Mat Sabu and Muhya

KD Kasturi launching a A244/S torpedo from her launcher (both taken from Laksamana class corvettes) during a training exercise at the Lumut naval base in November, 2017

SHAH ALAM: Kota Raja MP and Amanah President Mohamad Sabu or Mat Sabu, 64, has been named as the Defence Minister by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today. Dr Mahathir also named Pagoh MP and Warisan President TS Muhyiddin Yassin, 70, as Home Affairs Minister.

Bagan MP and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, 57, will assumed the Finance Ministry post. Dr Mahathir only named three ministers at his press conference today stating that the Pakatan Harapan presidential council will defer naming the other seven ministers to another date. He said three was the most important post in the cabinet after the PM and the Deputy Prime Minister. DS Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has been appointed as the DPM.

Mat Sabu, the new Malaysian Defence Minister

This will be Mat Sabu first post in the government after years being in the opposition bench. Although mostly underated for his appearance, the Penang born politician rose as the deputy president of PAS likely for his oratorial skills. Unfortunately, his years in opposition had also produced many meme inducing moments though it must be said however we should not judge him before he even put a single step at the Defense Ministry.

Malaysian Cabinet 2018. Awani.

Moreover, the PH coalition has set up a council to oversee the government’s administration so Mat Sabu will have plenty of help. Unlike Mat Sabu, Muhyiddin and Guan Eng are season administrators, both having served as Menteri Besar and Chief Minister, respectively.

–Malaysian Defence

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50 Comments

  1. Mat Sabu need to appease the veterans of the armed forces and also police whom many still angry about what he said about the communist during Bukit Kepong incident.

  2. congrats to Muhyiddin and Guan Eng. both are a good choice.

    as for mat sabu,some people said the way of speaking reflect the intelligence of the speaker. hopefully the ceramah i heard before just a promotion campaign for him and while in this position he will hear the MAF request. who know,maybe that is why he was chosen

  3. ZekMR “Mat Sabu need to appease the veterans of the armed forces and also police whom many still angry about what he said about the communist during Bukit Kepong incident.”

    Soldiers must follow the orders of their civilian superiors unless they are unlawful. This duty of obedience does not come and go with the government in power.

    If they want to express their favoritism or contempt for a superior, or suggest that they are not willing to follow orders, it’s either after resignation or before disciplinary proceedings. Discipline is a duty to military and civilian superiors alike.

    The navy chief’s tweet from his official account with his BN hashtag #HebatkanNegaraku is a good example of inappropriate behavior. If you tell me he was forced to do it, maybe that can be considered a mitigating factor.

  4. Emm

    Was hoping for another person, but well, mat sabu it is then. Good luck and all the best.

  5. Right now, all 3 forces have shown explicit support to the previous ruling party during the PRU14.

    As for those under home ministry, the police need to explain on their members who was caught on video carrying qusetionable ballot boxes.

    Seems like APMM does not act too partisan here, and could be the biggest beneficiary from the new government.

  6. Looking from the latest press conference the panglima ATM and ketua polis negara is now squarely in the path of mahathir’s wrath.

    Hopefully the new menhan will have this page bookmarked for his daily read.

  7. @ Ahmad Zaki

    I’m also a litle bit skeptical about the capabilities of Encik Mat Sabu, especially on defence diplomacy soft skill.

  8. Wow mat sabu? Really?

    He had other people to choose and he chose this idiot for such an important ministerial portfolio? I wouldn’t trust him with tangkap muat ministry (like wanita dan masyarakat ministry) let alone defence ministry

  9. What MinDef currently needs is a minister who would firstly purge the military of any political influence and agenda within all ranks, and branches of service, active, reserve or in training.

    I believe Mat Sabu is the man suitable for that role and in times like this, internal political stability in the country is far more important than outside threats. The army should be apolitical, serving only the country and the rakyat and not backing any political parties or having it’s own agendas, history will tell what have happened when armies get involved in politics

  10. Give the man a chance. Why condemn him out of hand? Be fair and keep an open mind

  11. Mr Ross-“The army should be apolitical, serving only the country and the rakyat and not backing any political parties or having it’s own agendas, history will tell what have happened when armies get involved in politics”

    there is an army which is apolitical?actually mostly no. all ruling party/govt always pick people who fight for their cause(govt policy,view and so on) including the head of army. at the end of the day, its the govt that pay/sign their salary so they hear from the boss. basically the army also the victim here

    Mr … -“Hopefully the new menhan will have this page bookmarked for his daily read.”
    lets pray and hope for that.i like what all of us discuss here. if someone close to him here, please invite him here.

    Mr Marhalim some of my comment was not display after commenting. do some of it failed screening or just lost as spam?

  12. We all know the armed forces suffered under the corruption that went on at political levels. There was nothing we could do about it.

    Some of us criticized it, some suggested ways to live with it. But some defended it and turned a blind eye and, when the then-opposition pointed it out, instead accused them of being ignorant or outright unpatriotic. Is this right?

    Alex “I wouldn’t trust him with tangkap muat ministry (like wanita dan masyarakat ministry) let alone defence ministry.”

    That’s fine, because as I said above a minister’s personal and political views are irrelevant to a soldier’s duty of obedience.

    It should also be noted that the defence minister is not all powerful and final authority rests with the prime minister. As far as policy goes, I would be more concerned with who the PM is.

  13. It is unfortunate that he’s being judged before he has even move into office. He is a man of integrity, has stood up against many tyranny before and understands the plight of the common soldier. Excessive profiteering in the procurement process is bleeding the country. There must be a balance between affordability and need and that will surely be addressed by his team. He will be supported by young deputies. We wish him well.

  14. adakah disebabkan kerajaan(tak kisahlah parti
    politik mana yang jadi kerajaan) takut tentera
    masuk campur atau coup’…macam yang pernah
    berlaku dinegara2 jiran kita…sebab itulah
    tentera tak pernah dapat budget yang cukup
    untuk beroperasi…

    Reply
    No lah not enough given to military because they think no threat to Malaysia

  15. Anyone heard the outrageous insult from some sand monkey “scholar” on Malaysians exercising their democratic rights to kick out the BN regime. Whatever Mat Sabu does, I hope he will distance Malaysia from the messy business of those murderous ME despots, given Tun M statement of returning to a neutral foreign policy. Malaysia’s recent defence and foreign policies under the previous BN regime have been drifting alarmingly close to and appearing overly eager to please those desert barbarians, with all those “military exercises” during sensitive times, Arab ‘NATO’ and the kerisman’s frequent kowtow visits. Anyway, I think the MoD will now have more oversights and transparency, with the new government being of a coalition nature instead of a hegemony by UMNO.

  16. Mat Sabu need to shed that clownish image. Get the procurement div. of defense assets in order and listen to pro-defense heavyweights…not defense merchandisers.

  17. hmm, i wonder if the truth behind the NGPV fiasco would be brought to light now…
    highly unlikely i think..

  18. Dont expect much in the coming years….
    Politicians always talk what people want in campaign but local and international economy and reality are not changed just because the gov is changed. MY is binded to those reality.

    Everything need time and effort. Keep hope high.

  19. i do still believe we need a clear or strategic national design policy that actually approve by the parliament or properly implement through the goverment operational policy. yes we do have that policy now but if only few people knows about and it seems only syok sendiri as it does not comply with our affordability or even local industry growth, whats the use of it?

  20. All the PH economic wizards are insisting BR1M & reinstatement of subsidies can be sustained sans GST without going into specific details. In view of the collection gap between GST & SST, I have a bad feeling that less obvious budgets, like defence OPEX & CAPEX will be the sacrificial lamb again.

  21. Since Sabu is a leftie, we expect more hardware from Russia!

    Reply
    US sanctions will likely cut off that route. Even support for the Sukhois are affected by the sanctions. That’s why I am pretty sure the MIg 29 will not be upgraded anytime soon. Yes they could sign the contract next week but the sanctions will likely see the upgrade to be completed in another 5 years

  22. One good thing about PH is the way they promote them selves that they can carry out the job well. They are also good at publicity.

    So probably after this we can see more on our defence capability, training, assets and public engagemnet in FB and Twitter instead of shaking hand, signing ceremony & dinner gala like in past few years….

  23. https://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/letters/2018/05/15/defence-priorities-in-need-of-mat-sabus-attention/

    I think the ‘author’ has beaten you guys to it …

    Reply
    No one listens to KKS anyhow. I am not going to offer my opinion at the moment, I will do so in six months or so simply that the fact that this is a new government they should have decided what to do with defence and national security. I have posted my opinion in the past and I am under no illusions that any of it was taken into consideration

  24. In the last budget, oil price was pegged at USD60 per barrel and collection from oil revenue expected around RM38 billion. GST expected around RM48.3 billion. Now oil in the range of USD70-72, so the shortfall may not be that great. Dunno know how much SST would contribute but can safely say around RM20 to RM25 billion is a safe figure.

    They may have to cut some Opex and Capex, but still do able. Cut should come from the high end opex such as budget to the Jabatan Perdana Menteri where estimated 3rd party consultant cost alone in the range of RM1.5 b a year.

    Reply
    I don’t think they will touch the OPEX its not that high in the first place. Furthermore its already half way through the financial year so it will be difficult to do so. It is completely different for next year though. My guess is as good as yours

  25. Please listen to Tun M’s latest policy speech regarding Sabah n Sarawak.
    Tun M want UAV to patrol Sabah , Sarawak n the Mal and Thai border.
    Expect budget for such purchases

    Reply
    No lah, not that soon. First they have see what the finances are first and only after that any purchases can be made. If indeed funding is approved it is likely for the 2019 one

  26. off topic-Defence priorities in need of Mat Sabu’s attention from the star

    “One of the rare moments we got to use our F18 fighter bombers and Hawk 208 fighter jets was against those invaders described by then Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammudin Hussein as a “rag-tag army” in Lahad Datu a few years ago. Wouldn’t armoured cars and tanks and mortars have sufficed against that motley crew? ”

    is KKS really?as far as i know from the operative there,said the use of those aircraft was to target the compound which intelligence suspect ‘danger'(maybe store ammunition,defend line or weapon storage) and cannot be target by mortar and high risk of going alone with tank or apc.

    some of the article look good and some fishy.

  27. zack: “Wouldn’t armoured cars and tanks and mortars have sufficed against that motley crew?”

    Well, we know for a fact that we hit them with 81mm mortars, didn’t we? As it was, unguided aerial bombs would have posed a danger to our lines which is why we didn’t use them. But the mortars posed no such danger of friendly fire. Even assuming PGMs were needed, we don’t have guided artillery projectiles (regardless of what STRIDE may have to say).

    We used the Paveways partly because we wanted to exercise the capability, since we had never used them in anger before.

    Of course, we need fighter aircraft and KKS can’t say otherwise.

    “the use of those aircraft was to target the compound which intelligence suspect ‘danger'(maybe store ammunition,defend line or weapon storage) and cannot be target by mortar and high risk of going alone with tank or apc.”

    I would dismiss the collateral damage concerns. We knew the intruders came with whatever they could carry and did not bring an arsenal with them. As for friendly fire, we should note that a Paveway is much heavier (both in terms of explosive and total weight) and poses greater collateral damage potential than the 105mm guns we had on hand.

    As for whether going alone with armour was risky, yes since we did not have heavy armour on hand. We had the Condors and they would have been at risk of anything heavier than HMG fire.

    Reply
    Yes after the deaths of the two VAT69 men and the Semporna ambush, it was likely that the PAT wanted to ensure that overwhelming firepower would prevent any further casualties on our side. They also used unguided bombs and rockets after the initial attack. No troops were in the vicinity of the location apart from Paskau operators lasing targets for the first few sorties

  28. That article posted by Wira does not make sense to me. I don’t understand what that author (KKS) is trying to say.

    KKS questions the need for expensive aircraft and ships, but then says that defence minister needs to “promote a culture of peace as the defence policy” with an irrelevant quote by a Chinese philosopher.

    How does he expect a defence minister to promote a culture of peace? With a bouquet of flowers? Perhaps tea and cake?

    The only quote a defence minister needs to know is this:

    If you desire peace, prepare for war.

    Reply
    Speak softly, carry a big stick

  29. What our defence need to improve

    – battlefield management systems, real time communications, electronic warfare.

    – peacetime 24hour QRA in all of malaysian airspace. Ground based radar upgrade.

    – maritime patrol aircrafts

    – ASW capability (this is with the gowinds), ASW helicopters.

    – AEW&C

    – Riverine warfare (instead of amphibious warfare) capability.

  30. A good minister of defence is one who takes no commission. Guess Bang Mat is one of those rare
    Ones.

    Reply
    He has been named as the Defence Minister, he has not become one yet. Let’s hope he does not take any commission or make sure someone else got it

  31. @Marhalim
    But now it seems more likely: speak humourously, and carry a big microphone. Hahaha!

    Reply
    If he followed KKS prescription he will end up doing that

  32. Off topic

    HAL India is proposing to Indian Air Force to build 40 more SU-30MKI for USD2.4 billion (USD60 million each). This batch is to be built with Brahmos missle carrying capability as standard.

    We can make this a win-win situation by:

    – offering to buy some (12 maybe?) of the existing non-brahmos capable MKI. Cost effective way to partially replace MiG-29 capability. IAF to get some cash from the sale to buy new MKI.

    – IAF does not need to convert existing MKI for brahmos (some major structural work required). Easier to just build new ones.

    So the plan B would make TUDM to have 2 squadrons of MKM of 12 each, with 6 extra for maintenance rotation and spare. Keep the Hornets as it is, and buy 40 TA/FA-50 to replace the hawks and aermacchis. MRCA only after 2025-2030.

  33. h1909-“KKS questions the need for expensive aircraft and ships, but then says that defence minister needs to “promote a culture of peace as the defence policy” with an irrelevant quote by a Chinese philosopher.”
    from what i read from kks articles,it somewhat messy and berterabur.dont know his intention.haih…..

    Zhang-“A good minister of defence is one who takes no commission. Guess Bang Mat is one of those rare
    Ones.”
    lets wait and see. it money and millions of it wait to be grab. maybe mat sabu is decent(maybe) but people around him maybe not.that is how it start. that is why there is elders council and other committee will keep an eye of it.

  34. Good plan but with the recent US sanction on Russia..it will be quite tough to get anything Russian at this juncture..not to mention the whole MH17 saga yet to be resolved..although the MKI is cheap to buy

  35. whatever works should epitomise Mindef from now on. BUT it does not mean NOT upgrading our defense capabilities. Those who believe what we now have is sufficient for a volatile SE Asia are delusional to a max.

  36. @…
    That’s a good idea. Do you think India will take the migs+cash for their suks?

    @zack
    From what I understand from that article KKS just want our defense minister to stick his head in the sand and pretend everything’s ok. The last thing we need in mindef is a Comical Ali as a defense minister.

    @Taib
    I agree, In the north there is still a military regime in charge of government. Thailand defense spending has about tripled since mid 00’s. Same thing happening in the south. Indonesia also steadily increasing military expenditure. In the east China is militarising SCS. In the west India having border disputes with China.

    I hope there is someone in Mindef reading the signs.

  37. @ Kamal areif

    The us embargo on russia and the MH17 issue is why it is easier if we sidestep them by buying some nearly new MKIs from IAF instead of Russia.

    Right now IAF does not plan to add more MKI, but they probably would if they could offload some to us and use that excuse to buy new ones replacing those passed on to malaysia.

    @ h1909

    Good idea, we could offer our migs + cash or palm oil.

  38. I expected Mat Sabu as defence minister. Many people would still accept only a Malay for the post.

    Muhyiddin is the best qualified, but his experience is more urgently needed at KDN for the immediate future. The greater danger would be not having him there to keep an eye on things.

    Other experienced candidates are holding state CM posts. Mat Sabu is the best available.

  39. @….
    I doubt RMAF would want the problematic MKIs much less 2nd hand ones at that.
    Also not sure if Russia allows their production customers to sell Russki hardware without going thru their own agencies.

  40. @… “we sidestep them by buying some nearly new MKIs from IAF instead of Russia”

    does this violate any agreements with Russia? are we sure IAF has carte blanche to resell the MKIs?

    if so then it would be an option that should seriously be considered.

  41. @joe

    Indian-made Su-30MKI are problematic, ordering more Su-30MKM from Russia is very unlikely due to MH17 is still unsolved & under sanction by the US, production of F/A-18 Super Bugs (Hornets) will soon be end, Chinese/Pakistani JF-17s are a NOPE, while British Cyclones (Typhoons) are of terrible design & facing lots of hurdles…

    The only suitable fighters available left for Malaysia now are the French Ducks (Rafales). :V

  42. @Xan Vreda

    The Eurofighter Typhoons are at least on par with the Rafales, are newer, and have a better future development program laid out. They have a wider customer base and much bigger production run than Rafale. If shopping for long-term value, Typhoon is the better choice.

  43. Marhalim ” I have posted my opinion in the past and I am under no illusions that any of it was taken into consideration”

    I don’t care, PLEASE for God’s sake write something to that idiot KKS isn’t the only voice of Malaysian defence observers!

  44. @ xan verda

    For the next 5 years, I don’t think they will buy any of those super expensive MRCAs as they cost the bomb and with potential kickbacks are fully known and understood by the current BN opposition, a sure way for MACC reports to be filed and scandal to unfold.

    What we still need to see is the new govenments relationship with china, japan, korea, turkey, india, USA, UK, france and indonesia. This will determine the direction of our defence policy and the fate of current and future defence acquisition.

  45. @ chua

    There is too many things to say and all of it is just shooting in the dark as we really need to wait for the general direction of the government and our relations with a lot of foreign governments that directly relates to our defence.

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