The Defence Ministry hopes the 2015 Budget to be unveiled on Friday will, among others, focus on the purchase of high- technology military assets to strengthen security of the country, particularly in the waters of Sabah and Sarawak.

Its deputy minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri said there was also a need to increase the number of Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) personnel, especially in the east coast of Sabah, because of the intrusion and security threats lately.

“The threats are mainly in that area now. Intrusion took place last year and there are also other security-related problems. Although these (threats) are by non-state actors, the growing tension in certain areas should be looked into by the government.

“First, we need to equip our people, especially those serving in very difficult areas, with more boats. The budget to be tabled this Friday will, we hope, help Sarawak and Sabah in terms of (strengthening) security,” Abdul Rahim said.

He told reporters this after officiating at the passing-out parade in conjunction with the completion of the Annual Training Camp 2014 of the Royal Engineers Regiment (RAJD) Line Of Communication, in the capital, Wednesday.

On the Islamic State (IS), Abdul Rahim said the military intelligence and the police through their Special Branch were monitoring the group’s movements in Malaysia.

He suggested that meanwhile, more Territorial Army personnel be recruited to counter militant threats.

“They (military intelligence and the police) are working round-the-clock in monitoring this group and our intelligence network is also working with the global networks, as we are very concerned (about the IS threat).

“As you can see, the IS is now progressing so fast towards achieving its goals. It is not in isolation, but associated with many other groups around the region,” he said.

Between April and Sept 21 this year, 19 Malaysians had been detained for alleged involvement in IS. They are believed to have been recruited by four militant cells (Khaed Al Waled, Al Jemaah Brigade, Daulah Islamiyah and Arakan Daulah Islamiyah Arakan), to be assigned to Syria.

On Sept 26, three more Syria-bound Malaysians were detained at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport after being suspected of being supporters of IS.

Earlier, Abdul Rahim in his speech said that his ministry had identified several of the country’s important services such as utility, airport, public air transport and broadcasting services be absorbed into the RAJD volunteer force.

He said defending the country was the responsibility of all and the involvement of every department and agency was important in facing threats from the enemies.