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The Ministry of Defence Malaysia (Malay language: Kementerian Pertahanan Malaysia; KEMENTAH) is the Malaysian government department responsible for implementation of government defence policy and is the headquarters of the Malaysian Armed Forces (including the Malaysian Army, Royal Malaysian Air Force and Royal Malaysian Navy).
The KEMENTAH states that its principal objectives are to defend Malaysia and its interests and to strengthen international peace and stability. Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is the current defence minister.
Since Malaysia achieved its independence on August 31, 1957, the Ministry of Defence has been officially operated in a building located in Brockman Road (currently known as Dato' Onn Street), Kuala Lumpur. The office of the first Defence Minister, the late Tun Abdul Razak, who had served from 31 August 1957 until September 22, 1970, was also located here.
A few years later, the first Ministry of Defence building was built by the Federal Government at Jalan Padang Tembak, Kuala Lumpur to house the commander offices and Malaysian Armed Forces senior officers of all the three services. The building was constructed at a cost of RM 122,000.00 which was approved by then Defence Minister, Tun Abdul Razak on March 18, 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 RM2 Million complex was opened by the Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman 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 has decided to build one new building for Ministry of Defence to accommodate all its agencies. Thus, on March 10, 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', cafeteria and others.
Ministry of Defence is led by Defence Minister and assisted by the Deputy Minister. 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.
Functions and Responsibilities
- Managing national defence.
- Implementing national defence policy as well as other government policies.
- Providing MAF management and administrative services.
- Managing the allocated resources for national defence.
- Form competent k-Force with the ability to manage and operate sophisticated defence technology.
- Develop Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) as an efficient defence headquarters in implementing combat duties.
- Increase defence technology support through R & D and industry development.
- Strengthen regional defence relationship.
List of Ministers of Defence
- Tun Abdul Razak (31 August 1957 - 22 September 1970) - First Minister of Defence
- Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud
- Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohammad
- Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (1986-1987)
- Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (1990-1995, 1999-2008)
- Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (2008-2013)
- Dato Seri Hishamuddin Tun Hussein (current Minister of Defence)
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