Episode IV

GGK troopers posed for the camera after a ceremony at Kem Iskandar on May 7, 2018. Most are armed with rifles and carbines. BTDM picture

SHAH ALAM: Episode IV. After an extraordinary 36 hours, it appears that we will have a new minister at Jalan Padang Tembak, someone completely from the left field. The field of candidates are so wide currently that I will not even bother to pin point anyone. Lets hope the appointments will be made soon.

Apart from the political posts, the ministry will also have to get a new secretary general as the current one is just waiting for his/her successor to be appointed. Several other top civil servants at the ministry are also waiting for their successors as like the secretary general they also had reached their mandatory retirement age. The appointments of their successors have been on ice for the last few months as the ministry was waiting for the general elections to be over first. As on what the new government’s policy on defence and national security will be, my guess is as good as yours.

GGK troopers posed with SG 553s and M4 Carbines for the camera after the ceremony at Kem Iskandar on May 7. BTDM picture

Anyhow, it appears that the GGK has acquired a batch of Swiss Arms SG 553 assault rifles for its operators. The assault rifles were used by the GGK operators during the ground breaking ceremony for a training pool for combat swimmers at the Iskandar camp, Mersing on May 7. Specifically the rifle may well be the SG 553 LB, a short barrel version for Special Forces and fitted with a picattiny rail.

GGK troopers at the ground breaking ceremony on May 7, BTDM picture

Sultan Johor, the GGK Commandant-in-Chief performed the ground breaking ceremony at the camp where a group of combat swimmers complete with their scuba gear and armed with the SG 553 assault rifles performed a mock assault as part of the opening gambit. Another group of operators armed with the Colt M4 Carbines were also involved in the opening gambit.

GGK troopers at the ground breaking ceremony on May 7. BTDM picture

As I did not attend the ceremony I am unable to say when the GGK started using the SG 553 rifles which were previously only seen used by the Paskau and the MMEA STAR team. It must be noted that all of our Special Forces teams want the HK416 as their standard AR but circumstances beyond their control meant that they had to settle for the SG553s or the Colt versions.

JMF troopers during a graduation ceremony with their SG 553s. Johor Southern Tigers picture

Another user of the same ARs is the Johor Military Force. Even the Sultan’s bodyguards likely drawn from the JMF are also armed with the SG 553 as their primary weapon and Sig pistols as their handguns. If I get more information on the SG 553s in GGK service, I will definitely post an update.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2203 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Yes this is a new dawn for malaysia.

    It would be an uncharted territory for many in the defence field.

    I hope the transition will be a smooth one, and malaysia will come out stronger and better from all of this.

    It’s not just defence but the whole country

  2. Yes, the whole country generally, but what would happen to the many businesses in the defence field that has no connections to the new government? I hope things like the MMEA’s OPV and NGPC, gempita, gowinds will proceed smoothly.

    My take for the moment is that companies like Airod, Sapura and DRB Hicom will be accommodated as they’re mostly businessmen first. Boustead is a GLC they will not want to mess with it too much apart from the top executives.
    The company doing the NGPC/OPV for MMEA will be problematic as their owners/directors are linked with UMNO

  3. Just rooting for those building the NGPC and OPV, as it is one of a few that is on budget (the OPV budget is for only 2 ships and they manage to supply 3 ships for the budget of 2).

    Hopefully good news will also come for TUDM’s MPA and LCA programmes.

  4. Looks like after 20 years the Anwar/Mahathir team are back like what it was in the 80s and 90s. I still remember Dr M’s motto from the 80s: Bersih Cekap Amanah. I am a bit sad to see Hisham go as I thought from afar he was a good Defence Minister, poor chap was the face of the whole MH370 saga. Anyway I hope the country’s defence gets more priority, but I hope we don’t go Russian again.

    Actually he is one of the worst ..

  5. @ …
    Considering previous Pakatan’s stance on defence expenditure, I have no expectations on TUDM’s request nor on TLDM’s 15 to 5 plan.

    In view that the Gowind was as much Najib’s baby as the Kedah class was to Mahathir, the LCS program might be scuppered after the current ships are completed or the remainder be built on Kedahs instead.

  6. MiG might alive for tudm
    No more new mpa, lms scrapped, lcs wait n c, no more new ship beside upgrade n extend life, m109 I think will scrape as well. That all I can c….I not sure how our new government refinance our country finance…gst had spend alot $ n time… Now soon scrapped n revert old method. Hope it will brighter future in coming 5 years.

  7. Lots of doom and gloom…

    As a star wars fan Episode IV have a great title – it is The New Hope, and that is what we should embrace too.

    What we can do right now rather than predict all the doom and gloom, lets roll out our plans and wishes that can be seen by the new government. That means I need to finish my write on Pelan Perancangan Strategik Maritim Malaysia 2040.

  8. @….
    Not a doom-monger but just reflecting on their past stance about our defence spending (minuscule as it is already) and from their designated PM’s past statement (that they will be looking into replacing the Armed Forces top brass with those more “compliant” to the new regime).

    Both of this circumstances could mean the end of big ticket items like MPAs, LCAs, MRCAs (or they might buy Russian again), the LG1, the M109, & MD530 contracts might be affected, and the Navy’s 15 to 5 plan might come to an unfulfilled end sooner than expected. All in all, I have no illusions as to what our Armed Forces might become under their rule, but as it is the rakyat has spoken.


  9. Has PH expressed any views/statements regarding their future plans for the military?

    Not really as much as I know, I stand to be corrected of course. Even BN did not say much about it apart from saying that they will concentrate on improving the life of soldiers and veterans.
    Defence is not really a vote magnet here

  10. I think among the most disappointed by yesterday political tsunami are the makers of the expensive eurocanard trio as chances for any of them being selected for repeatedly aborted MRCA will be getting ever slimmer under the presumably budget-conscious new government. Anyway, a Great New Beginning for Malaysia and lets hope whoever is appointed to lead the the MoD would be more qualified and budget conscious than that kerisman/silver spooner. Hope to see major military purchases being openly discussed and debated in the parliament and the public being kept informed. Don’t want to see a repeat of the Scorpene scandal. Who knows, maybe some head(s) will finally row over that scandal as well. Congratulations to Malaysians for having the courage to take a leap of faith for Change. Btw, the new government should abolish those obscenely anti-democratic NSC laws forced upon Malaysia by that corrupt loser of the dark era.

  11. Prime Minister Mahathir, in one of his PRU14, mentioned the need to imrove the security of Sabah & Sarawak.

    One method he advocated was the use of UAV.

  12. Hope that cooler heads will prevail and sort out things accordingly. I don’t think ATM and other law enforcement modernisation plans that have been approved and funded by previous govt will be halted abruptly.

  13. As an interested military observer I like the idea of a stronger ATM.

    However as an accountant the truth is that the country is heading for tough economic times no matter who is in charge. Its just that under the previous administration I’m quite sure the result would be truly disastrous!

    Pakatan and DAP have never been able to penetrate the black box that is the Govt EPU. Now that they will have access, they may change their minds about things. That is 1 of the key ‘wins’ for us as a nation I think, since some leaders of these parties (DAP especially) have long advocated more transparency.

    Note that Defence is one of the key ministries on Tun M’s “top 10” cabinet list.

    For us here on the blog, I hope that our new leaders will at least maintain the current defence budget, listen to the ATM chiefs’ planning and decide wisely, and be much more transparent about security challenges and solutions henceforth.

    Even if they just let the current plans run (let alone a better version) with minimal kickbacks and “overhead”, I wholeheartedly believe we will see a net gain for the ATM and the country.

  14. @ chua

    “Even if they just let the current plans run (let alone a better version) with minimal kickbacks and “overhead”, I wholeheartedly believe we will see a net gain for the ATM and the country.”


    Less “goldplating”, less all the crazy markups, getting value for money systems and we can create a stronger defence even with the existing budgets.

  15. Totaly agree with Chua.

    We have read here how the defence budget is significantly impacted by high operating costs, leaving very little funds for development/capitalisation.

    My belief is that the new government is striving for increased efficiency which given time, will result in a leaner and meaner MAF.

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