Are the Armed Forces a Burden to the Country?

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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.

Malaysian Defence
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11 Comments

  1. i saw our country environment and technology follow the time line to become join the 1st country club,but our armed forces left behind from time to time.we throw so much money to the cronies,middle man and management when we purchase new stuff.i don think we can give a good punch to defense putrajaya and other critical place like our oil industrial.our generals must be facing a hard time when discuss with our gov about how to defense out country.the generals i think looks like a “timer bomb”

  2. Look, I understand that the armed forces are necessary evil, as long there are people, we need a bunch of guys in case some these people turned bad. But we need to realise that we need to invest funds in the institution. We need people who understand that too little or too much are equally bad.

  3. Ya. But only for THEM not for country. I think what in their mind are, they cannot make money through a military business. That’s why they always left defense purpose compare to their personal.

  4. I find it quite insulting and dishearthening that many of the rakyat and the politicians feel that the armed forces are a burden to the country and not worth the money. I was particulary upset when somebody posted a message in The Star saying we’re actually ‘spending too much’ money on our military. He had the audacity to day we should actually decrease our military expenditure!!

    Its these people that want Malaysia to remain weak compared to our neighbors. I would find it quite insulting if those same people called themselves nationalist. Investing more in healthcare and education is definately important (how can we ever hope to achieve Wawasan 2020 then?) but our armed forces are just as important. These people are literally risking their lives to protect our homeland.

    Marhalim: The guy should speak to Ramos Horta, who actually demanded that East Timor, did not set-up an army after independence. He nearly lost his life to his pacifist views and he had to thank the Aussies for saving his butt!

  5. Perhaps those who criticize military spending are misdirecting their anger.

    Seriously, the expenses are bloated due to the many ‘hands’ involved in basically everything $$wise in the armed forces. For any particular project, big or small, all levels involved requested some ‘grease’ ( i would rather call it ass-lube), from generals all the way down. You could listen to these horror stories all day long from business that deals with the armed forces. (Before PT91, there was the Korean K1/K2 story with all the juicy bits) . In fact, we cancelled our plan from doing business with the army for the same reason.

    Military spending needs a thorough clean-up, that’s for sure.

  6. Frankly Marhalim do you agree with Lim Kit Sian statement that NURI should be upgraded? ***** leader.

    Marhalim: Well I do not agree with what you say 🙂 Anyhow, if there is a good upgrade programme for the Nuri to extend its service life further due to the postponement of the Cougar purchase, I will say why not. But there is none at the moment and none in the near future apart from con-jobs.

    LKS did not survive all this while for being mentally deficient. Pakatan Rakyat at the moment do not have military advisers to give them a much better options than the weak arguments offered by their leaders, in this case of course they got it wrong. But what is the difference between the option given by opposition (upgrade the Nuri) and the postponement with a weak but altogether relevant, excuse? Honestly, it was not much.

    Much of the controversy over the procurement of a Nuri Replacement (apart from the unscheduled economic crisis) was the failure of the government to explain within the last few months that it will be an expensive affair. That a much more transparent tender exercise…..

  7. Its funny, now that the last crash has been some time ago, the urgency seems to be gone. if and when (god forbid!) another crash occurs and some precious lives are lost, then ….. the ball will roll again.
    instead of postponing the whole deal, they should reduce the numbers and proceed. Afthough I am hesitant to believe that the price is right for the purchase, I tend to believe that this is the best option available.
    Our opposition are there to “oppose”. When have they ever proposed a viable alternative? Cant remember.
    Another option will be be to buy baseline models, as Brazil is doing now and upgrade later with all the bells and whistles.
    Our guys in uniform have not been getting the best options in many cases due to various reasons, now onec more that has happened. I hope this will be righted soon.

    Marhalim: They could have one or two annually instead…

  8. Recall that “Nuri can still be used” was also the stand of the Govt. They could have changed the whole Nuri fleet back in 2003, but bought Sukhois instead. TUDM appeared to be more interested in obtaining a CSAR capabilty, not a wholesale Nuri replacement. In fact, in 2006, the Govt had awarded an upgrade contract on the Nuris. Why award an upgrade contract if a replacement was around the corner?

    But then came the Genting Sempah accident. I recall that one day after the accident, Najib was still repeating the official stand that the Nuris are still usable and will not be replaced soon. Remember that the official finding of the Genting Sempah accident was pilot error? However, under intense public pressure, the Cabinet finally announced that the Nuri replacement will be accelerated.

    Anyway, expect the Nuri to soldier on with ATM for a long time more. Just as planned.

  9. Marhalim, why have you deleted my last 2 postings….especially when the second gives solid info on a viable Nuri SLEP?

    Marhalim: I have not deleted any of your recent postings. I may have re-edited them. Pls resent them.

  10. the air force should replace the vip heli with the nuri use everyday to transport the troops,so that our stingy minister can share the worry with our troops riding the flying coffin.maybe they will think again to postpone the cougar purchase.i bet,if one more time the nuri involved in accident,our minister will be finish,people cannot bear anymore to watch our troops lose their life in fatal accident.if we cannot buy twelve heli,why not just buy 6 for the 1st batch.so the price can be below than 1billion i think.i wonder where is the money we gain a lot when oil price increase.the gov can release 7bilion tiptop to save our economic.where the money come actually?

    Marhalim: Most of the money for the stimulus package is not cash. For example, with the EPF contribution reduction (3 per cent reduction times how many workers contributing = the figure) . So not much cash is actually allocated just diverted sideways. Its the magic of accounting….

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