KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) is leaving the decision to the Ministry of Health (MOH) on whether to allow or othewise the holding of 2022 Defence Services Asia (DSA) Exhibition and 2022 National Security Asia (NATSEC) international exhibitions in March if the Covid-19 Omicron variant cases go up in the country.

Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein today said, currently, MINDEF still did not know yet the details concerning the variant and its effects on those infected and those who were vaccinated.

He said MINDEF would channel to MOH if it obtained any detailed information on the variant.

“...because we have given the mandate to MOH to make the announcement (on 2022 DSA and 2022 NATSEC) without referring to the Covid-19 Quartet Meeting on Omicron and on our part, to take them to the special conference to be chaired by Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob).

“This is because the proliferation and development of Omicron is very fast and actually there is no waiting time for a meeting.

“Since it is on the issue of health, we will leave it to the Health Minister (Khairy Jamaluddin) to announce,” he said at a media conference with the Minister of Home Affairs Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin after launching 2022 DSA and 2022 NATSEC, here.

In addition, he also expressed the hope to hold the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA’23) but, currently, the focus was given to 2022 DSA and NATSEC first.

“It is my hope (to hold LIMA’23) but we still have time and what we want to see now is that this DSA (and NAITSEC) can be realised and if we can do (them) successfully (in March next year), I feel we can make preparations for LIMA’23.

“We are all aware that the challenges of LIMA is much bigger and we don’t know what will transpire in two years from now vis-a-vis the proliferation of Covid-19,” he added.-Bernama

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