Deja Vu

Army 51 RAD Astros launcher firing rockets at the exercise today, May 22, 2017.

SHAH ALAM: Deja Vu. For the last several years we knew that the Army was planning to set up the fifth division in Sabah as part of the reorganisation which led to the formation of the west and eastern field commands. As a prelude to the setting up of the division, Task Force 450 was set up with its headquarters located in Kota Kinabalu.

However the talk of the setting up of the fifth division had died down recently likely due to the funding gap. A statement by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Wednesday revealed that funds were indeed available though it was used for something else.

Mortar firing at night.

PETALING JAYA: The government led by Tun Dr Mahahir (pic) will be reviewing the employment of approximately 17,000 political appointees as part of its reform plans to reduce government expenditure.

The Prime Minister told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday (May 16) that there is a lot of wastage in government expenditure, a problem that needs to be solved.

“We find that there are too many officer contracts, some had been contracted to work because it is needed by the previous administration but some contracts are given for political reasons,” Dr Mahathir said.

Getting ready to fire an 81mm mortar.

The number of political appointees – though not spelled out whether Federal or State – outnumbered both the RMAF and RMN. It is big enough for two army divisions though it must be said that some of the contracted employees were actually needed.

An 81mm mortar could be seen exiting from the the mortar on an Adnan mortar carrier.

As it is the Army fifth division planning is in limbo. Some units in Sarawak had been set up as part of the part of the expansion plans though the transfer of some to Sabah for the new division have been held back due to the lack funding. That said we still have no idea what is the plan of the new administration for the armed forces. Perhaps it will nix the army’s expansion plan and cancel the fifth division altogether.

Lt Gen. Stephen Mundaw

By the way, First Division commander Lt Gen Stephen Mundaw is set to become the second Eastern Field Command CO soon. He is replacing Lt Gen Zaki Mohktar who is retiring. Stephen is the first Sarawak native to command a division. He is outranked by another Sarawak native, RMAF chief Gen Affendi Buang,

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2096 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Finally our eastern warriors gets their due recognition. Too bad it happened only during the last administration.

  2. Congrats Marhalim.

    Looks like you have a regular cybertrooper assigned to you now.

  3. @Chua.
    I don’t see why you must butthurt when credit should be given when its due. Our eastern servicemen have long contributed in no small measures and only recently their contributions are recognised.

  4. The security and integrity of the state of sabah is always a priority in Mahathir’s previous administration. The garrisoning of spratly’s reefs and islands of sipadan and ligitan was one of Mahathir’s 1st move in the early 80s.

    I believe he will make sure that the budget will be available for the 5th division. Not much could be cut from the army. The biggest target is of course the gempita but that is done by someone friendly to Mahathir.

  5. Too many Eastern veterans were not given due recognition resulting in fewer & fewer Borneons joining the armed forces. And please kickstart campaigns to get more non-Bumiputeras to join the ATM

  6. @ Taib
    Exactly too my point! And yet some people thinks everything must be bad with the previous administration. Sheesh!

  7. A Rm43 billion black hole in just 1 state project, while the Armed Forces have to scrimp and beg for a couple million here and there to do their job

    And we still have “fans” here trying to find something positive to say?

    We may all be treated like dogs being fed scraps. But you don’t have to enjoy it quite so much yknow.

  8. Fan? Get it straight. I’m no fan of the previous administration but neither am I a fan of the current PM. Our forces rojak began in his time, our MAF having to shoehorn illsuited hardware into their operations too started in his time.

    All I’m saying is we should be objective and give credit where its due, and I hope the current Government will continue this trend. These stalwarts from the East have done a commendable service to the country and its time they’re rewarded for their silent sacrifice.

  9. Let’s leave politics at the door. Chua, I’m just stating facts. Crappy procument began in earnest in Dear Doc’s era. It simply went ballistic after he last left the PM’s chair. (some gems did happen along the way). Hope YB Mat Sabu hears this and learns from the experience. And yes, I agree ATM must have a fair budget to do its duty. * I’m all for ✌ but have no time for peaceniks.

  10. Which ministry now has sufficient budget?. Hospitals has no more medicine of certsin types n broken equipment not replaced. Deaths have occured due to not having working life saving equipment. Education has also been stripped. Not just mindef

  11. Lets give credit where it is due. Under the previous administration, we were so broke that we had to sell power plants to and get financing from a country that is already staking claim to our oil-rich EEZ and chasing our “Eastern” fishermen out of there.

    Lets give credit where it is due. Under the first Mahathir administration, rojak procurement occurred but we were never so broke that we had to do the above. In fact, we were the first in South East Asia to introduce many platforms. Yes, we were even ahead of Singapore in all of these. We had the cash because we hadn’t scandalized ourselves broke. Now, just look where we are.

    Active BVRAAMs (R-27, which spurred our neighbours to get AMRAAM. Then we went ahead and got AMRAAM too.)
    HMS cued AAMs (R-73)
    Twin engine MRCAs and fighters (Hornets and Fulcrums)
    Heavy twin engine MRCAs (MKMs)
    Guided missile frigates (Lekius and Kasturis)
    MBTs (PT-91M)

  12. @AM
    Yes….those procurement gave MY a 10 years of glory and proud. Later many of those became problematic and inferior.

    Is it worth?

  13. “Later many of those became problematic and inferior”

    We made bad procurement decisions for sure, but at least we had the cash to make them at all, unlike now.

    You’re also forgetting that transitioning from a counter insurgency force to one oriented towards modern state threats was a monumental task that dwarfs anything achieved since.

  14. “A Rm43 billion black hole in just 1 state project, while the Armed Forces have to scrimp and beg for a couple million here and there to do their job”

    No one has had to scrimp and beg more than the “Eastern warriors” that Joe said “got recognition only during the last administration.” Even after ten of them died in the 2013 Suluk incursion that should have been a wake up call.

    The idea that they’re being recognised while denied even the cheapest patrol assets is a joke, while KL bailed itself out by selling strategic assets to and cutting deals with the guys claiming their EEZ.

    “Let’s leave politics at the door. Chua, I’m just stating facts.”

    I don’t see it as a political matter as much as outright theft. To the other guy, don’t tell me to give “credit due” to a thief. I can’ do it!

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