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Oleh/By		:	DATO' SERI DR. MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD 
Tempat/Venue 	: 	THE INSTITUTE OF STRATEGIC AND 
			INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, JLN SS 
Tarikh/Date 	: 	15/07/86 
Tajuk/Title  	: 	THE FIRST ISIS NATIONAL CONFERENCE 
			ON NATIONAL SECURITY 




Yang Berbahagia Pengerusi Majlis; Dif-Dif Kehormat; Tuan-tuan dan
puan-puan, Saya berasa sukacita kerana dapat hadir merasmikan Persidangan
Kebangsaan Pertama ISIS pada hari ini. Saya juga gembira bahawa
Persidangan Kebangsaan Pertama ISIS ini adalah bertemakan Keselamatan
Kebangsaan Menyeluruh.

2. Penekanan terhadap keselamatan menyeluruh amatlah tepat kerana dalam
dunia moden masakini khususnya bagi negara-negara kecil, pertahanan tidak
seharusnya menjadi tugas tentera sahaja tetapi sepatutnya dipikul oleh
kesemua agensi Kerajaan dan tidak kurang pentingnya oleh orang
awam. Segala tanggungjawab dan bebanan yang perlu dipikul janganlah
hendaknya diserahkan bulat- bulat kepada pasukan keselamatan, Jemaah
Menteri atau jentera pentadbiran Kerajaan sahaja. Sebaliknya, seperti yang
telah saya sebutkan di masa-masa yang lepas, pertahanan negara adalah
menjadi tanggungjawab setiap warganegara.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

3. When we talk about National Security, the picture that usually comes to
mind is that of armed soldiers manning border posts or fighting in the
jungle. The more sophisticated and knowledgeable will talk of strategies
when confronting the enemy, of arms and equipment and of military
strength.

4. But security is not just a matter of military capability. National
security is inseparable from political stability, economic success and
social harmony. Without these all the guns in the world cannot prevent a
country from being overcome by its enemies, whose ambition can be
fulfilled sometimes without firing a single shot. All they need really is
to subvert the people and set up a puppet regime.

5. In military terms, apart from the communist guerillas, we really do not
have enemies at the moment. But we do have forces or nations which,
whether consciously or otherwise, are undermining our security. Let us
take the economic field for a start.

6. Malaysia has been doing extremely well economically, achieving growth
of between 6% to 8% yearly. In practical terms this means more money for
more people all the time. It also means a more contented people, less
responsive to subversion and agitation. They are not likely to cause
security problems through activities which demand the time, money and
attention of law enforcement bodies. They are also unlikely to cooperate
with foreign Governments or their agencies to overthrow their own
Government and to set up a puppet regime.

7. But now there is a foreign generated or possibly foreign engineered
recession. It is difficult not to suspect manipulation by undeclared
enemies. How does the price of palm oil fall from $1400 ringgit a ton a
year ago to $550 ringgit now? Palm oil is the cheapest edible oil in the
world. If it is low then the price of its main competitor must be reduced
by at least the same margin. Yet we know that it is impossible for the
production cost of soyabean, for example, to be lowered considering the
high labour cost and the appreciation of the American dollar against the
Ringgit.

8. Subsidies may be the reason. It must be a massive subsidy if the price
is to be so low. The humanitarian and charitable aspect of an aid scheme
is appreciated. But if the producers in Malaysia are made to lose because
of a rich country's desire to do charity, then in reality it is the
producers of palm oil who are paying for this 'charitable act'. It is
obviously a case of 'robbing Peter to pay Paul'. One is reminded of the
Arabs having to compensate the Jews by giving up Palestine because the
Europeans and Americans feel guilty about the crimes of the Germans.

9. But then it is not only palm oil which has gone down in price. Every
commodity has suffered a serious fall in price. With this the economy of
the producers has suffered. Unemployment is rife. Suppliers and petty
traders and all kinds of services suffer. There is less money for everyone
and a general sense of dissatisfaction prevails.

10. In many cases the people turn against the Government. Strikes and
riots take place, aggravating the economic decline. Opportunistic
politicians then move in, seeing in the general unhappiness, possibilities
for seizing power legally or illegally. Suddenly a law and order situation
arises and the security of the nation is threatened.

11. Clearly economic difficulties are a serious threat to national
security. Failure to understand this threat may result in a cycle of
recession followed by political insatibility, security threats and even
greater recession. skillful management of the economy and clear thinking
are therefore an integral part of the strategy for national security.

12. Political stability is the sine qua non of National Security. In a
less sophisticated age politics was confined to a small elite at the
top. They had their intrigues and their quarrels but because there were
only a few of them, political instability did not affect the people
much. Of course, every so often a tyrant would emerge whose rule would
lead to rebellion and insecurity. The solution was simple although often
it was costly. The solution was to force the demise of the tyrant.

13. The modern world is against autocracy. It believes in democracy on the
assumption that the majority, even if it is illiterate and not well versed
in politics, must always be right. The problem is that opportunists,
rogues and foreigners also have access to the minds of the electorate. In
the end it is not so much the wishes of the majority that count. It is
their perception of things presented to them by frequently unscrupulous
and ambitious politicians who may or may not be in league with various
foreign ideologues or agencies.

14. In many countries the politicians divide the people into so many
parties that none can be big enough to rule. All are minority parties,
dependent on ad hoc support by other parties in order to rule. In other
instances a two party system may emerge. If they are evenly matched, a
see-saw effect can result with one party ruling only for one term. Nothing
can be planned and carried out. Nothing will show results as each new
Government tries to prove the previous one wrong. Whatever the situation
with the parties, political stability is difficult to achieve. Preoccupied
with the politics of personal or party survival, security will be
neglected. Obvious crimes can be attended to but disruptions of public
order is not so easy to control. Who can tell whether a peaceful
demonstration will not turn ugly? Who can cope with a multitude of
pressure groups bent on promoting dissent and disenchantment even with the
best and sincerest of Government schemes? Who can deal with disruptive
rumour mongering started for no apparent good reasons? 

15. The modern political environment is clearly instability prone. Unless
the Government is strong enough to take unpleasant measures to maintain
law and order, a security situation will arise. In some cases,the
enforcement agencies may even be rendered ineffective. Efforts at
maintaining law and order merely create new issues which unscrupulous
politicians can exploit to further destabilise politics. An escalation
will take place. Outside interest will help aggravate the situation
further. In the end the security situation becomes untenable.

16. Social problems too can lead to security threats. If a country is
peopled by different ethnic groups or religious adherents, segregation
tends to take place. Similarly the rich and the poor do not live side by
side. Misunderstandings and confrontations go on all the time. Champions
will appear who will only aggravate matters in their attempts to gain
popularity. Eventually there will be instability and a threat to security.

17. The response of the Government to a potentially dangerous internal
security threat and its ability to ensure National Security is no longer
simple. Too early a response might elicit criticisms for heavy
handedness. Yet it is at the early stages that positive results can be
obtained. Usually a democratic Government hesitates until the situation
has obviously developed into a security situation. Then when it does move,
the amount of force that it will find necessary to restore law and order
will expose it to widespread accusations of brutality, etc. Often, of
course, the Government acts too late and a really serious security
situation will develope.

18. When one says that security is not a matter for Government alone, one
is not just repeating a cliche. Security is really a concern of the
people. Of course, some would interpret this as meaning that the
Government should npt act without consulting the people, meaning the
anti-Government activists. But the real meaning of security being a
concern of everyone is that they should not allow a security threat to
arise. This we can do by avoiding disorderly behaviour, by obeying not
just the letter but also the spirit of the laws.

19. The law may be an ass but if you flout it simply because you disagree
with it then orderliness in life cannot be achieved. Similarly if you
flout the law because you think you can get away with it, there will be no
orderliness either. The fact is that if everybody flouts the law, that law
will be unenforceable. If, for example, all the people in this country
decide to undress in public, the equally undressed policemen cannot arrest
anyone.

20. Laws, ethics and behaviour are determined by the people. They must
therefore obey and follow them. If some erred the rest can act to curb
them. Minority rights must be respected but so must the rights of the
majority be respected by the minority. Only mutual respect can lead to a
harmonious society. And only a harmonious society can be a secure
society. Social forces are therefore as relevant to national security as
are politics and economic well-being.

21. But there is still the threat from outside. In modern times invasions
and conquests are no longer fashionable. If you want to take over a
country you instigate internal unrest and rebellion in order to install a
Government that is friendly to you. Therefore, military defence against
conventional invasion is only rarely needed. Sometimes the military is
needed only psychologically to give a sense of security.

22. It is not my intention to dismiss or downgrade the role of the Police
and the armed forces in ensuring National Security. The role of the Police
has certainly expanded beyond that of dealing with common
crimes. Demonstrations and riots and the detection of early evidence of
civil disorder now occupy much of the time and manpower of the
police. Riot squads, special forces and bomb detection and disposal have
to be updated all the time to keep pace with the sophistication of the
politicised criminals and terrorists. Such is the role of the police that
it becomes more and more difficult to distinguish them from the military.

23. As for the military role in security, that is determined by the
perception of the security situation that the country has. It is not often
that a country, especially a small developing country like Malaysia, can
afford to have extensive development as well as maintain a powerful
defence force. Usually a choice has to be made in terms of emphasis
between development and armaments.

24. In Malaysia we think that the contentment of the people is a major
factor in determining security. In any case as the cost and sophistication
of arms and military equipment escalate beyond our reach, we have no
choice but to scale down our budget for the armed forces. Reliance has to
be placed on cooperation with friendly countries and neighbours. Foreign
relations are conducted with a view to making as few enemies as possible.

25. Alone Malaysia has little chance of defending itself against a more
powerful enemy in a conventional war. But the Malaysian security forces
are capable of bloodying the nose of any one who tries to attack this
country. After that guerilla warfare would leave the enemy no time to
gloat over their gains.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

26. I have been able to talk only on a few factors that affect National
Security as I perceive it. There are other factors such as food security,
fuel, etc., which also play important roles. I am sure your conference
will take up all these matters in a more professional way.

27. As leader of the Government I am avidly interested in the contents and
results of your discussion. Academics and professionals will no doubt have
much to say about the conduct of our security that will prove useful. I
hope it will not become a political forum for attacks on the Government
with other objectives in mind.

Tuan-tuan dan Puan-puan, 

28. Sekali lagi saya mengucapkan terima kasih kepada ISIS kerana sudi
menjemput saya memberi ucapan ini. Saya juga mengucapkan selamat
bersidang. 
 

 



 
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