PETALING JAYA: With reference to the news article below, it is my contention that Jalan Padang Tembak is walking on air, literally.
How else can one explain the plans to spend more than RM15 billion within the next five years for new arms when the annual budget is only RM11 billion? And it got to RM11 bilion mostly to unplanned requirements. With additional !8 jets (Flankers), six ships and two submarines and an armour regiment, how is it our defence budget is lower than four years ago?
And with 70 per cent of the budget going to salaries and allowances how is the armed forces coping with the ever smaller budget?
The minister said that the additional money was needed to maintain the two submarines and for administrative purposes.
Did something happened to either submarine or the Navy simply forget to ask for the money last year when they were preparing the budget? The minister said yes but its probably that the request was axed for other things. Its either that or the two submarines had been tasked with more duties than originally planned hence the extra maintenance cost.
We all know submarines need to undergo maintenance for one month following three months of service so any additional maintenance cost is really puzzling.
And did the other additional funds were needed to pay for our foray into Afghanistan? Since we will never get to find out more about this we might as well pray that the defence budget for 2011/2012 is around RM15 billion to cater for all additional requirements and operational needs. But with our luck, the budget will be increased but at the same time the salary of soldiers are raised (this is an election year any way) which is good for them but put us back into square one again!
From The Star.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Defence Ministry received an additional allocation of RM493.3mil this year, raising the ministry’s budget to a total of RM11bil.
Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the supplementary budget was needed to maintain the country’s two Scorpene submarines as well as for administrative purposes.
“The main purpose is to maintain our Scorpene submarines as that expense was not included in the budget,” he told reporters Tuesday.