As Expected…

SHAH ALAM: DESPITE the hype about Rafales and the Russian’s Mistral, as expected no contracts were agreed upon during the high profile visit of the French Defence Minister today.

Infact, only the Rafale was discussed during the Joint Higher Defence Strategic Meeting (it has been on offer for the last five years, of course it would!) while the Russian’s Mistral was not even included in the agenda!

The Reuters story on the Star.

“Hisham: Malaysia reviewing French proposal for Rafale fighter jets
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is reviewing a proposal from France to buy Rafale fighter jets but any decision would depend on how affordable the aircraft are, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein (pic) said on Tuesday.”

Of course Reuters spiced up the story by saying Malaysia is reviewing the Rafale proposal while actually they are looking at all of the proposals! However, at least Reuters stated that there was no discussions about the Russian Mistrals.

In the meantime, the New Straits Times reported Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein as saying that Malaysia, France is to enhance intelligence sharing to combat IS.

“KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will enhance intelligence sharing with France in efforts to counter the growing threat of the Islamic State (IS). Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said it would be impossible for Malaysia deal with such threats alone and with France’s involvement, to combat threats together was timely. “Abu Sayyaf, MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front), MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) and BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter) have declared allegiance to IS.

Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/node/98890.

Apart from Hishammuddin, the French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also met with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. The Bernama report is here.

Le Drian shaking hands with Najib. PMO picture
Le Drian shaking hands with Najib. PMO picture

Before meeting Najib, Le Drian also made a stop-over at the Subang airbase, to inspect RMAF sole A400M airlifter M54-01.

RMAF A400M M54-01 landing at Subang airport after performing a flypast on Merdeka Day
RMAF A400M M54-01 landing at Subang airport after performing a flypast on Merdeka Day

I had reported earlier that no significant deal will be signed during the French Minister visit despite the hype about a deal either for the Rafale or the Russian Mistral. And as for totally getting it wrong, the biggest winner should be the Sun Daily.

I guess if you were thinking the contrary I guess you have not been reading the news either the mainstream or alternative media for the last three months! See my report on RMK11 for perspective on the MRCA programme.

Anyhow, Destini Bhd, the new builder of MMEA’s NGPC continue to hog the lime light.

The Star reported Today that:

“Government said to be buying shares in defence contractor

PETALING JAYA: The Government, through the Minister of Finance Inc (MoF Inc), is believed to have acquired a substantial stake in defence services provider and contractor Destini Bhd, a move that would raise the profile of the company.”

So will Destini become like other defence companies in which the Government has a golden share in it, like Boustead Holdings, SMEO and Airod? Only time will tell.

— Malaysian Defence

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