With office in Malaysia, Indian defence major HAL establishes footprint in South-East Asia
India and Malaysia are identifying ways to strengthen industrial cooperation
In a major step towards harnessing the potential of India's defence exports, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the Regional Office of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Tuesday (July 11, 2023).
The regional office will facilitate close defence industrial collaboration between India and Malaysia. It will also serve as a hub for HAL’s engagement with the wider South-East Asian region and act as a window for other Indian Defence Public Sector Units (PSUs), India's Ministry of Defence said.
On Monday (July 10, 2023), Defence Minister Singh held extensive discussions on strengthening bilateral ties with his Malaysian counterpart Dato’ Seri Mohamad Hasan in Kuala Lumpur. He also called on Malaysian Prime Ministe YB Dato’ Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim, besides meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs Dato’ Seri Diraja Zambry Abd Kadir.
This was his first bilateral visit after the establishment of the India-Malaysia Enhanced Strategic Partnership, which was announced during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Malaysia in 2015.
Talks between the two Defence Ministers covered initiatives to further expand bilateral defence ties, with particular focus on identifying ways to strengthen industrial cooperation.
INTERACTION WITH THE INDIAN DIASPORA
Malaysia is home to the second largest members of Persons of Indian Origin PIOs) and has a significant presence of the Non-Resident Indian (NRI) community. While in Kuala Lumpur, Defence Minister Singh interacted with the Indian diaspora on two different occasions.
During the first event, he appreciated the rich legacy of Indian classical art tradition in Malaysia as witnessed in the presentations of Odissi dance as well as the Carnatic and Hindustani music performances by renowned Malaysian artistes.
In a separate event, Defence Minister Singh interacted with the members of the diverse and vibrant Indian community in Malaysia, including the leaders and members of various Indian community organisations in the country. He appreciated their deep-rooted and close connect with India.
His other engagements included visiting the Ramakrishna Mission in Petaling Jaya and offering floral tribute to the statue of Swami Vivekananda which was unveiled by Prime Minister Modi in November 2015. He also visited the iconic Batu Caves temple premises and offered his prayers.
In addition, the Indian Defence Minister paid a visit to the Torana Gate at Brickfields, a symbol of friendship between India and Malaysia, which was also inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi in November 2015. He later visited Kortumalai Ganesar Temple, Kuala Lumpur and offered prayers to Bhagwan Ganesh.