KUALA LUMPUR: Based on the story below (the decision to defer the Cougar purchase), Malaysian Defence wonders whether those in power feels that the Armed Forces are a burden, a money “black hole”.
Saying that the Nuri Replacement Programme, an important revitalisation of a national asset could be deferred as there are more important projects that benefited the rakyat, seemed to Malaysian Defence as saying that the armed forces needs are trivial and un-worthy.
If its the case, does that mean that we should no longer sent soldiers to patrol impassable jungles along our border or stationed sailors on deserted out-crops across the ocean with huge oil and gas reserve?
Do not misconstrue this as another criticism against Pak Lah, as no one else had made the pointed out the faux pas , their main bone of contention was about money, either too much or too little.
Unlike many countries, Malaysia achieved its independence peacefully although many of its son and daughters had paid the ultimate price to defend that freedom.
Malaysian Defence understands that the present time call for frugality but saying that the armed forces needs are less important and trivial is an insult to the institution and every one involved – past, present and the future. It is most distressing especially as most decisions on financial matters are beyond the purview of the services.
Eurocopter Purchase Put On Hold – Abdullah From Bernama
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 28 (Bernama) — The government has put on hold the purchase of Eurocopter’s EC 725 Cougar helicopters at a cost of RM1.679 billion until the global economic situation stabilises, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Tuesday.
Abdullah, who is the defence minister, said the decision was made at a meeting of the National Economic Council which he chaired on Oct 13.
“At the moment, the decision is that the purchase of the Eurocopters has been put on hold as we need allocations to fund other projects.
“In the meantime, this is the measure we have taken to face the economic situation. We have therefore put (the purchase) on hold,” he told reporters after attending a Hari Raya open house at the Defence Ministry.
Abdullah said that the government had to focus its attention on more important projects which would benefit the people.
“This does not mean that we will not buy the aircraft; when the financial situation warrants it, we will buy,” he said.
Abdullah said the government would buy the helicopters much earlier than the timeframe of 2011 if the economy recovered.