KUALA LUMPUR: First of all I would like to apologise for rushing to run the story on the DSA contracts which appeared on Sunday night. I made a grave error for not checking my facts first. In the post I stated that they are buying the Santana Anibal to augment the G-Wagens.
I was wrong of course, it was the Uro Vamtac, the Spanish Humvee that they are buying and the local company is MasterDef, which is owned by former DRB-Hicom exec chairman, Tan Sri Salleh Sulong. Salleh beat his old company to get the contract, good for him but not for the armed forces, saddled with another dubious purchase.
Anyhow the rest of my DSA story was correct of course, the Adnans and SME Ordnance getting munitions contract, probably a bit pricey as MeesterT would like to say but of course, we need the expertise and capabilities to produce such weapons.
But the contracts signed at DSA 2008, is basically the same as done during the Mahathir years, pricey, direct nego and with little regard to the armed forces real need. For example, they bought 200 Ssangyong Rexton IIs as staff cars for some RM26 million when the money would be better utilised for other needs of the armed forces especially when funds already limited will be further squeeze for to overcome the rising inflation. To make matters worse, it was purchased through another small company which will of course sourced it from the local dealer. They could halved the price (if it was really needed) by purchasing it direct from Ssanyong of course.
There wont be any money left to purchase new assets within the next two years as Najib indicated during the PC after the contract signing.. He said due to the pressing needs of the nation, the 9MP defence budget is under the review and the only asset that will be procured “no matter what happens with the review” is the new helicopters to replace the Nuris. The rest will come in 10MP including the new LPD and Batch 2 Lekiu.
Since they bought the Adnans this time around, 56 of them, the wheeled APC requirement will probably get bummed into the next Malaysian Plan also.
Of course, maintenance contracts and operational expenditure will continue although if the economy turned really bad like the 1997-1999 era, even those will be reduced to the bare minimum. Lets hope we do not go through those hard times again.
It appears that the old bad times are still with us. No wonder they got hammered….
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