Give Priority to National Security

MERSING: The Sultan of Johor, the Colonel-Commandant of the Special Forces Group – Grup Gerak Khas (GGK) – call on the government to give priority to national security and defence.

He said the leadership’s action in the past few years appeared as if they treated national security as low priority compared to other issues. This was in particular involving the GGK.

“Let it be known I did not become the Colonel Commandant of the GGK to be a puppet,” the Sultan said in his speech at the GGK Golden Jubilee parade at the Iskandar camp named after his late father. Among those who attended were Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Armed Forces officials and present and retired commandoes.

The Sultan of Johor at the GGK Golden Jubilee parade at Kem Iskandar, Mersing on Aug 25, 2015
The Sultan of Johor at the GGK Golden Jubilee parade at Kem Iskandar, Mersing on Aug 25, 2015

The Sultan said since he had become the Colonel Commandant since six years ago, top government and armed forces leaders had promised to fund various facilities and equipment for the the GGK.

“For example, I had suggested that an aquatic centre be built at this camp for scuba and water training and I was given promises that it will be built. However until now the aquatic centre have yet to be built.

“Does the government lack the funding or does it placed military priority way below the other requirements,” he added

It was the same for the other equipment and facilities for the GGK, he said. The empty promises of the country’s leadership was akin to neglecting the national security, the Sultan added.

This was especially galling as the GGK personnel will be among the first to call into action when something happened, he said. He said he hoped the present leadership in the Defence Ministry in who were present at the ceremony, would fulfill the promises made to the GGK.

The Sultan also said he regretted some leaders conferred with honourary parachute wings were using them on all occasions. “It is my understanding that the honourary parachute wings are only to be used on certain occasions,’ he said adding that if the honouree was so enthused with the wings, he should worked to be officially recognised.

The Sultan said he was aware that as a ruler he should not be meddled in politics. However he stressed he was aware of the current political and economic crisis affecting the country.

He said he hoped the government leaders solved the current issues quickly lest ” the rakyat will lose faith with the government’.

The Sultan of Johor conferring the GGK Golden Jubilee medal to Armed Forces chief Jen Tan Sri Zulkifeli Zin
The Sultan of Johor conferring the GGK Golden Jubilee medal to Armed Forces chief Jen Tan Sri Zulkifeli Zin

At the parade, the Sultan also conferred honourary GGK status to Army chief Jen Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Nor. He also also conferred GGK Golden Jubilee medals to his sons, the Armed Forces chief, Army chief and past and present leaders of the GGK. Retired and current GGK personnel are also to be conferred the medals.


The Sultan of Johor is well known for his criticisms on the government decisions especially those involving the GGK. A few years ago he donated a 4X4 vehicle to the GGK while criticising the decision to purchase the lightly modified Ford Ranger as the service’s RIV. The Sultan criticised the decision mainly due to the fact that the Rangers were bought for some RM350,000 each.

GGK Ford Ranger RIV.
GGK Ford Ranger RIV.

Despite the criticism, the RIVs remained in service. In RMK11, the GGK is expected to receive new small arms and communication equipment.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2149 Articles
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  1. Daulat tuanku

    I dont know if our leaders heard what the sultan had to say. Just look at the ringgit now. I just hate it when they try to compare the current situation with the 97 – 98 financial crisis and cntinue to say that everything is all right. If everything goes south the defense sector will the first to suffer.

  2. Ouch…

    About the honorary parachute wings. Looks like his majesty was taking a dig at hishammudin lol

  3. Just wanna ask a question. Is it possible if the PFI (private fund initiative) to fund the military procurement?

    Yes it can but what at cost? If its a PFI but we dont have to pay anything for the funding I am all for it!

  4. I understand the need for awarding honourary wings to visiting heads of states and royalty but the practice of awarding it to politicians should stop. One can argue that this practice honours the unit but one can also argue that it cheapens the wings. The Sultan of Johore is the Colonel in Chief of Gerak Khas but he also attended and passed selection.

    No doubt Gerak Khas has long standing requirements for various gear and facilities but so do PASKAL and PASKAU. I used to think that PASKAL had no issues getting what it needed as it had funding from a special budget and from oil and gas companies but a PASKAL chap I told this to laughed and said that was not the case at all.

  5. Off topic.

    News from sputnik.

    “And the Buyer is…:Malaysia May Buy Mistrals Initially Built for Russia

    During his Malaysian trip, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will discuss the possibility of delivering to Malaysia the two Mistral-class warships initially built for Russia, the French newspaper Tribune reported.”

    Yes we are buying the two Mistrals together with 20 Tiger AH and 16 Cougars for ASW

  6. The Sultan is clued up on military matters. His concern is sincere. I\’m not aware of the rest of his remarks but I think he\’s treading on thin ice by making publics comments — well taken by many, no doubt — on national policy. It would be good if our royals follow the lead of UK Royal Colonels of regiments (who have hundreds of years of experience \’colonelling\’ regts) by focusing on the welfare of servicemen and their families, especially their kids. I know Mindef is taking care of this but the royals can be more active in projects and foundations that help servicemen and their families. —–


    I find it hard to believe the story.

  7. Wow a very strong speech by Colonel Commandant GGK. He had rattled the boat before (donating a RIV) hope that HRH will donate something when he decides to upgrade his Johor Army.

  8. Wow a very strong speech by Colonel Commandant GGK. He had rattled the boat before (donating a RIV) hope that HRH will donate something when he decides to upgrade his Johor Army.

    Mistral? LOL. Then TLDM will have its Jetty Queen.

  9. Well, the Sultan has a point but we need to take it slow since our economy quite bad at it’s condition. But still, upgrading can’t be neglected at all cost.

    Mistral? Yes, we will get them since this is a good news for us. It’ll boost TLDM’s capability.


    Oh no, wait. We won’t be getting one…

  10. Wishful thinking regarding the Mistrals…….not unless they throw one in for free with the Rafales.

    With one Euro now at RM4.31?

  11. Has anyone bothered to ask whether Mistral is suitable for the RMN’s needs?? Does the RMN need something with so much deck space and do we have the aircraft to utilise the deck space?? Has anyone wondered whether the operating costs of such a large ship will have any affect on our operating budget?? The RMN had previously said that the Dokdo was too large for its needs and that the RMN’s shore infrastructure must be taken into account ; this is a telling statement.

    No doubt the French will try to interest us in Mistral but whether we are actually interested is a different matter altogether and even if we’re interested the question is whether we can afford it; it’s plainly obvious we can’t…..

  12. Maybe donations will be involved….LOL.

    Even if the two Mistrals are donated FOC, it cost about US$2.7 million a month to maintain them and pay port charges.

  13. Off topic..

    Been following this site for a while, interesting articles as well as the comments. Is it possible for Mr. Admin to post an article about Royal Johore Army? Would appreciate it so much! =D

    I have nothing on them. Maybe its a project for a guest posts?

  14. Dyce,

    There is no “Royal Johore Army”, it is called the “Johore Military Force”. Until recently members still wore the brushstroke pattern and in the past – not sure now – quite a few of its officers were ex army. The Sultan however, still wears his privately tailored brushstroke uniform. It also depends on the army for use of certain training facilities. Several of its officers are jump qualified; courtesy of Gerak Khas.

    Members of the unit can be seen guarding several buildings and facilities in the state, including Bukit Serene. Their issue rifle for many years was the M-16A1 but in more recent times SIGs have been seen. Like the army, the issue pistol for many years was the Browning High Power.

  15. “brushstroke pattern”

    It’s called grassland pattern IIRC.


    While on the topic of helicopter-carrying troopships, and putting aside the small matter of having escorts (air defence and ASW) why can’t we look at the idea behind HMS Ocean? It was built to commercial specs and thus much more cheaply than milspec ships, but it’s been serving the RN for > 25 yrs now and is even serving as the flag ship. Of course our ship has to be fitted with the appropriate systems for flight operations, LCVP, LCAC, self-defence, etc and appropriately designed decks for billeting, wide stairwells and so on to afford easy movement for equipment laden troops, etc but I think 30 yrs after Indera Sakti and Mahawangsa, we should have a pool of naval architects (re UTM) now that may be able to come up with a good design according to MAF’s needs.

    Not every ship has to be like the superb purpose-built Mistral. Eg a report on Internet bemoaned the lack of amphibious assault ships referring to the ageing HMAS Tobruk and RFAs but a senior Aus officer (not sure if it was Gen Sir Peter Cosgrove, Interfet cdr and present GG who visited recently) said a fast ferry could do the job then.

  16. Marhalim is being sarcastic when he mentioned about the mistral cougar tigre of french. LOL

    Any update on those 2 training vessel?

    Unfortunately no.

  17. Ferret,

    It’s called the brushstroke pattern and is based on the Rhodesian pattern, which in turn is based on the WW2 Denison pattern. During the 1st Emergency the SAS had a bergen in brushstroke pattern which was made in Hong Kong and was in a pattern very similar to the one we later adopted. The bergen our army used for many years was also based on the design of the SAS bergen.

  18. When it comes to delivering heavy gear to a location that has proper port facilities, commercial vessels can do the job just as well as an LST or LPD. What’s this means is that in the event we are faced with a scenario that calls for the rapid ferrying of heavy gear to places like Labuan, Bintulu or Sepanggar; MISC shipping can do the job. It’s not as if we”ll be delivering the gear to a beachhead with no facilities; if we did then that’s when LSTs and LPDs will come in handy.

    It is often not realised that when procurement costs of LPDs and similar vessels are discussed that equipment such as the lifts take up a nice chunk of the overall cost. Another area which costs a lot is the level of damage control a customer desires, i.e. how many watertight compartments and the ability of bulkheads to take direct hits from missiles, e.g. the Dutch Seven Provinces have several compartments and are designed to take hits from missiles with the warhead comparable to that of the Exocet. At the most, whatever we order should have auto cannons or perhaps a 76mm in the “A”. An 8 cell VLS would be nice but there isn’t the cash and the current threat environment doesn’t justify it.

    The Makassars are a perfect example of a commercial spec vessel built for the job. Sure, it doesn’t have the build quality (e.g. USN Level 1 standard) and level of damage control as other (read more expensive) ships but it gets the job done. If I’m not mistaken HMS Bulwark was registered with Loyds under commercial standards but was later re-registered. Just because a particular ship is built to commercial standards and is registered as such doesn’t mean it is inferior in various ways to a military spec build and registered ship.

    Even if we order an existing design from a European yard, the design may remain unchanged but the build standards and damage controls levels will probably be different; not necessarily a bad thing or an indication of an inferior ship.

  19. Azlan,

    That’s what Camopedia says. The UK and US SF types who came here on exercise referred to it as grassland. Quite popular for exchange.

  20. Ferret,

    I wasn’t depending on Camopedia and it isn’t only Camopedia who uses the designation to describe the pattern.

    The general accepted term for the pattern and others like it is ”brushstroke” and has been for a while [since the 1950’s in fact], irrespective of what others might refer to it. Looking at the patttern, it’s obvious why its referred to a ”brushstroke”. Ours have several variations; made in different fabrics [including airtex] and cutting. Over the years I’ve been lucky to have gotten hold of a few examples. We adopted 2 things from the Rhodesians; the ”brushstroke” and the Alo 3 gunship [the first to arm the Alo 3 with a cannon was the Portuguese].

    Contrary to popular belief the ”brushstroke” was not the first camo pattern we had but that’s another story. Quite often designations for new patterns are given by collectors and these designations are later widely adopted; e.g. Belgian ”moons and ball’s, Aussie ”jelly bean”, Greek, French and Portuguese ”lizard”, U.S. and Vietnamese ”tigerstripe” and East German ”raindrop”.

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