KUALA LUMPUR: At the risk of being accused of being an Umno fanatic, Malaysian Defence would like to offer an alternative view on the deferment of defence procurement blamed mostly on the current global economic crisis.
The pause in the defence procurement comes at a time during the transition of power of the country’s top leadership with Najib taking over from Pak Lah, supposedly in March, next year. Najib’s ascension as PM during these challenging times, may well be the catalyst of change for someone who had overseen the defence sector for the last 20 years.
Malaysian Defence is hopeful for a total transformation of the defence sector as Najib looks to consolidate his political future even though many will feel, from his past records, that it may well be short-term.
Nonetheless, as the old Latin cliche like to remind us, Fortune Favour the Bold and Najib may well surprised us although he has yet to show his hand. There are other benchmarks that will helped him secure his future, of course (the economy, national integration and many others) but as this is Malaysian Defence. we will focused on this area of interest. Since Najib cannot continue with many of Pak Lah’s policies and programmes – much of it inherited from the Old Man – if he wanted to serve for more than one term, we may well see a rainbow after the rain.
Is he up to it and did he learn anything from the recent tribulations? Only time will tell and it will be soon indeed.
The deferment is also a blessing in disguise for the armed forces. This will give the leadership and the officer’s corps time to reflect on what had happened in the past and perhaps planned for a better future. It is up to them really with the co-operation of their political masters. Malaysian Defence is confident that the majority of the officer’s corps is receptive to changes but can the same be said of their political masters?
The armed forces must strive to work harder first and foremost to ensure its plans are in place to ensure its programmes and priorities are taken into account during the procurement process. Cleaning up the procurement process may well be elementary if first and foremost that the armed forces views and strategies are taken into account. Without a clear policy and strategy it is very easy to be swayed by emotions.
And more importantly, it is the time the officer corps renew and honour their oaths of allegiance to god, king and country.
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