“There is indeed a need to visibly demonstrate, via exercises like the Taming Sari, Malaysia's capabilities and national will to defend its sovereignty,” Lai, with Universiti Malaysia Sabah, told BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service.
“This is especially significant following the [Chinese military’ planes'] overflight that ostensibly almost encroached on Malaysian air space at the end of May. Observers suggest that was a possible attempt by the Chinese military to test Malaysia's combat readiness and operational capabilities.”
The six-day exercise, which ended Aug. 12, was the first warfare drill since the COVID-19 pandemic began early last year. Malaysia held similar drills in 2019 and 2014. During the exercise, the Malaysian Navy’s submarine, KD Tun Razak, successfully launched one Exocet SM39 anti-ship missile, while two other ships, KD Lekiu and KD Lekir, launched one Exocet MM40 guided missile each.