SHAH ALAM: LIMA 2021 canceled. Its official, LIMA 2021 has been canceled. The Defence Ministry issued a statement today confirming the cancellation of LIMA 2021 scheduled for 16 to 21 March, 2021. The release said the decision to cancel the event was made by the Cabinet at its meeting on 8 July.
It said the decision to cancel was made basically due to the Covid 19 and its medical and economic impacts of the pandemic. What is interesting is that the statement did not state if the event will be held in the future, two years later down the road.
I am of the opinion that the LIMA series was never beneficial to the Malaysian aerospace and defence industries. It might had helped Langkawi developed as a tourist destination but apart from that, I was never convinced of its viability. That said I always tried to be at the show for the last twenty years or so, as a reporter I need to meet the people involved in both industries, even if some of them do not want to speak to me.
Apart from Covid 19, the biggest issue for the LIMA series were the cost, the government spends around RM10 million to RM15 million for each show, a princely sum in this times. Some might point out that Langkawi, its people and tourism and support industries have benefited from the show. However as the cost of staging the show came from the Defence Ministry, no one has been able to show how it and the Armed Forces have benefited, from it all this years.
Some might argue, as I pointed out before, that the cancelation could be linked to politics – PM7 is the Langkawi MP – it must be said the viability of most regional defence and airshows are up in the air in the moment. Most would not survived the economic and other impacts of the pandemic.
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