SHAH ALAM: Budget 2019. Defence and Home Ministries. The national security sector – Defence and Home ministries – were allocated RM29.5 billion from a total allocation of RM314.5 billion of the 2019 budget. The allocation for the Defence Ministry under the 2019 budget has been set at RM13.9 billion, a reduction of RM1.5 billion from last year’s funding of RM15.4 billion.
From the RM13.9 billion, RM10.2 billion is allocated for the Operating Expenditure (OE), down by 15.8 per cent compared to 2018’s figure of RM12.2 billion. The Development Expenditure however saw a marginal increase from RM3.297 billion in 2018 to RM3.647 billion this year.
The Home Ministry received an allocation of RM15.62 billion an increase of some 300 million compared to last year’s one of RM14.7 billion. The OE allocation decreased by RM40 million to RM12.565 billion from RM12.9 billion in 2018. The increase in allocation for this year is for the DE which rose to RM3.087 billion this year compared to RM1.847.
This is likely due to the inclusion of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) which was previously under Prime Minister’s Department since it was established in 2005. Interestingly, the MMEA is getting RM469 million under the DE in the budget though most likely this is the payments for the NGPC and OPV.
Apart from MMEA, the Home Ministry is also now responsible for the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) previously also under the Prime Minister’s Department. For 2019, ESSCOM is getting an allocation of RM74.5 million compared to RM36.7 million. As usual no details were provided for the DE spending.
As for the OE for the military, it appears all three service got their budget slashed. RMAF took the biggest cut some RM500 million slashed from its budget, from RM1.455 billion last year to RM602.36 million. RMN one is cut from RM966.789 million in 2018 to RM 349.584 million in 2019.
This will likely mean that RMAF flying hours will be cut while days at seas for RMN is reduced. It is also a clear indication that the upgrades for Nuri, Hercules and Hawks while funding to relife the MKM is also off the table.
Despite the cuts to the OE, it appears that the salaries and allowances of the military have been bumped up slightly, a good thing for morale of course.
As for the DE, allocation for the three services and tri-service programs have been increased though it is likely that this are for programs already in the pipeline.
The Army DE budget increased from RM770 million in 2018 to RM877 million for 2019, most likely for the Gempita, MD530G, 105mm guns and the refurbishment of M109 SPH. The LCS and LMS program is also likely the bulk of allocation for RMN in 2019 which see a slight increase from RM1.259 billion to RM1.267 billion.
RMAF DE budget also got bumped to RM349 million from RM223 million in 2018 but most are likely tied to the A400M procurement. Tri-service equipment allocation is also higher at RM410 million in 2019 compared to RM133.5 million in 2018 though this is most likely for the Starstreak NG deal and also the equipment for the new Joint Force headquarters being built in Kuantan.
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