Concept Of Kesban Be Still

Modified: 1st Jan 2015
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The acronym KESBAN is the combination of two Malay words which is stand for ‘Keselamatan dan Pembangunan’ or security/defence and development. KESBAN defined as the sum total of measures undertaken by all government agencies to protect and strengthen the society from subversion, lawlessness and insurgency.It was introduced officially by the late Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Abdul Razak bin Hussein in 1971 when the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) became a major source of concern and exasperation to the government due to insecure environment created by the CPM. Subsequently, KESBAN Belt introduced by National Security Council Directive No 11 on 5th Feb 1980 included area of 24km south of Malaysia-Thailand border with the length of 580km.


Concept of KESBAN

KESBAN concept emphasize on two most important aspects, Internal Security (IS) and internal development (IDEV). The IS aspect is the province of the armed and uniformed (military and police) whereas the IDEV mainly involves all the civil governmental agencies responsibilities towards the development in the country.

IS emphasizing on full range of measures taken by the security forces to protect the society from subversion, lawlessness and insurgency through the conduct of tactical operations to destroy the Communist Terrorist (CTs) and their entire network.IDEV emphasizing on the activity that leading towards the attainment of balanced social, political and economic development as part of nation building.The tactical operations conducted by the security forces designed to establish control of the contested areas and will assist the implementation of IDEV activities by the others government agencies.

Strategy of KESBAN

KESBAN, as discussed in conceptual terms, may be placed in useful perspective by viewing KESBAN strategy as being composed of three interdependent components, balanced development, mobilization, and neutralization.

  1. Balanced Development. Attempts to achieve national goals through balanced political, social, and economic development. It includes activities to alleviate frustration by providing opportunities to individuals and groups within the society.
  2. Mobilization. Includes all activities to motivate and organize the populace in support of the government through KESBAN programmes as well as activities to protect the populace from insurgent actions.
  3. Neutralization. Includes all lawful activities to disrupt, disorganize, and defeat an insurgent organization.

Vision 2020

Vision 2020 was introduced by Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad (fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia) in 1991. The ultimate objective that aimed is to transform Malaysia from developing country to fully developed country by the year 2020. There are nine challenges that need to overcome in order for state to achieve the mission.


The Communist Party of Malaya has surrendered on 2nd Dec 1989 due to the lack of support from the people who are not confidence with their struggle.The CPM’s surrendered also signed the success of KESBAN concept in fighting the insurgency.

The fall of CPM in Malaysia draw the KESBAN concept towards the new dimension. However the concept was still remained in term of responsibilities by all of the government agencies involved.  It is impossible to achieve development without stability internally. It only can achieve with the national unity.

The military primary roles currently is to protect our sovereignty from external threat while the others government agencies concentrated to develop the country. The secondary roles of military are to assist the Royal Malaysian Police and other civil authorities in the maintenance of public order. In time of national disaster, the military would continuously contribute and assist the civil authority in national development. 


The relevance concept of KESBAN will be look and discussed into two aspects , which are Internal Security and Internal Development.

Internal Security

Factor will cover under Internal Security as follows:

  1. Intelligence. The continuous gathering intelligent information is very essential in Internal Security. Even though the CPM has been surrendered, the new type of terrorist could exist such as Jemaah Islamiah and Al Maunah in year 2001. The establishment of Military Intelligent Officer and Police Special Branch within the area of responsibility was the best precaution.
  2. Tactical Operations.The tactical operations by the military especially within Malaysia-Thailand Border are still remaining until today. However the regular forces only deployed in inaccessible area in the deep jungle such as in Kedah and Perak. The rest of the area within the KESBAN Belt manning by the Border Security Force which was introduced in 2007. Right now the threat is changes from CPM to non traditional threat like drug smuggling, human trafficking, rice smuggling and others.
  3. Psyops/Psywar. Those days CPM was conducted physically operation using printed leaflet in order to win support from the supporter. Right now  the millennium threats will be more complicated, the will use information’s and technology such as internet and blogs as a platform for spread their propaganda’s.  To overcome this problem government use a mass media such as television, newspaper, billboard and create some act like Information Act in order to prevent the new technology has being manipulate by the threat. 
  4. Civic Action. Civic action is a major contributing factor in developing a favourable image of the government in the eyes of people. The military roles currently implemented through the programme TenteraMasukDesa or GerakanJiwaMurni under the Military Civic Action project which focusing in rural areas. They use concept gotongroyongto built up the house,  clean the mosque and the beach. More than that, military medical department also play their role when go to rural area and give a free treatment to the poor villagers. All this action actually can give a good perception for the government and strengthen their support from rural area.

Internal Development

Factors under Internal Development as follows:

  1. Political Stability.The concept of national front which encompasses the three main political parties has been evolved through maturity and pragmatism of the political development. Political stability affects national security in Malaysia since any instability will bring about internal insecurity and a host of other factors that will weaken the state, such as investor confidence and unemployment thereby causing an economic slowdown.
  2. Social Development.Social development is based on attitude and value changes to a greater degree than is necessary in either political or economic development. Introduction of 1Malaysia concept by current Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Mohd Najib bin Tun Hj Abdul Razak in 2009 was the first step taken to attain the first challenges towards vision 2020 strategy. This concept required the effort from all government agencies to implement it.
  3. Economy.National unity remains the ultimate goal of socio-economic development because the government realized that a united society is fundamental to the promotion of social and political stability and sustained development. Vision 2020 will not be achieved if the development of economy stagnant. However, National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC) appointed by the Prime Minister was the most important council to monitor the economic development.


After communist insurgency consider eliminated on Dec 1989, internal security and  internal development must be continuously progress. All security aspect (internal security) must be maintained and enhancing accordingly in order to facing the threat in this new globalization era. Development is a continuous agenda of the government to transform Malaysia from developing country to developed country in the year 2020. Development cannot be realized without the guarantee of security. So, base on the concept of security mentioned above, concept of KESBAN is still relevance in the year 2020 but with the difference approach. The difference is only the aim of the approach where during first initiated, KESBAN was to counter the communist insurgency, whereas now it is part of counter measure to maintain the cultivate the progressive development of the nation.


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