Palm Oil For Arms

SHAH ALAM: Palm oil for arms. It appears that we will have to resort to barter trade to buy new stuff for the military like back in 1993 and 2003 when we bought the Fulcrums and Flankers, respectively.

Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu said this in an interview on April 19.

From NST, from a Bernama report.

Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu said these countries had shown their readiness to accept palm oil in exchange for military equipment.

“We have been working towards a barter system and have received a positive response,” he told a press conference here today.

Mohamad said the acquisition of defence assets through barter could be a way to reduce the country’s financial burden.

The minister said he would be leaving for Russia tomorrow for a bilateral meeting with the Russian Defence Minister and barter trade would be among the issues to be discussed, adding that if successful, the barter trade could potentially raise the price of palm oil.

Commenting on Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s statement last month on the possibility of Malaysia selecting non-European nations to procure military jets, Mohamad said the decision was not set in stone.

From the story, one might assumed that such purchases will be made purely by barter trade, which is not totally correct, of course. For example when we bought the Flankers back in 2003, we paid part of the deal with palm oil and a deal to blast a dentist into space and the rest with cash.

Sukhoi Su-30MKM from the 11th Squadron – M52-09 and M52-18.

There is nothing wrong in this of course but one has to wonder whether it is good to show our hands at this moment especially when the Defence Ministry is putting up a white paper.

Mig-29s over Subang as part of the flypast training on Dec. 19, 2016.

It must be noted that Russia already bought -either cash or barter trade- 90 per cent of its palm oil from Indonesia, which left us not much room to maneuver in this regard. Furthermore, if we buy from Russia, it is likely we will be slapped with sanctions from the US.

Yakovlev Yak-130 Mitten performing a display at LIMA 2019.

I guess we have not yet learnt the lessons we had for the last 30 years or so. And we are likely to repeat it.

— Malaysian Defence

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