SHAH ALAM: Prime Minister DS Anwar Ibrahim announced that the LMS Batch 2 will be procured with funds from the 2023 national budget, he tabled in Parliament (February 24) today. He did not say how many ships will be funded, but RMN had stated previously, it wanted at least three ships in the current RMK12.
Defence Minister DSU Mohamad Hasan told Parliament on February 22 that negotiations were being conducted with several countries under the government-to-government concept to choose the best platform for LMS Batch 2 project. The ships – to be equipped with SSM and SAM – are expected to be built in the country selected to ensure that the vessels be completed on time and under budget.
Malaysian Defence was told that the allocation for LMS Batch 2 was supposed to be included in the proposed budget last year but it was then reallocated to another project altogether.
As for the national security sector budget, Anwar said the Home Ministry was allocated a budget of RM18.5 billion (an increase of some RM200 million from the one that was not passed) while the Defence Ministry allocation is pegged at RM17.7 billion (RM300 million more from the one that was not passed).In US dollar terms, the Defence budget is at $3.987 billion which is the same as the budget for 2022. The defence allocation is also likely be around 0.98 per cent of the 2023 GDP projections. As both ministries are part of the national security sector, it is unlikely we will get a two percent allocation for defence. The combined allocation of both ministries in the national security sector, is at two per cent.
According to the budget documents the Defence Operational Expenditure (OE) is RM11.4 billion compared to RM11.1 billion figure in 2022, an increase of some RM300 million. The Development Expenditure is RM6.3 billion, an increase of some RM1.3 billion from the same allocation in 2022 (RM5 billion).
OE for Home Ministry is slated at RM13.8 billion (RM13.5 billion, 2022) while DE is at RM4.7 billion compared to 2022 allocation of RM3.5 billion. As expected, the police are getting the bulk of the DE money, some RM2.2 billion while the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MME) is getting RM718 million compared to RM124 million in 2022.
As for the Armed Forces DE, the Army is getting RM 1 billion; RMN RM1.7 billion; RMAF RM1.6 billion and Joint Force Command RM778 million. The bulk of the money for the services are for the procurement of assets while the rest for construction of various facilities. Funds for quarters is listed at RM877 million.
— Malaysian Defence