in military offenses triable by court-martial. The power to declare war, however, rests with the parliament. Thus, the armed forces are servants of both the paramount ruler and the people, the latter exercising control through elected representatives in the parliament, which determines the size and composition of the services and appropriations needed to support them.

In practice, control of the armed forces was exercised by the National Security Council (NSC). Its members include the Deputy Prime Minister and all ministers with a security-related portfolio, as well as the Information Minister. The chief of the armed forces and the national police chief are also members. Typically, the full NSC meets formally two or three times each year, depending on the issues facing the country. The position of Secretary reports directly to the Prime Minister, and the person serves at the discretion of the PM with no fixed term. The NSC Secretary is equivalent in rank to a Secretary General in a ministry. The Secretary attends cabinet-level NSC meetings.

The NSC office constitutes the Council's professional staff. The office and its Secretary provide advice and recommendations to the Prime Minister on issues of national security. The Secretary can recommend the scheduling of NSC meetings and agenda items. Ministries and agencies proposing security-related activities to the Prime Minister and Cabinet do not necessarily need to pass these proposals through the NSC office. Agencies normally consult the NSC office on such issues, however, and a written NSC position normally must accompany security-related recommendations when these are submitted to the Cabinet.

The Ministry of Defense was the headquarters of the defense establishment but was subject to the decisions and directions of the NSC. The ministry was a completely civilian institution. The minister chaired the Armed Forces Council, which was responsi- ble for administrative, command, and disciplinary matters related to the armed forces. Matters relating to their operational use remained the province of the NSC. One member of the Armed Forces Council was appointed by the Conference of Rulers. Other members included the chief of the armed forces staff, the secretary general for defense, senior staff officers of each service, and, at times, additional military or civilian members.

Joint planning and coordination of the armed forces was accomplished through the offices of the Chief of the Armed Forces Staff Committee. The committee also was responsible for giving the Ministry of Defense and the NSC professional advice on strat- egy and operations and on the military implications of defense policy. It included the chief of the armed forces staff as chairman, the three service chiefs of staff, the chiefs of the personnel and supply staffs of the Ministry of Defense, and the chief of staff of the Ministry of Defense. The ministry was divided into six functional divisions that operated on a combined service basis and the army, navy, and air divisions, which administered their own services and acted as command headquarters.

The Ministry of Defense maintained several training institutions for officers of all three services. The Armed Forces Defense College ran courses on a variety of military subjects for up to 400 officers a year. The Malaysian Armed Forces Staff College prepared officers for command, staff, and managerial positions that were open to field-grade officers. In 1982 the college expanded its syllabus to allow each service to offer courses of interest to its own officers during the second term of the one-year program. The National Institute of Defense Studies was open to officers above the rank of brigadier general. The latter two institutions were located at the Ministry of Defense headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

Ministry of Defence was established on 31 August 1957 and officially began operations in a building located in Brockman Road (now Jalan Dato' Onn), Kuala Lumpur. This building also housed the office of the first Defence Minister, the late Tun Abdul Razak bin Datuk Hussein, who served from 31 August 1957 to 22 September 1970.

The first building of the Ministry of Defence was constructed by the Federal Government at a cost of RM122,000.00 and was officially opened by Tun Haji Abdul Razak bin Datuk Hussein on 18 March 1960. The building constructed in Jalan Padang Tembak also housed the Chiefs and Officers of the Malaysian Armed Forces of the three services. As a result of growing awareness among leaders of the importance of the armed forces, a complex consisting of 6 blocks of 4 storey's high was built in front of the Office of the Member Services Division to cater for the growing membership. The RM 2 million building was officially opened by Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra on 6 April 1967.

After the retreat of the British troops, the Malaysian Government took drastic measures to improve the security of the country from any threat. This task is entrusted to the Ministry of Defence as well as the task of improving efficiency in the management of military needs from time to time.

To accommodate all the agencies under one roof, the government has decided to build a new building for the Ministry of Defence. As symbolic, the foundation stone was laid by the then Deputy Defence Minister, Dato' Abu Bakar bin Datu Abang Abang Haji Mustapha on 10 March 1982. The new building is located at Jalan Padang Tembak, Kuala Lumpur and was built with a budget of RM144 million and was completed in mid 1985. This 20 storey high building is known as "WISMA PERTAHANAN" and provides office space and meeting rooms. The area around "WISMA PERTAHANAN" known as the Defence Complex also provides facilities such as multi-storey car park building, auditorium, prayer room, Field of Defence (Parade Ground), guard stations, towers, computer room, 'helipad', cafeteria and others.

The Ministry of Defence is led by the Minister of Defence and assisted by a Deputy Minister. The organization of the Ministry of Defence consists of two main services. First, is the Public Service which is headed by the Secretary Genera and the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) is headed by Chief of the Armed Forces.

The concept of the establishment of Joint Force Headquarters Rule (MK ICS) was approved by the Minister of Board Meeting convened on April 20, 2004 and Commander-Chief of Committee Meetings to 361 on 16 June 04. The next thing was taken to the Army Council to 340 on July 26, 04 and approved. The Honourable Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Minister for Defence has recommended that MK PAB launched immediately with existing personnel-staffing ATM. MK PAB was launched by the Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Minister for Defence on September 6, 04. It was established to meet the needs of the establishment of a PAB MK-shaped ad hoc before setting Proposal forwarded to a central agency.

After Malaysia achieved its independence on 31 August 1957, the Ministry of Defence was officially operated in a building under the name of Ministry of Defence which is located in Brockman Road (now Dato' Onn St), Kuala Lumpur. The office of the first Defence Minister which was the late Tun Haji Abdul Razak bin Datuk Hussein who had served from 31 August 1957 until 22 September 1970 was also located here.

Few years later, the first Ministry of Defence building was built by the Federal Government at Jalan Padang Tembak, Kuala Lumpur to place the commander offices and Malaysian Armed Forces senior officers of all the three services. The building was constructed with the cost of RM 122,000.00 which was officiated by Defence Minister, Tun Hj Abdul Razak bin Datuk Hussein on 18 March 1960.

In order to accommodate the increasing needs with the expansion of the armed forces towards the control of national security responsibility, a complex which consist of six blocks building as high as four-storey each was built in front of the Personnel Services Division office. The RM 2 Million complex was opened by the Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra on 6 April 1967. Following of the British Government decision to withdraw their armies from this region after 1970, Malaysian Government has taken several steps, Ministry of Defence was required to reorganize Malaysian Armed Forces' need of its expansion purposes.

Realizing this, the government decided to build one new building for Ministry of Defence to accommodate all its agencies. Thus, on 10 March 1982, the foundations of the building had been launched by the Deputy Defence Minister, Dato' Abang Abu Bakar bin Datu Bandar Abang Haji Mustapha.

The new building of Ministry of Defence which is located at Jalan Padang Tembak, Kuala Lumpur, was built with the price of RM 144 million. The construction started in early 1982 and completed in the middle year 1985. The building as high as 20 storeys which is known as 'Defence building' provide office compartments and meeting rooms. Its surroundings which is known as Defence Building Complex also provide some of the facilities such as the tiered parking, auditorium, Surau, parade square, guard station, tower, computer room, 'helipad', cafetaria and others.

On 17 September 2008 Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak swapped ministry portfolios. Abdullah became the new Defence Minister while Najib took the Finance Minister post. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's portfolio exchange from finance minister to defence minister made history. Abdullah, who was previously defence minister for two years since 1986, said he would focus on projects to build homes for soldiers and military officers, which would be extended nationwide. Abdullah said he would be taking over the Defence portfolio and would complete tasks that he had started such as reform of the law and the judiciary and also agencies like the Anti-Corruption Agency. The decision to pass the finance portfolio to Najib was part of the transition of power which was planned to take place by 2010. Abdullah indicated that the transition of power could happen earlier than 2010 depending on the situation.

In October 2008, Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi announced that he would step down as UMNO party president, and by extension as Prime Minister, in March 2009. He endorsed a transition of power to Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

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Page last modified: 13-08-2019 17:09:40 ZULU