Malaysia looks into potential defence cooperation with Turkey

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ISTANBUL (July 26): Malaysia is looking into potential defence cooperation with Turkey in an effort to produce its own military products, Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.

He said the effort, however, will take some time and need a lot of money to be realised.

“Not many countries are willing to transfer their technologies to us, but Turkey has promised to provide all that we need in terms of manufacturing technology and etc. They are prepared to give their cooperation,” he told the Malaysian diaspora at a hi-tea event here on Friday.

Dr Mahathir is here for a four-day visit to Turkey at the invitation of Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan.

Elaborating, Dr Mahathir said such cooperation in the defence industry was inevitably necessary.

“We are an independent sovereign nation, but in order to defend our country’s independence, we have to get appropriate weapons from other countries.

“If they, the foreigners, refuse to give us the weapons, we cannot defend the independence of our country.

“It’s not that want to go to war, it’s just that we have to have the capability to defend our country. If we are still depending on others, it means that we are not fully independent,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said even to build an aircraft, a country would need technology transfer.

“One of the approaches is by collaborating with other countries. When we want to produce our first national car, we collaborated with Japan.

“Today, we no longer depend on Japan because we have obtained the technology and the expertise to produce our own cars,” he added.