Defective Combat Equipment and the Auditor-General Report

KUALA LUMPUR: If one was troubled by the PV fiasco, outrage should be the natural reaction after reading the Auditor-General report on the management of the Army’s personal combat equipment.

Why outrage? It is not only the amount of money wasted on defective equipment but the fact that the Army actually allowed these products to be issued to soldiers.

If its just a camouflage uniform that was not stitched correctly, it would not be that outrageous but with some 5,000 defective ballistic helmets issued  to soldiers, it is simply unacceptable.

It is outrageous because the Army is aware of the helmets weaknesses, its testing team had conducted tests on them and concluded that these helmets did not meet the armed forces requirements.

It  means that these  “ballistic” helmets have no ballistic protection at all and the soldiers would be better off  using the Givi motorcycle helmets for duty.  Its lighter and cheaper for that matter

Outrageous because instead of chucking the whole batch into the lap of the contractor, Seri Mukali Sdn Bhd,  the Army for reasons unknown, actually issued them to its combat units.

As the audit report concluded “the supplier should have been told to replace the helmets with those meeting the contract specifications or be fined accordingly” ,which of course was not followed.

 According to the report, based on the army testing, the quality of the helmets made by Seri Mukali, was not consistent with one batch manufactured in July, 2006 meeting the specifications while another 5,000 helmets made just one month later failing the testing.

The report went on to say  ” Bagaimanapun, helmet berkenaan telah diagihkan untuk kegunaan anggota tentera.”

 Malaysian Defence believes the decision to issue the defective helmets is completely wrong. In fact, it is criminally  negligent and also a dereliction of duty on the part of those directly involved in making the decision.

Malaysian Defence also believes that the Army should immediately withdraw these defective helmets and punished those involved in issuing them.

Sub-standard uniforms and blistering boots may be uncomfortable (though our soldiers may have more thoughts on this), defective helmets are deadly even during training exercises.

 One thing though was not revealed by the report. How many helmets that were actually manufactured by Seri Mukali? As  the contract was worth some Rm19 million and with a unit price of RM481 and RM484, depending on size, Malaysian Defence guess-timates that more than 40,000 helmets were manufactured from 2004 to 2006.

How many are defective? At least 5,000 were found to be defective, and with another 5,000 meeting the specifications, leaving  a probable 30,000 helmets of undetermined quality being used by soldiers in combat and training operations.

Seri Mukali will not be affected by the audit’s revelations. Their contract which also include repairing and re-painting the helmets, ended on Dec 12, 2006. Anyways, they can always cry “national interest” to prevent any further probes into the deal

 For Malaysian Defence, the audit report is a  clear revelation on how  Mindef works and doesnt work but as similar happening are reported every year, one wonders how effective it is.



 Malaysian Defence believes the best way to ensure fiscal and monitoring discipline was for the defence budget to be itemised in detail when it is presented to parliament for approval.
Anyhow, it is also disheartening to find out that the army  Personal Combat Equipment only included camouflaged uniform, ballistic helmet, webbing (which include water pouches, compass case, belt and patrol pack) and combat boots.

Based on that list, Malaysian Defence presumes that other essential items for a modern soldier – bullet proof vest, weapon holster,  goggles , NBC gear, gloves, socks, undies etc – are not considered as personal combat equipment but as optional gear based on case to case basis.

With the Armed Forces set to emulate the US military concept as reported by the New Sunday Times today, one wonders whether the additional gear would be included in the future.

“Army to adopt ‘soldier of future’ concept”

KUALA LUMPUR: The defence forces will adopt the “soldier-of-the-future” concept practised by the United States to meet the country’s defence needs, said defence forces chief Gen Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Zainal.

He said under the concept, defence forces personnel would be exposed to the latest technologies and be equipped with sophisticated weapons to make sure they kept abreast of the times.

“At the same time, their discipline will also be boosted to make sure they are combat ready.

“The new doctrine has been approved by the Defence Ministry and is awaiting implementation,” he said in conjunction with the defence forces’ 74th anniversary here yesterday.”

Based on the report, it does sound impressive but if the army continue to issue defective equipment to its soldiers, all of that planning and hot air will come to naught.

—  Malaysian Defence

If you like this post, buy me an espresso. Paypal Payment

About Marhalim Abas 2200 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Hello Brother Marhalim! It has been a while, hasn’t it? I read this post and couldn’t help but agree with you. Mindef’s future warfighter programme will mean nothing if we cannot even give our fighting men and women with the basic necessities to survive a conflict.
    I believe that the government contractor who supplied the helmets should not be let off the hook. after all, it did agree to supply the helmets to the army, and to meet every stringent requirement stipulated by the end user. Failure to comply with the terms of the agreement constitutes a breach of contract. Even if their contract had ended.
    I bet if those involved had sons or daughters in the service, this wouldn’t have happened.
    I believe the authorities should launch an investigation into the matter, just to see if there are criminal elements involved. And no one should be spared. Including the Army.
    I’ve often wondered how these people live with themselves, knowing that they willingly send our troops into harm’s way with defective equipment. sometimes we forget that this is an all-volunteer force. these servicemen and women signed up out of a sense of committment and duty to the country; things most of us take for granted. they are not throwaways or cannon-fodder. we ask these soldiers to do the killing and die for us. they are our finest. and because of that, we should do everything in out power to ensure that they have a fighting chance.

  2. Thanks bro! Nice to hear from you!

    Anyway MINDEF is compiling the report and its answer would be published when the next AG report is published next year. Why they are waiting almost a year before replying to the report and the action to be taken is beyond me. One hint I got was that the cronies who got the deal are playing on both sides of the fence and hence no one either the Govt or the Opposition would profit from this embarrassing state of affairs.

    Its sad isn’t it. The rich got richer but poor souls like fight with our own blood just because different political understanding and belief. Wake up, wake up little johns….

  3. Interesting, most likely they will say RM81 for helmet and RM400 for the procurement process!

    Isn’t it bad enough the soldier has to sacrifice for the country with small pay and big responsibilities and yet we let them down like this, do the people high up there know that this is call treason to the country!!!!!!!!

  4. Here we go again,another misconduct by the officials involved in the contract. It is very embarrassing. How could a product which is clearly clearly clearly defected been inducted for the use of our soldiers who are ready to spill their blood for the nation. That is the problem of our country system and aristocracy. Everyone is up to fill their own pockets and for their own interest neglecting those who are willing to sacrifice for the country. Our problem is the decision maker. Those who made the final deal is those politicians who i believe are not the right persons to call the deal. I wonder how could the person who never been in the uniform be the one to decide what the best for our soldiers. It does not make any sense at all. It is like malay proverb ‘ seperti kera mendapat bunga’. My point is, let the experts do their job and those politicians should focus on developing the nation instead. This is another episode after the NGPV. What more to come? It keeps on repeating over and over again. They never learn their lesson, aren’t they? I am sick of this. I love my country, i hope those parties no matter what kind of backing they have will be brought to justice. Like you said earlier, this is treason. Wake up my fellow countrymen.

  5. really good article…
    I thought that the government said in a statement for rmk9 before said they wanted to focus on the quality of the procurement… guess they didnt get that right either.
    Such things must be shown much clearer to the public.
    however, I dont agree that we should have a massive procurement programme for the entire army…
    Iran’s military spending per capita (even as a percentage) is the lowest in the middle east… yet they are regarded by even the americans as the most capable middle eastern state.

  6. A lot of the Iranian spending cannot be accounted for due to the ‘dwi fungsi’ nature of the Revolutionary Guards and the covert spending for Quds Force and other clandestine activities. It’s like trying to account for PRC defense spending, only more opaque.

  7. i heard all of these stuffs n couldnt believe my own eyes
    when the high -ranking officers do prefer “their kaki” rather than a really good service provider ,
    and yet they take the action very slowly, this will eventually make the products procured become obsolete.
    i dont know whether they r more interested in sitting as a director of that particular company when they retired/cash windfall or they r really doing the job..

  8. Typical Malaysian problem. Nepotism and favorism. Their taste for swindling peoples money are insatiable.

    Faisal, you should know that Iranian government are very transparent in their procurement. the level of corruption in Iran are very-very low, at least on the military spendings. that’s one of the virtue of having a theocratic government. but please don’t mistake me, i neither support nor condemn such a government. i merely stating fact. by having one of the lowest curruption level in the world, they were able to get more with less, because less money goes to the unproductive hole. You couldn’t compare that with the rest of ME. those arab countries were run by a corrupt dictatorship. they were also plagued by the nepotism and favorism and money swindlings.

    core jacque, this peoples have taste the sweetness or corruption and now craving for more. it will only get worse. trust me, this people will never learned their lesson because they always get away with it.

  9. salam bro marhalim…can u do anything about this
    every time our soldier take a risk because of this celaka punya company..

    Marhalim: We try bro…


  11. Thus still considered petty. The end user will suffer. I was there and most of my colleagues have left the service early because we don’t have a heart to jerpordice our men life because of thus substandard equipment. Once again,thus still considered petty.

  12. Guys and girls due to a lots kopi drinking by our official, many of the combatants and police gear are fake. As far as I know boots is one of it. The SWAT and Magnum boots are replica from China which sold to them at about the same price of the original. The actual cost of the replica is RM50-80.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.