KUALA LUMPUR: As I had feared there is no new equipment heading to the new Border Regiment, just a matter of administration from a volunteer-based force (300 series) into a regular army unit. Its means a flag command, most probably a Colonel position at this moment in time, but a surely a one star or two stars. in the near future when more personnel are added for the two regiments in Sabah and Sarawak.
What kind of equipment I am talking about? Basically although its more a patrol unit, it would be better if new vehicles, sensors and personal equipment are integrated for the regiment since it is supposed to conduct vital role in the nation’s security. But thats only my view isnt it?
Border Regiment For Systematic Monitoring
JELI, Feb 9 (Bernama) — The establishment of the Border Regiment to patrol the 506-kilometre land boundary between Malaysia and Thailand is to ensure a more systematic and secure monitoring of the border, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Najib, who is also the Defence Minister, said the idea of setting up the regiment came about following the government’s concern in handling security issues along the country’s border.
The formation of the regiment, which was approved by the government on Jan 12, was to realise the government’s objective of having a special regiment to maintain security specifically along the country’s land boundary on par with the developed countries, he said.
“The government is determined to address the increasing threat of cross-border and commercial crimes such as the smuggling of controlled items and the entry of illegal immigrants into our country,” he said when launching the Border Regiment at the 11th Mile Camp, here today.
Also present were the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Zainal, Higher Education Minister who is also the Member of Parliament for Jeli Datuk Mustapa Mohamed, Defence Ministry Secretary-General Datuk Abu Bakar Abdullah and Army Chief Gen Tan Sri Muhammad Ismail Jamaluddin.
Najib said that being a rapidly developing country, Malaysia became an attractive destination for immigrants who came into the country legally or otherwise.
While the entry of the immigrants had contributed towards the country’s economic growth, some of these immigrants posed a threat to the country’s security system by carrying out activities which broke the law, he said.
“There were occasions when the facilities available in the country were abused by international smugglers who committed commercial crime which jeopardised national security,” he said.
The Deputy Prime Minister said that with the setting up of the Border Regiment, the Series 300 Infantry Battalion of the Territorial Army had been disbanded and its officers and men numbering 3,600 had been absorbed into the army and were serving in the regiment.
He said that as regular personnel of the army, they enjoyed the perks offered such as a pension scheme, government housing loan, computer loan, vehicle loan and the military higher studies scheme.
Najib said the facilities and salary increases given to government employees were made possible due to the efficient administrative management by the Barisan Nasional (BN) including the robust economy.
As such, he said, military personnel and civil servants should give strong support to the government by giving their mandate to the BN.
At a press conference later, Najib said the Border Regiment would be extended to Sabah and Sarawak to beef up the border patrols there.
“We are also considering an increase in the regiment’s manpower to suit the current needs,” he said, adding that the regiment’s present strength of 3,600 personnel was sufficient for the time being as the police, customs and immigration departments were also helping to patrol the entry points into the country.
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Much more important than shiny new M4s would be appropriate training for the tasks. The PDRM has the Senoi Prak and such a tracker/scout capability is invaluable for the sort of jungle patrolling that is a staple of their mission.
Equally the Standardised Infantry Battalion organization isn’t particularly relevant for this mission. Typically such units have little need for support weapons and higher echelon organizations. Emphasis would be on devolved operations down to the section level with emphasis on organic capabilities in logistics/transport, communications and intelligence. The current Branch oriented division of responsibilities, e.g. Log, Signals etc. just doesn’t work very well at all if the Regiment is to do more than what the old 300 series Bns were employed for, garrisoning the Est-West highway.
It’s a good idea, with some potential but a fairy godmother is needed to transform this ugly duckling into a princess……. Trouble is that all this stuff is small value, extended period activities that fairy godmothers don’t care much for compared to frigates.