Brunei set to join trilateral cooperation pact

KUALA LUMPUR: Brunei may join the trilateral cooperative arrangement (TCA) of Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

“The TCA will be expanded to Brunei,” Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (pic) told the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (July 21).

He said the matter is awaiting the approval of the Sultan of Brunei.

He was responding to a question by Wong Hon Wai (PH-Bukit Bendera) on whether or not the pact would be expanded to other Asean countries.

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He also said Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines had agreed to set up a maritime command centre (MCC) within the framework of the TCA.

“The MCC is a communication channel to increase operational and intelligence coordination to support air and ocean patrols,” he said.

The patrols involve air force and navy assets of all three countries.

On a related note, Hishamuddin (BN-Sembrong) said Thailand and Singapore have also agreed to military cooperation with Indonesia and Malaysia in guarding the Straits of Melaka.