KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is ranked the 16th most peaceful country in the world, according to the Global Peace Index (GPI) 2019.

Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu said Malaysia was also deemed the third most peaceful country in Southeast Asia behind Japan and Singapore.

“This GPI report is important and should be highlighted as it will attract foreign investors and tourists to the country.

Mohamad Sabu

“Right now, we are in a good position compared to the 26th in 2018 and it’s (something) to be proud of. We hope (the good ranking) will continue in the future,” he said when appearing as a guest on the TV1 ‘Bicara Naratif’ programme, which was aired live Monday night.

At the same time, Mohamad said the ministry was also committed to improving security in Sabah and Sarawak to counter external threats and encroachment including the series of kidnapping incidents.

Mohamad said the security in Sabah and Sarawak was under control with the operations conducted by the three military wings — army, navy and air force.

“In fact, the MAF (Malaysian Armed Forces) also maintains its commitment and role with the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) by strengthening security controls in the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone),” he said.

He added that the cooperation with Indonesia and the Philippines was also strengthened to counter the issue.

“In fact, the close relationship has led to the drop of crime in areas that are considered hot spots,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mohamad described 2020 as the year of preparation for the start of the Defence White Paper (DWP), which is the roadmap and strategic action plan for Malaysia’s defence and security industry in addressing the increasingly challenging and sophisticated threats for the next 10 years.

The DWP was tabled and passed by the Dewan Rakyat on Dec 2, setting out the strategic direction of the country’s defence for a period of 2020 to 2030 to protect Malaysia’s interests and defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity. – Bernama