Malaysia's defence spending will continue to grow as its armed forces had embarked on a long-term plan to modernise and upgrade their equipment.
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today said a total of RM26 billion had been allocated under the 11th Malaysia Plan to bolster defence, public order and enforcement.
"Defence and security are of paramount importance to any nation as they are vital for maintaining territorial integrity and national sovereignty," he said today.
Najib said this while launching the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2017 (Lima '17) in Langkawi.
According to him, Malaysia needed to equip its armed forces with the capabilities required to face modern warfare, both symmetrically and asymmetrically.
"And Lima '17 brought together major aerospace and maritime firms from around the world to demonstrate their state of the art static and aerial displays and cutting-edge technologies," he said.
This, he said, augured well with the need to equip the armed forces with the capabilities to face modern warfare.
"We are very proud that Lima continues to be an effective gateway to one of the world's largest maritime and aerospace growth markets and it has become a mainstay of the global events calendar," he said.
Najib said Lima '17, which is the 14th edition since its inaugural organisation in 1991, had gathered 520 companies from 35 countries representing more than 55 percent of the world's top 100 maritime and aerospace companies.
He said more than 300 defence and security delegations, 55 visiting warships and boats, 106 aircrafts and 467 journalists from around the world also attended the event.
"By the week's end, we estimated that more than 40,000 trade visitors will have walked through the exhibition halls and that is a great testament to Lima's ability to generate business and public interest".
He said the involvement of various ministries such as International Trade and Industry; Science, Technology and Innovation; and Higher Education and Transport had added more value to this year's Lima.
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Kedah Menteri Besar Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah, Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai were among those present at the ceremony.