Here We Go Again

The damaged Gempita.

SHAH ALAM: IT appears that the Army has not repaired a Gempita IFV25 from 19 RMR (Mechanised) which got involved in a road accident in Sandakan in 2019. This was revealed in a post by the unit in its official Facebook page.

19 RMR used the vehicle in a briefing to drivers of the unit – both armoured and unarmoured vehicles – on the importance of road safety while on duty. It is unclear when the vehicle was shipped back to 19 RAMD camp in Sungai Petani, Kedah. The pictures posted by the unit do indicate that the vehicle has been stored under shelter and not subjected to rain and sun.

Soldiers of 19 RMR being briefed on the accident. 19 RMR

The turret remained with the vehicle though the barrel of the 25mm cannon has been removed. It is likely the other part of the 25mm cannon has been removed as well.
Check out the damage. 19 RMR

SUNGAI PETANI, 23 Nov 23 – 19 RAMD (Mek) telah melaksanakan Hari Pengajian yang mengupas berkaitan Kemalangan Jalanraya (KJR) yang melibatkan aset Harimau Besi bertempat di Garaj Bantuan, 19 RAMD (Mek), Kem Lapangan Terbang, Sungai Petani.
Perkongsian telah disampaikan oleh Pegawai Gerak, Mej Muhammad Zamir bin Hashim. Intipati sesi ini memfokuskan berkaitan kemalangan KJA 8×8 Gempita ZC 2988 semasa pelaksanaan Op Khas Sabah Siri 3/2019. Pegawai Memerintah, Lt Kol Mohd Hizami bin Mohd Zaini turut meluangkan masa menghadiri sesi perkongsian tersebut dan turut memberi peringatan serta pandangan kepada barisan Penggempur Harimau Besi, terutamanya pemandu-pemandu KJA & KJB.
Perkongsian yang disampaikan merangkumi pelbagai aspek antaranya adalah kronologi kes serta faktor yang menyebabkan KJR berlaku. Secara tidak langsung, kesemua barisan Penggempur Harimau Besi lebih cakna dalam mengendalikan aset pasukan khasnya bagi mengelakkan kadar kemalangan jalanraya.
Bagi melahirkan seorang penggempur yang mahir dalam mengendalikan aset pasukan, aspek keselamatan dan defensive driving perlu dititikberatkan sekiranya menghadapi situasi yang kritikal bagi mengelakkan sebarang kecederaan dan kerosakan terhadap kenderaan yang membawa nyawa.

The Gempita in question were among the vehicles stationed in Sandakan/Tawau following the Lahad Datu incident. A company of Gempita are stationed with the 22 RMR in their camp in Sandakan though it remained under 19 RAMD. Soldiers from 19 RMR rotated through to Sandakan every quarter for the detachment.

The damaged Gempita.

As you might be aware, several Gempita has been involved in road accidents since their introduction into service in 2014 with 19 RMR. It is unclear whether these vehicles have been repaired as well. It must be noted that although Deftech has signed a maintenance contract with the Army, repairs of accident vehicles are usually done via one-off contracts.
It is important to follow traffic rules.

That said since Deftech is the Gempita OEM, one wonders whether it is good idea to send accident-damage or broken down Gempita to other workshops.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2105 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. If since 2019, I am guessing it might be due to parts shortages for the repair, as during just after, Covid came and disrupted new Gempita deliveries where the last unit wasnt out until end 2022 IINM.

    I also suspect that TDM arent so rushing to get this unit back into service and rather use as a show-and-tell demo to strike into new drivers mindset. I have seen before JPJ had done demos with accident wrecked vehicles for the same effect.

    Many may not realise but due to its wheeled nature, these APC are quite fast for its weight but center of gravity is much higher than normal and such accidents usually involves a corner. Similarly truck drivers are taught to make a corner approach in a controlled manner but newbies usually corner too fast/turning too acute angle that the cargo tips the whole vehicle over.

  2. I’m not sure how expensive the parts is that either the Army did not request or it was not approved. I would have thought the Army’s own mechanics would have the means to fix those vehicles including having some parts readily available in inventory. Or is this one of the reason why Army doesn’t want more Gempitas – its that difficult and expensive to operate and maintain? What was the experience like with the Adnan and KIFV?

  3. It depends on the OE budget. There is more to this actually but I am unable to elaborate. Let just they were penny wise and pound foolish.

  4. Should the Army get the SPH, or find the money to buy all the parts for Army’s Gempita and to fully fix all the damaged Gempitas, and buy some 4×4 armoured vehicles to fill up gaps created by the lack of new Gempitas? It seems odd that Army is just buying for the sake of buying without consideration on the sustainment costs. Who is to say 18 SPH and within a year, only 6 are functional for a lack of parts. Sure, the 6 will look good in the annual firepower demonstration…

  5. They are not buying for the sake of buying. The Army has been looking to replace the G5s as soon as they arrived actually, its part of the planning process. The fact that we have not buy them within the last 10 to 15 years is an indictment of how the government treat defence.

    If you think the Army need to scrap buying something because some other equipment are in bad shape, see the what is going with RMAF and RMN..

  6. They are buying for the sake of buying if they don’t know they don’t have the OE to maintain the equipment or did not plan for the OE. Its like wanting to buy an expensive car but cannot pay for the maintenance costs and so the car isn’t usable most of the time. Like pay for 18, only half serviceable at any given moment, while at the same time no OE monies to pay for repairs of existing assets – can’t even find the money to pay for 1 Gempita in 4 years. To me its buying for the sake of buying just to say we have. Also its 18 SPH to replace G5s, whether they have been planning for 30 years, the planned 2 artillery units (1 in WM and 1 in EM) is not happening with that purchase. Its to nice to have on paper 18 SPHs, 48 MBTs, etc. Like the Army maintains 1 regiment of tanks with no hope of every getting a 2nd regiment any time soon or upgrading the existing tanks. Can’t they consider scrapping the tanks to pay for Gempita’s OE and buy even more SPHs to flesh to have setup 1 fully equipped artillery units in EM and 1 in WM?

  7. “The Army has been looking to replace the G5s as soon as they arrived actually”
    Is there a reason for that? Then whats the justification getting G5 in the first place?

    While SPH on-off, on-off has been a political football by our revolving Govts, TDM too has to share some blame in this ongoing saga by gladly making it their sacrificial cow when they were nearly given 2nd hand M109, a tried tested battleproven & well support thru decades platform. Worse still some claim they are comfortable waiting longer as long as they get exactly what they wanted rather than something else that would meet their needs today. So I wonder is that a need or just a want by TDM?

  8. The SPH is a replacement for the towed howitzer. The Army wanted to replace its 105mm howitzer for 155m howitzer as it has longer range. But the government through out the years dithered because of the cost. As the mechanisation of the Army progresses, the towed howitzers became obsolote but a SPH, even a wheeled one remained expensive.

    By right all our 105mm howitzers should be replaced by the 155mm guns apart from the Para unit. But of course, replacing all of the 105mm howitzers are beyond what the government are willing to pay.

    For example, if we were to replace the 100 105mm Oto Melara guns we ordered in 1969, with the M177 towed howitzers, we need around US$330 million or RM1.5 billion for the guns alone. Throw in the prime movers, ammo trucks and etc, it will be around RM2 billion. Not that expensive really if you ask me but I am not the ones signing off the procurement.

  9. Couldnt they do it progressively, like 10 plus prime movers in 1 RMK, 10 in the next RMK, etc? Is the current approach of buying in 1 large chunk instead of spreading out over a few RMKs a government or Army approach?

  10. So if I understand the timeline correctly, TDM had wanted to replace their 105mm arty with 155mm howitzers, but by the time G5s came TDM force had mechanised to a level that towed arty are now obsolete to our requirements hence why they already looking for replacements with mechanised 155mm SPH. But due to insufficient funding, being pushed down the ladder by politicians & beancounters, and conflicting political interests and switching of intended suppliers, Msian SPH has so far existed in ether.

    So if its something that TDM had been wanting and waiting and finally got the chance albeit used ones, then why on earth did they let it go and til today they still have no inkling when the SPH will rematerialise again?

    “around RM2 billion. Not that expensive really”
    Erm… Not when their yearly DE is around RM 1bil, so a brand new SPH will suck the entirety of 2 years DE alone. Doubt that TDM can stomach it.

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