SHAH ALAM: Defence Minister DSU Mohamad Hasan is in Turkiye today for a two-day official visit. In his social media post, Mohamad said that he arrived at the Istanbul Grand Airport and met on arrival by the Malaysian ambassador to the country; Consul general and the Defence Attache. He left for Ankara shortly upon arrival.
Mohamad said he was supposed to go to Cilekhan where the Malaysian Armed Forces hospital was set-up but heavy snow prevented him from travelling there today. “I will travel there tomorrow, God Willing.”
It is unclear whether his official visit was about the procurement of the LCS Batch 2. He told Parliament recently that he will be going there with Defence Ministry and RMN officials to register Malaysian interest in procuring the ships from Turkiye.
That said among the pictures Mohamad posted on his social media post was that of him meeting the president of the Turkish Defence Agency, Dr Ismail Demir. It is also interesting to note that one of officials in his delegation is the Defence Ministry Procurement division deputy-secretary-general Dr Shahrazat Ahmad.
This latest development is interesting to say the least, as two regular Malaysian Defence commenters had asked when the minister was going to Turkiye. I stated that the deal with the Turkiye may well be deferred due to the elections scheduled in the country, this May 14.
However, with the MAF field hospital in Turkiye, Mohamad has a good excuse to make the trip to Turkiye without saying he was there, on procurement business. In a statement release today (March 21, Mohamad announce the field hospital operating in Cilekhan will be gifted to Turkiye. The MAF personnel sent following the earthquake in early February will returned home on March 23.
*Updated to add the field hospital donation.
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