Putrajaya has been urged to state Malaysia’s stand on a new trilateral security deal, which will see Australia armed with nuclear submarines.
In a statement today, Pakatan Harapan’s security committee said Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah should state Malaysia’s stand in Parliament.
“Malaysia is geographically situated in the middle of intense geopolitical competition. Malaysia must make its stand clear.
“In the nation’s interest, Malaysia must clearly state that we are prepared to work with anyone. However, the US and China must defuse tensions, especially in the South China Sea and Asia in general,” said the committee.
The Australia-UK-US (Aukus) pact is a new security, intelligence, and technology-sharing deal. However, the nuclear submarine portion of the deal grabbed the most attention.
The deal will see Australia building nuclear submarines in Adelaide and thus joining a very exclusive club currently limited to six countries - UK, US, China, Russia, India, and France.
Nuclear-powered submarines are stealthier than their diesel-electric counterparts, such as the two operated by Malaysia.
The future presence of Australian submarines will likely upset the balance of power in the region, especially in the contested South China Sea.
China has 12 nuclear-powered attack submarines, six of which have ballistic missile capabilities.